While many of our favorite garden flowers need all day sunshine in order to thrive, there are plenty of others that will perform happily in partial and even full shade. This list is an answer to those who claim that nothing other than moss will grow in these conditions. These twenty-five full shade plants are described in an article by Mike McGroarty which I found on Mike’s Backyard Nursery website.
Finding plants to grow in partial shade is fairly easy. Finding full shade plants can be a bit of challenge. I hear all the time, “Nothing but moss will grow in the dark corner of my yard” or “I have a beautiful shade tree out front, but nothing will grow under it”.
Here are my recommendation of 25 full shade plants that will look great in your yard.
Sometimes called the winter rose, hellebore blooms in the late winter or early spring. Blooms come in a wide variety of shades- white, red, pink, purple, orange, yellow, tan… With leathery leaves and thick petals (not to mention winter blooms! ), you’d swear this plant is fake. They grow in zones 4-9.
When it comes to flowers, hydrangea go for the gusto. The huge flower clusters bloom late spring into early autumn as either mophead (large round or conical clusters) or lace cap (flat, loosely arranged blooms). While white hydrangeas will always bloom in shades of white, the pink or blue flowering varieties can be changed by the soil. The more acidic the soil, the more blue the blooms will be. Alkaline soil produces pink blooms.
Astilibe is a cute little bush with interesting leaves that add texture to your landscape. They sport red, pink or white flowering plumes in the spring through summer months. They are tolerant of wet soil and grow well in zone 3-9.
Go to the next page to see more of these plants that will grow in full shade.