Shade-Loving Plants: Gorgeous Perennials, Shrubs, Vines and Annuals That Love The Shade

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These flowering perennials and shrubs are perfect for your shady garden that needs some color to brighten it up. Find out our picks for the best plants that grow in shade.

Plants that grow well in shade

Now that my garden has grown into its own, I have a lot more shade than I used to. Which means that I have had to swap out some of the original full sun plants for plants that grow in shade. And I thought I’d share my favorites!

Most of my garden is made up of perennial flowers, vines and shrubs and I like to use low maintenance plants whenever possible, so that’s mostly what you’ll find below…with a few exceptions 🙂

Of course, my mother’s garden has always been pretty shady, so she has A LOT of experience planting in the shade…and has provided that great information in some of the links below.

Shade Loving Shrubs

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To make my garden as easy to maintain as possible, I use a lot of shrubs. As long as you give them enough space to grow, they usually don’t require much work (definitely my type of plant!) and they provide a backbone for the rest of the garden.

Fortunately, there is a pretty good selection of bushes that grow well in the shade, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding some you like.

Click the links below to get more information about our favorite shade loving bushes.

Some types of hydrangeas grow well in the shade

Perennial Flowers That Thrive In Shade

Best perennials to grow in the shade

Perennial flowers make up another large part of my garden. Since they come back every year, you only have to plant them once to enjoy many years of flowers in your garden.

And generally speaking, they make for a pretty low maintenance garden (another good thing in my books!)

Hellebores make a great addition to the shade garden border

Here are our favorite shade loving perennials:

Shade-Hardy Flowering Vines

I don’t know if you have noticed, but it is really hard to find flowering vines that grow in the shade and are not invasive. So when I find one I add it to my list!

Clematis vine has beautiful flowers and grows in the shade

Container Plants For The Shade

When you have a lot of shade in your garden, that usually means your containers are in the shade, too!

Blue containers in the shade

I love to plant blue flowers in blue planters on my shady deck, and you can find my favorite container plants for shade here:

We will be updating this page with new links as we expand our shade garden library, so be sure to check back later for more information!

Shade garden

Do you have suggestions for other gorgeous plants that grow in shade? Tell us in the section below.

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Perennials that love the shade

This post was originally published on August 3, 2017 but was updated with new content on September 15, 2022.

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  1. Aunty Elaine says:

    Hi Wanda, beautiful as usual. Which ones do the deer not like. Russ has a lot of trouble with the deer. They even eat off the plants in his planters on his veranda.

    1. Hi Aunt Elaine…sorry I just saw your comment. Here’s the link to the post about Deer Resistant Plants. He must have some really brazen deer if they are coming up that close to the house!

  2. Kay Lyn Chase says:

    We’re trying to grow shade plants that are native to the Pacific Northwest.
    Most ferns love shade: sword fern, maidenhair fern, and lady ferns.
    Also look at Trilliums, sorel, bleeding heart and corydalis.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, Kay Lyn! I think growing native plants is a great way to have a successful garden. I really love ferns, too!