Best 25 Plants That Thrive in Full Shade

You often hear people say that nothing will grow in full shade, but here we set out to prove that this is not true and that there are plenty of plants that will perform in these conditions. And this list is not provided by any amateur gardener, but by a professional nursery owner. This article by Mike McGroarty which I found on Mike’s Backyard Nursery describes twenty-five full shade plants.

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.


#1  Hellebore

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.

#2 Hydrangea



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.

#3 Astilbe

White Astilbe

White Astilbe

pink astilbe

Pink Astilbe

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.

See more at Mike’s Backyard Nursery

Feature photo: Clematis

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