Shade Plants: Our Favorite Shade-Loving Perennials

If you’ve got a shady spot in your garden where nothing seems to grow, then it’s time to learn that shade-loving plants will help to breathe life into the area.

It’s no secret that plants thrive in different environmental conditions; hence, landscapes look so different from one climate to another.

Just as we have plants that flourish in greenhouses, some plants literally can’t handle the heat of direct sunlight and will, instead, thrive in shady spots.

Today, we’ll share four of the prettiest shade plants you can plant easily to help give your indoor or shady garden a makeover.

Shade Plants: Top Four Picks

When it comes to landscaping your garden, it’s good to have a bit of first-hand knowledge on which plants are shade-friendly, and which prefer full and direct sunlight.

This will help you plan your outdoor space appropriately, and you’ll experience greater success in your gardening endeavors.

You’ll also benefit from a nicer looking garden.

So, what plants are good in the shade?

There are actually many shade-loving plants available that will thrive when planted in your shady spot, as long as you plant them at the right time of year.

Shade plants

That said, there are shade-loving plants that can grow any time of the year: the perennials.

If you choose shade-loving plants that are also perennials, then you can enjoy the beauty of these plants year after year, without having to replant.

If you have no idea what to plant, here are our top four choices:

Coral Bells: Best Shade-Friendly Plant for Beginners

shade plants

Most gardeners will agree that it’s difficult to find a more reliable perennial plant than coral bells.

Plant coral bells once, and it will flourish when the weather starts to get warmer, time and time again.

The colorful foliage found on this plant is usually what attracts most people to it, but some varieties also have colorful flowers on tall, showy stems.

Coral bells are easy to grow and maintain, which is great news for those of us who appreciate having a beautiful garden with the least work possible.

You can plant your coral bell seeds in early spring or late fall by sprinkling them straight onto the ground and covering them lightly with soil.

Astilbe: Best Shade Plant for Butterfly Lovers

shade plants

Although many plants attract butterflies, some of them require full sun.

If you’re looking for a shade-tolerant perennial that attracts butterflies, as well as other beneficial insects to your garden, then look no further than the beautiful astilbe plant.

The astilbe plant also has the added benefit of being really easy to grow.

During midsummer, astilbe will brighten your shady spot with deep green, fern-like foliage, teamed with white, pink, red, lavender, or violet flowers, depending on the variety.

It looks really good when planted along paths and in borders, as well as in pots.

You can also plant your astilbe seeds in spring when the ground is cool and moist.

Andromeda: Best Shade-Loving Bush

shade-loving plants

If you’re wondering what bushes grow in the shade, then check out our favorite shade-tolerant bush: the andromeda.

Bushes are also perennial, and some will even flower at various points in the year, including this one.

The andromeda is a shade-tolerant bush that can offer the best of both worlds by sprouting fragrant flowers in the summer, as well as providing year-round evergreen foliage.

Also known as the lily of the valley bush, it doesn’t fare too well in alkaline soil, so you may need to adjust the pH of your soil before planting.

It’s well worth the trouble, though, and we’re confident you’ll never get bored of the ever-changing face of this shrub.

You can plant your andromeda bush in spring or summer, but be sure to give it a bit of room since it can grow to around 10 feet tall.

Bleeding Heart: Best for Full Shade

shade plants

An old gardener’s favorite, Bleeding heart thrives in heavy shad

Therefore, if you have a patch in your garden that is rarely in full sun, this plant will still work really well.

They really are stunning to look at, especially with their inch-long heart-shaped flowers dangling from their arched stems.

Bluish-green foliage will emerge first, and then the pink with white or white flowers will appear in early spring.

The bleeding heart is a herbaceous perennial and will start to wither away as the full heat of summer arrives, storing energy in order to sprout again next year.

You can plant your bleeding hearts in spring or fall and fertilize in early spring to encourage a higher number and longer-lasting blooms.

How Can Plants Grow in the Shade?

Most of us will remember learning about photosynthesis at school, but usually associate this process with direct sunlight.

As an overview, photosynthesis is the process in which plants feed themselves by absorbing sunlight through their leaves and converting it into glucose.

In direct sunlight, though, plants face exposure to UV rays and desiccation, which is the state of extreme dryness.

Also, with direct sunlight, plants must expend energy to produce a waxy coating to help prevent the loss of water, as well as produce pigmentation to protect themselves from UV rays.

Shade plants have adapted to use far-red light more effectively, as opposed to those that have adapted to receive direct sunlight.

By growing broader and thinner leaves, they are more efficient when it comes to using energy.

Also, they are usually also more efficient in the use of nutrients.

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Show Us Your Shade!

Maybe your whole garden is somewhat shaded, or maybe, you just have a shady corner you want to brighten up.

Either way, our favorite shade-loving plants listed above will help brighten the whole area up!

Whether you want year-round foliage, or bright, seasonal summer flowers, we have the answer for you.

All you need to do is buy your seeds or bulbs and work out the best time for planting them

You’ll be able to enjoy your garden more in the near future.

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