Posted in Gardening
May 20, 2018

14 Gorgeous Shade-Tolerant Plants That Will Bring Your Shaded Garden Areas to Life

Do you have a shaded area in your yard that it seems like nothing will grow?

I feel your pain because I have the same problem spots in my yard. But don’t worry because today I am going to bring you a list of plants that will grow in the shade.

It is my hope that after you read this list, you’ll get a few ideas on what you can plant in those trouble spots to still bring beauty to your yard even in the shade.

So let’s get started—

1. Coral Bells

coral bells

This is a beautiful flowering plant that is actually a perennial. They grow in the shade and are known for their ease.

Apparently, they are easy to grow and require very little maintenance from that point forward.

So if you want something that could add a splash of color and come back year after year then this might be the plant you’ve always wanted.

2. Dead Nettle


This is another perennial that is meant to add beautiful colors and foliage to your shaded garden spots.

Now, the only thing that may make this choice less than perfect for some is that it is used as a ground cover.

So it will make roots and run. If you don’t want something running through your yard (though colorful and pretty) then you might want to choose a different option.

3. Foam Flower

foam flower

I love the name of this flower. Doesn’t it just sound interesting?

Well, it is a beautiful perennial flower. This one is not a ground cover. Instead, it has lots of individual blooms on one stem.

The appearance is not only unique but colorful as well.

So if you are looking for a splash of color to add to your shady spot then this might be a good option.

4. Lungwort


This is another very interesting plant. It actually gets its name because long ago people believed it looked like a lung and actually tried to treat lung diseases with it.

Unfortunately, the plant didn’t have any real medicinal powers but the name stuck with it regardless.

However, this plant is a perennial and another one that can take off and run as well. It grows in batches so if you aren’t looking for a ground cover type plant then this might not be a good choice.

But it is one of the few plants that can be planted around trees and withstand the toxic effects of the Black Walnut tree.

5. Astilbe



This perennial is a beautiful flower that loves the shade. It also brings along a special quality when planted.

So if you are a butterfly lover then this plant is for you. When you plant these flowers, they draw them which is a great addition to any yard or flower garden.

6. Foxglove



Foxgloves are undecided in the perennial and annual department. The same plant will not come back year after year.

But they do reseed themselves which makes them come back year after year.

So if you need a plant that will come back each year and provide lots of beautiful colors then Foxgloves are for you.

7. Japanese Forest Grass



This is an interesting plant. It is a perennial so you should only have to plant it once.

But it isn’t extremely colorful by any means. However, it looks like a little pom-pom made of grass.

So if you are looking for something to add a finishing touch to a shaded area without adding a rainbow of color then this is a good option.

To make sure your Japanese Forest Grass is thriving, you might want to give it the best fertilizer.

8. Primrose


A primrose can be either an annual or a perennial flower.

So if you try them out and decide they aren’t for you then they don’t have to be a permanent fixture.

But after you see their bright colors and good temperament towards cold weather, you may decide to keep them around.

9. Spurge


Spurge is another that can be a perennial or an annual depending upon where you live. If you live in the frost-free zone then it will stay year round.

However, if you live in a colder area then it is an annual. Regardless, it is a beautiful flower that can add lots of life to a shaded space.

So if you are looking for a plant that won’t add a rainbow effect but still add a splash of color to your shaded areas then you might want to consider spurge.

10. Lady’s Mantle

lady mantle

Lady’s Mantle is a perennial that has many uses. Some use it to decorate wreaths and other décor with. While others use it as a live edging.

However, this is a ground cover. So if used as an edging it would have to be maintained regularly.

But this plant is not flashy. It is a simple green vine that has classic beauty and would certainly add some character to a shady spot in the garden or your yard.

11. Browallia Hybrid


So this is one of those set it and forget it type plants. You can use it in many diverse ways too.

Basically, they mound when planted in the ground. But they can also be used in flower boxes and vases.

But they are very heat tolerant plants and will grow just about anywhere including the shade.

12. Coleus


Coleus is what is called a tender perennial. You must use a technique called pinching in order to get them to grow back bigger and stronger.

However, coleus will grow in the shade and it is very beautiful with dark, rich colors.

So if you want a simplistic plant with a little color then you might want to consider coleus.

13. Copper Plant

copper plant

Copper Plant is an annual but it is a beauty. Its foliage is absolutely stunning with the different colors.

This plant can grow in the shade but it actually comes to its full-color potential in the sun. So if you have a shaded spot that gets a smidgen of sun then this plant might still work there.

However, they say Copper Plants require a little bit of babying. There are many pests that love it so it would certainly take diligence to grow this plant effectively and to its full potential.

14. Creeping Jenny

creeping jenny

Creeping Jenny is a perennial that will continue to come back year after year. Depending upon which zone you live in, it actually may stay green year round.

Either way, this is a ground cover so unless you pot it, it might very well take over your shady area. For some this might be a desired result.

But just keep that in mind when planting this if you aren’t sure you want it to cover your entire shaded area.