It is rare to find a garden with absolutely no shady areas, but that doesn’t mean that this part has to be neglected, since this is the perfect habitat for some popular shade-loving plants. Many decorative and colorful plants thrive in the shade and can add a splash of color and variety to your garden’s darker corners. The varieties of plants you choose for your personal garden are ultimately up to you, but this guide will help you learn about some of the more common types of shade-loving plant.
No shady garden is complete without a few ferns, which are so easy to grow they are practically maintenance free. Ferns come in a variety of strains depending on your gardening preferences and needs, but the most popular are the Ostrich Fern, the Lady Fern, and the Sensitive Fern. The Ostrich Fern is the most commonly recognized, with tall, bright green fronds. The Lady Fern is lighter in color and has more feathery fronds. The Sensitive Frond gets its name from its tendency to wither at the first sign of frost. Astilbes are similar to ferns in appearance and produce gorgeous foliage. They add a burst of color to shady areas, with spectacular red, pink, and white flowers in June and foliage that remains green all summer long with proper watering.
The hardy peony can thrive in full sunshine as well as in the shade. Some shade-loving peonies are the Peony Japanica and Peonia Obovata, which originate from the bamboo forests of Far East Asia. These plants flower in early summer and come in both double and single flowered forms, depending on your preference. Impatiens and begonias are often found in hanging baskets but can also be planted in ground. They come in a variety of bright colors but most are vibrant shades of red, white, and pink. The colorfulness of these flowers is a great addition to any garden.
Officially known as the Dicentra, the Bleeding Heart is better known by its heart-like shape and radiant color. It requires very little sunlight and can add a distinctive touch to the shady spots of your garden. You may also consider a few low-maintenance day lilies, which can grow in both damp and dry conditions and do well in areas with light shade. Their flowers usually come in shades of yellow and orange, adding a bit of cheer to your garden.
Hostas, with their broad, glossy leaves, do their best work in the shade and will even grace your garden with lily-like flowers in early summer, usually in brilliant shades of blue. Their leaves come in a variety of shades, from solid greens to ones interspersed with white, green, and gold.
One of the few flowering trees which thrive in the shade, the Dogwood tree bursts to life every spring with spectacular white or pink flowers. If you have an area of semi-shade with room for a small tree, the Cornehan Cherry tree with its yellow flowers is another good choice. When it comes to shrubs Hydrangeas and rhododendrons are two of the most popular shade shrubs, both with colorful bunches of fragrant flowers in early spring.
As you can see, there is no need to write off the shady sections of your garden as they too can help bring your yard to life. Happy planting!