Cropped in area of a shade garden showing hostas and other plants.

Shade Gardens

Looking to nurture your green thumb even in shady spaces? Growing a garden in the shade doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. With the right knowledge, tools, and variety of plants – you’ll be enjoying vibrant greenery and beautiful blooms regardless of how much sunlight your space is getting. In our guides down below, you’ll find techniques for growing plants in the shade as well as an array of suitable plant suggestions. Happy gardening!

21 of the Best Salt-Tolerant Shade Perennials

A horizontal photo of a mixed shady garden borden filled with hostas and astilbe plants.

If you are facing challenges like road salt destroying plants and more shade than you would like, read on for 21 of the best salt-tolerant shade perennials to grow in these areas. From foliage like coleus and hosta to bulbs like iris and daylily, you will find specific varieties to meet your unique gardening needs.

How to Grow Fall-Blooming Japanese Anemone Flowers

A close up horizontal image of pink Japanese anemones growing in the garden.

Tall and elegant, Japanese anemones add enchanting, saucer-shaped flowers in shades of pink and white to the fall garden. Reliable and low maintenance, they’re terrific when mass-planted and add charm to cottage, cutting, and shade gardens. Learn how to grow and care for Japanese anemone flowers in this guide.

How to Grow Fabulous Fuchsia Flowers

A close up horizontal image of red and white double-petalled fuchsia flowers, pictured in bright sunshine on a soft focus background.

Fuchsia flowers bloom in a variety of vivid colors and shapes and are ideal for growing in a hanging planter in the shade, but they can thrive in other locations too. Species with upright, creeping, or trailing habits are available that may be grown as trees, shrubs, or ground covers. Learn how to grow fabulous fuchsia now.

How to Grow and Care for Torenia (Wishbone) Flowers

A close up horizontal image of pink and white torenia flowers growing in the garden.

Torenia, aka wishbone flower, blooms in fun colors including purple, magenta, and yellow, and has flowers shaped like little clown faces. Thriving in partial sun to full shade, they make an easy-care addition to woodland gardens, borders, and walkway edges. Learn to care for this happy-face flower in this guide. Read more.

The 19 Best Hosta Varieties for a Shady Yard

A garden border planted with various cultivars of hosta plants in a shady location surrounded by other plants and foliage in light sunshine fading to soft focus in the background.

Hostas can make a striking addition to the shade garden, with colorful foliage and tiny lavender or white flowers. Check out our roundup of favorite cultivars, in hues of blue-green and gold, chartreuse and lime, with spiky or heart-shaped leaves, plus a few classic white and green varieties. Read more now.

How to Grow and Care for Wood Hyacinth (Spanish Bluebell)

A close up horizontal image of Hyacinthoides hispanica aka Spanish bluebells growing in the garden pictured on a green soft focus background.

Wood hyacinth, aka Spanish bluebell, is a spring bulb that sports bright green foliage and blue, pink, or white bell-shaped blooms. This hardy plant is easy to grow in drifts under trees, in containers, and in garden beds and borders. Learn how to plant and grow this robust, showy perennial in this guide. Read more now.

Grow Mexican Petunias (Ruellia Simplex) for a Heat and Shade Tolerant Perennial

Wild,Petunias,Or,Mexican,Bluebell

If you’re looking for a versatile, low-maintenance shade plant that does well in the sun, too, consider Mexican petunia, aka Ruellia simplex. Sporting purple, pink, or white blooms, this easy-care hardy perennial comes in varieties short and tall, and you’ll love its slender, droopy leaves and sometimes-purple stems.

How to Grow and Care for Virginia Bluebells

A close up horizontal image of the bright blue flowers with delicate pink buds of Mertensia virginica pictured on a green soft focus background.

Native to North America, the Virginia bluebell is an early spring blooming plant that sports flowers in shades of purple, pink, and blue. Plus, this cool weather, moisture, and shade-loving plant is easy to grow. Read more now to learn all about propagating and caring for this perennial, ephemeral beauty.

Boston Fern Care Guide: Grow this Easy-Care Houseplant

A close up horizontal image of a Boston fern growing in a hanging basket under the eaves of a home.

With its arching fronds and gorgeous foliage, the Boston fern is a great choice for your home. This guide covers everything you need to grow Boston ferns indoors. Whether in a hanging planter or as a centerpiece for your coffee table, the Boston fern will make a delightful addition to your living space. Read more.

How to Plant and Grow Ginger in Your Home Garden

Freshly harvested ginger with the green leafy tops still attached.

Ginger is a wonderful herb, but those who want to grow it run into a dilemma: it’s a tropical plant! Can you grow it in colder climates, even throughout winter, for culinary use? Read on, and you’ll find that it’s not so hard – with the right techniques, this can be a tasty and rewarding pastime.

How to Grow Coleus in Your Garden

Top down view of different colored foliage and cultivars of coleus plants.

Colorful coleus is a tropical foliage plant that is easy to grow and thrives in shady locations. With vibrant, variegated leaves in a range of color combinations and patterns, coleus is ideal for massed plantings, or as specimens in beds and borders. Learn how to plant and grow coleus now with this guide.

How to Grow Jacob’s Ladder: Regal Shade-Blooming Perennial

A close up horizontal image of bright blue flowers growing in the garden in a shady spot with a sunny lawn in soft focus in the background.

Are you looking for a flower that thrives in cool, moist shade? We have the perfect plant for you: Jacob’s ladder. With its beautiful blue petals and yellow stamens, this European species readily naturalizes in the US. Learn all about this hardy perennial now from your friends at Gardener’s Path.

How to Grow and Care for Barrenwort

A close up horizontal image of the variegated foliage and yellow flowers of barrenwort (Epimedium) growing in the garden.

Barrenworts are drought resistant, tolerant of heavy shade, and they can handle a variety of pests and diseases that easily wreck more vulnerable plants. With striking flowers and gorgeous foliage, Epimedium is well worth planting. Our guide provides all the info you need to grow this ornamental ground cover.

How to Plant and Grow Toothwort (Pepper Root)

A horizontal image of toothwort (Cardamine) in full bloom growing in a woodland location.

Toothwort thrives in shade and provides colorful ground cover where other plants can’t survive. The flowers serve as the perfect way to bring the woodlands into your garden and you can eat the herb from root to tip. It tastes a lot like horseradish, which is why this plant is often called pepper root. Read more now.

How to Grow and Care for Bleeding Heart Flowers

A close up of an arching branch of the bleeding heart plant, adorned with pink flowers and the characteristic white and red 'tear' hanging from the bottom in bright sunshine on a green soft focus background.

Bleeding hearts maintain and enjoy their status as a unique and easy to care for perennial beloved by gardeners. With soothing green foliage and iconic heart-shaped flowers, it’s easy to see why this shade-loving plant is a mainstay in many gardens. Discover how to grow and care for your own bleeding hearts now.

27 of the Best Shade-Loving Herbs for Your Garden

A close up horizontal image of a herb garden in light filtered sunshine.

Shade is wonderful when you’re overheated and need a spot to escape from the heat of the sun, but it can be a serious challenge when it comes to the herb garden. Whether you like the flavor or make medicinal tea with herbs, many prefer a good amount of sunshine. Now, meet 27 herbs that produce well even in shady spots.

How to Grow Lily of the Valley: Your Planting and Care Guide

A bouquet of lilies of the valley are shown with their white flowers all facing down towards the ground. A single stem of C. majalis can hold several of the small, almost bell-shaped blossoms.

Finding the right flowering plants for your shade garden can be problematic, and early blooming and fragrant varieties can be few and far between. Luckily, there’s lily of the valley, a happy-to-spread and pleasantly scented addition that fits in those neglected corners of your flowerbeds. Read more on Gardener’s Path.

How to Grow and Care for Trillium Flowers (Birthroots)

A horizontal image of a carpet of trillium flowers growing in a woodland.

Do you have a shady spot in your garden just crying out for some color? Need something that doesn’t mind a little clay soil? Plant some trilliums and watch that formerly bland area come to life. Wake robins, as they’re also known, don’t need much special care and they’re easier to propagate than many gardeners realize.

How to Grow and Care for Jack-in-the-Pulpit

A close up horizontal image of a jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

Shade gardens tend to be foliage-dominant, so some blooms would no doubt make for a splendid addition. Try jack-in-the-pulpit plants! These low-maintenance beauties rarely suffer from pest infestation or disease. Read our guide now to learn everything you need to know to grow your own Jack-in-the-pulpits.

How to Grow and Care for Bloodroot Plants

A close up horizontal image of white and yellow bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) flowers growing en masse in a woodland setting pictured in light sunshine.

With gorgeous flowers and fascinating foliage, bloodroot deserves a patch of real estate in your garden. Our guide to growing and caring for Sanguinaria canadensis provides all the information you need to cultivate bloodroot. Plus, you’ll discover this plant’s interesting horticultural history as well!

How to Grow and Care for Cinnamon Ferns

A close up horizontal image of the green fronds and unfurling brown ones of a cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) growing by a wooden fence.

The cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) has many amazing qualities – gorgeous color, easy care, and a widespread growing range are just a few of the things this plant has going for it. If you want to cultivate one – or more! – in your landscape, this growing guide is just what you’ve been looking for. Read more now.

How to Grow and Care for Autumn Ferns

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of Dryopteris erythrosora growing in the garden.

Autumn fern is a gorgeous, tough plant with fronds that emerge with a coppery hue – a welcome change from the typical fern’s green color scheme. In this guide, we’ll show you how to grow and care for these plants at home. From propagation techniques to cultivation tips, no stone will be left unturned! Read more now.

How to Grow and Care for Mondo Grass

A close up horizontal image of green mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicas) growing in a rocky spot in the garden.

Darkly distinctive, mondo grass is a handsomely unique, sod-forming perennial with graceful, arching foliage. Commonly used in borders and containers, as ground cover, and for underplanting. Highly versatile and low maintenance, it’s useful in both sunny and shade gardens. Learn how to grow mondo grass in this guide.

How to Grow and Care for Ferns

A close up horizontal image of sword fern foliage growing in the garden pictured artistically in light sunshine fading to soft focus in the background.

Ferns are fabulously varied, and they’re not just lacy fronds that grow in shady areas. There are endless options if you want some color for shade, but there are also sun-lovers and others that grow on trees. Some are drought tolerant and others can thrive in a swamp. Read more now to learn how to grow your own ferns.

How to Grow and Care for Impatiens

A horizontal image of a large impatiens shrub covered in colorful flowers growing in the garden.

Impatiens are ready for their comeback. The once incredibly popular shade-lover has fallen out of favor over the past decade since downy mildew began wiping it out across the UK and US. But growers have found new techniques to help prevent this disease, and resistant cultivars are popping up on the market. Read more.

How to Grow Persian Shield, a Vividly Hued Foliage Plant

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of Persian shield plants.

Are you looking for a vibrant new plant for the house or garden that’s a cut above the rest? Consider Persian shield, a unique tropical variety with amazing, iridescent purple leaves. Learn all about this exceptional tropical plant in this guide. Read more now.

How to Grow Wood Anemone Flowers for Shady Areas

A horizontal image of a large swath of wood anemones growing in a woodland.

American and European wood anemones add beauty to the garden in early spring, fading away by midsummer to go dormant and then return as perennials the following year. These spring ephemerals are perfect for growing in wooded areas with dappled shade and moist soil. Read more now to learn how to grow your own.

How to Grow Hostas in Containers

A close up horizontal image of two hosta plants with purple flowers growing in blue ceramic posts on a patio.

Hostas grow well in containers, so why not grow them in compact places where you might not be able to otherwise? A potted plant makes a statement in the garden or on a patio. There are just a few tips you need to know in order to make these popular plants thrive in pots. Read our guide to learn more.

How to Grow Hostas: A Favorite Shade Loving Perennial

A close up horizontal image of hostas growing in the garden in a shady spot.

It’s no wonder hostas are one of the most popular plants to grow in the garden. They’re versatile, add color even to shady spots, and are rarely impacted by insect pests or diseases. With hundreds of cultivars, there’s an endless variety to choose from. Our guide will help you to pick, plant, and care for your hostas.

How to Grow and Care for English Bluebells

A horizontal image of an English woodland in spring with a carpet of bluebells under the trees.

English bluebell is a spring bulb with bright green foliage and vibrant blue bell-shaped flowers. It goes by many names, including harebell and fairy flower, and produces beautiful lush carpets in woodlands and other shady areas of the garden. Learn how to plant and grow this perennial in our guide. Read more now.

Add Color to Your Shade Garden with 15 of the Best Astilbe Varieties

A horizontal image of a number of different varieties of astilbe growing in a perennial border with pink, red, and white flowers.

Astilbes provide a range of color options for the shade garden, and they look lovely when planted in tight groups. They offer a range of sizes and bloom times, appearing any time from late spring to late summer and provide reliable interest and appeal to your landscape. Discover 15 favorite astilbe varieties in our guide.

How to Grow Hellebores, the Winter-to-Spring Sensation

A close up horizontal image of a pink hellebore flower growing in the late winter garden with a light dusting of snow on the foliage, pictured on a soft focus background.

If you’re looking for unique perennial flowers, hybrid hellebores are for you. Also known as Lenten roses, they’re perfect for moist, shady locations in the garden, and reward with cheerful blossoms in late winter and early spring. Learn how to cultivate these evergreen early bloomers in this guide. Read more now.

How to Plant and Grow Anemone Flowers

A close up horizontal image of colorful anemone flowers growing in a container in front of a metal fence.

Anemone is a genus of flowering perennials that lend reliable color and allure to gardens from spring to fall. Easy and versatile, they suit a wide range of locations and thrive in full or part sun, a valuable addition to shade and sun gardens alike. Learn all about how to plant and grow anemone flowers right here.

15 of the Best Anemone Varieties for Spring, Summer, and Fall

A close up horizontal image of different colored anemone flowers in a mass planting in a meadow, pictured in bright sunshine.

Anemones are easy to care for and produce long-lasting, bright flowers, some are daisy-like while others resemble poppies. Depending on the variety, they flower in spring, summer, and fall, can be planted in sun or light shade, and make wonderful cut flowers. Learn about 15 of the best anemone varieties now.

How to Grow and Care for Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Burgundy heuchera with light green plants, and a rounded green shrub.

Possibly the only foliage plant you’ll need in your garden beds, hardy Coral Bells provide reliable performance in sun or shade. Toss in a flower that’s as delicate and light as they come, and you’ve got yourself one wonderful perennial. Read all about how to care for your Heuchera now, here on Gardener’s Path!

How to Grow Astilbe Flowers: A Shade Gardener’s Best Friend

Purple astilbe flowers in bloom.

Looking for a nice accompaniment to hosta, fern, and heuchera? The shade garden has become my favorite corner of the yard, thanks to the patch of astilbe I’ve started. With bronze-green foliage, the real show comes when it blooms, with large plumes of creamy whites and pinks. Read more now on Gardener’s Path.

12 Fast-Growing Shade Trees for Your Yard

The Best Shade Trees that Grow Quickly | GardenersPath.com

Shade trees are natural climate control for your home and yard. They offer protection from the light and heat of the sun and can serve as a buffer against strong, cold winds that whip heat away from the house. Gardener’s Path has compiled a selection of fast-growing shade trees, excellent selections for your home in every US Hardiness Zone. Read more.