Perennials for Shade Gardens
There is absolutly nothing wrong with using green hostas as perennials for shade. But don't limit yourself to just plain green plants. The variety of shade loving plants has increased over the years to include some really fun plants.
One of the most common hostas out there:
This hosta stays about 18" tall and produces lavender flowers.
The creamy white edge stands out in the shade.
Shade Loving PerennialsRemember shade is when an area in your garden receives less than 6 hours of sun during the day.
Plant pictures left to right. You can see the name of the shade plant by scrolling over the picture. If you click on the picture you will be taken to a site for more information and to purchase the plant if you wish.
This list is by no means complete, this is just the tip of the iceburg. The zones listed are a range covering many varieties. Check with your local garden center for the perennials for shade that will do best in your area.
- Ajuga (Bugleweed) zones 3-9
- Aquilegia (Columbine) zones 3-9
- Astilbe (False Spirea) zones 4-8
- Dicentra (Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart) zones 3-9
- Dicentra (Old Fashion Bleeding Heart) zones 3-9
- Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose) zones 4-8
- Heuchera sanguinea (Coral Bells) zones 3-8
- Hosta (Plantain Lily) zones 3-9
- Tiarella cordifolia (Foam Flower) zones 3-8
Grown as a ground cover or edging plant. It originally only came in a green leaf variety and has now been hybridized to include a small burgandy leaf variety called "chocolate chip".
A wonderful perennial to grow. The flowers are truly amazing. This plant self seeds nicely. The plants you get the second year from those seeds willl produce flowers that are not like the original. This is a short lived perennial in most cases, but well worth growing.
Spikes of flowers grown above a deeply cut almost fern like leaf. The pink varieties seem to perform the best for my garden. A long lived perennial that is easy to grow.
Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart
Released just a few years ago, this one is catching on like wild fire. The blooms are smaller than the old fashion bleeding heart but it blooms for a much longer period of time.
Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart
Large tear drop shaped hearts flow down the flower stalks on this shade perennial. It flowers and then sneaks away for the season. It is well worth growing.
An interesting plant to grow. The green flowering ones are easiest to find, but kinda boring. The burgandy and white ones are really nice.
I've watched this plant take over as one of the most popular perennials for shade. It can be evergreen (more like everpurple!) in my garden. The foliage colors can range from the traditional green to the ever popular purple and now bronze. I liked the size and color of the flowers on the green variety much better than the ones that emerge on the purple leaved ones. The purple varieties like "Palace Purple" have textured leaves which are wonderful.
The best plant for beginning shade gardeners to try. There are so many varities, colors and sizes of hosta grown now.
See this perennials for shade hosta page for more information and care instructions for growing them.
I planted a very small plant and every so often it tossed up a bloom. Then one year I looked out into the garden and saw this amazing mass of white blooms. My little plant had finally matured enough to shout out to the world. It may take a little while to produce but once it does WOW. Save yourself the waiting time and buy this plant in a gallon size. You won't be disappointed.
I covered a few of the easier and popular to grow perennials for shade here but there are so many more that are worth growing.
Check your local garden center throughout the season for perennials for shade that grow well in your area.
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