Some of the Best Plants for a Shade Garden

Some of the Best Plants for a Shade Garden

I love to garden and being an avid gardener along with an avid beekeeper I understand how important it is to have a good garden for the bees as well as for my own personal enjoyment. I also realize that not every area we may have in our yards provide us with ample sunlight to grow plants that are in need of full sun to part sun. This is why it’s important to know what plants will do well in shady area or in a shade garden. Here are a few plants that you might want to take a look at and use in your own shade garden so that you will be able to enjoy the beauty of your own garden as well as giving bees and other beneficial insects a place to call home as well.


The Astilbe is a plant that loves shade and produces really pretty feathery, flowers that are plume like. They have a really nice airy quality about them and they come in a variety of colors such as pink, lavender, white, salmon and bright red and their green foliage is kind of fern like. These are often used as a main plant for any shaded perennial border of any shade garden. They also love to grow in pots that you can then place along any shaded paths you might have in your garden. They prefer that you plant them in rich soil that is kept moist.

The Amethyst Flower

If you really like blue or lavender flowers then you will really love this little annual flower. It has star shaped flowers that can be bright blue or sky blue. They can also be violet or lavender as well as white. They can be planted in your shade garden or you can put them in pots in hanging baskets. They do really well in gardens that offer a warm shade or if they receive filtered sun. The leaves of the Amethyst Flower are round, small and dark green.


Begonias love the shade and are ideal for putting in pots and hanging baskets and provide you with super bright colors. These perennials have bright blooms and come in just about any color you can think of except for the color blue. If you get the hanging type of Begonia you will enjoy a plant that blooms profusely with smaller flowers. However, if you pick the strains that grow upright you’ll get much larger blooms. Begonias will grow best with filtered shade and a nice rich soil. Make sure to water them just enough to keep the soil nice and moist but don’t let the soil get soggy. They also like to be misted on a regular basis.


If you are looking for a non-flowering shade plant that still has plenty of color then you’ll want to include the Coleus in your shade garden. These perennials have vibrantly colored leaves on them that can range anywhere from a ruby red and yellow to pink, orange and other color blends. They are easy to grow and love lightly shaded patios in pots as well. If you pinch the tips of these plants they will grow a lot faster and vigorously.

The Copper Plant

This is yet another shade loving plant that doesn’t produce flowers but doesn’t need to with it’s bronze to green and orange hues that their long oval leaves produce. This plant almost looks like a watercolor painting. The plant is is hardy only down to 40° F so if you live in a colder climate it’s often only used as an annual. In warmer climates it grows year round as an evergreen shrub. They also do well in pots and can be brought inside when the temperatures dip down into the 30’s or colder in some areas.

Flowering Maple

This is a really lovely flowering shade plant that has bell shaped flowers that come in yellow, white, orange, red or pink. The plant has clusters of maple leaf shaped leaves that are generally green but sometimes they are variegated with white. This is an evergreen shrub that can actually grow eight feet tall so you’ll need some space for this one. However, if you don’t have the space in your garden you can get the dwarf variety for smaller spaces or for pots. In very hot climates it’s important that they always get at least part shade.

Garden Hydrangea

The hydrangea is well suited for a garden with light shade. This particular shrub is evergreen and extremely easy to grow, they don’t require much fussing over other than giving them enough water and occasionally feeding them. They do need a light pruning just once a year and should do just fine. You’ll love the huge mop head flower that it produces and you can find them in different shades of pink, blue and white.

Hosta Hybrids

Hostas are simply made to thrive in the shade. No shade garden should be without some sort of hosta growing in it. They come in a variety of shapes, textures as well as colors. Depending upon what kind of variety you decide upon their beautiful leaves can be heart shaped, dull or glossy, smooth textured or quilted and can be blue, green or even yellow in color. These beautiful perennials will also during late summer shoot up really pretty little white and sometimes lavender flowers.

Yesterday-Today-and Tomorrow

This is a really interesting flowering shade plant to put in your shade garden. It will give you a wonderful color show during it’s blooming season because the blooms will turn from purple ( which is the “yesterday”) to a lavender (which is the “today”) and then to white (which is the “tomorrow”). What’s really great about this flowering plant is that all of the colors generally are present all at the same time during the blooming process so you’ll have three different colored flowers all on one plant! You will need to have a pretty good sized space for this one because it can grow up to 10 feet. However, if you prune it often you can keep it as short as three feet.

These are just a few of the wonderful shade plants that you can find to create yourself a lovely shade garden that you can enjoy in your own yard.