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Shade-loving Plants

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani Feb 10, 2019
Some of the most popular species of shade-loving plants are ferns, hostas, lady's mantle, camellia, foxgloves, Japanese rose, hydrangea, astilbes, periwinkle, and bamboo. Let us discuss these plants and their individual needs in detail.
There is always some portion of shade in our yards, either from the shadow created by things like trees or just because of the garden orientation. Whatever the cause, it is quite challenging to grow and maintain healthy plants. However, with some gardening skills and the correct selection of plants, you can still enjoy luxuriant plants in the same area.

List of Plants that Love Shade

Plants require proper lighting, air circulation, irrigation, and specific types of soil for optimal growth and flowering. Based on whether the degree of shade is light or deep, you can have a variety of plants and shrubs in those areas. Listed here are some of the most popular plants which will perform well despite the lack of sunlight in the area.

Ornamental Ferns

Ferns are non-flowering plants having feathery, attractive fronds. They are best suited for moist and cool soil, and areas partially to fully shaded. Popular species are sensitive fern, lady fern, autumn fern, holly fern, ostrich fern.


Growth requirements for this semi-hardy, perennial, flowering plant are: availability of partial to fully-shaded conditions, well-drained soil, and protection from harsh winds.
Based on the cultivar, the heart-shaped foliage is either uniform in color or variegated. At maturity, pendulous flowers in shades of white or lavender are borne in long stalks.

Lady's Mantle

Also called lion's foot, it is a perennial plant, known for its large, fan-shaped leaves that develop from base. It grows well in areas receiving sunlight in the morning, but are shady in afternoon. Clusters of green colored, apetalous perennial flowers grow above leaves.


Camellia adapts well in moist, well-drained, and acidic soil. Requiring a partially-shaded condition for optimal growth, it is a small evergreen shrub having a glossy foliage and conspicuous flowers.
The foliage size may be as long as 3-15 cm, with the colorful blooms' diameter ranging from 1-12 cm.


Partial shade is perfect for these. Available in shades of white, pink, yellow, red, lavender, and purple, individual flowers are developed in long, spike-like inflorescences. Keep foxgloves away from children, as all plant parts are poisonous.

Japanese Kerria Shrub

This is one of the best bushes to grow in the shade. Commonly known as Japanese rose, this shade-tolerant, deciduous shrub blooms in spring, and continues till summer. As spring arrives, the bright yellow, double-petaled flowers brighten the garden.


Best for partially shaded to sunny conditions, the hydrangea represents one of the most beautiful flowering bushes. Available in white, pink, blue, and purple, the small flowers are arranged in large head inflorescences.
Despite the mid-summer flowering season, hydrangea beautifies the yard with luxuriant green foliage for the whole year.


Perfect for shaded areas, astilbes produce white, pink, or red flowers in late spring or early summer. Both foliage and flowers are feathery with the leaves resembling that of ferns.
The flowers are plume-like and develop on long, flowering stalks. A plus point with these plants is the strikingly beautiful flowers that stay for several weeks.


Periwinkle, or the vinca flower, is adaptable even in the least hospitable areas of a garden. So, if you want an easy-to-grow and maintenance-free plant, periwinkles are perfect.
With a vine growth habit, this flowering perennial plant is excellent for maintaining ground cover. It produces white, purple, or blue flowers in large numbers.

Bamboo Plants

These tall plants are perfect for creating a green background for a garden border. Based on space availability and garden planning, you can select bamboo plants of different sizes and heights.
Even though bamboos can adapt in light or partial shade, they grow best when exposed to at least 5 hours of sunlight everyday.
Others shade-tolerant plants are lupine, Japanese anemone, lenten rose, lily of the valley, hypericum, viburnum, jasmine, and rhododendron. Right from flowering to foliage plants, seasonal to perennials, and herbs to shrubs, you can find a plethora of lovely plants that adapt well in areas of low sunlight.