The Best Perennials for Shade

by TheParentSpot
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Creating a shade garden of perennial flowers is something any green thumb can do when they know about the plants that make successful options.

The Best Perennials for Shade

Gardening can be a lot of fun, whether you’re growing an edible flower garden with kids, or learning easy landscaping tips, or even using a cool app to identify plants (see our PlantSnap app review).

If you are a new to gardening, and want to try planting a garden, but only have a corner that is covered in partial shade, there’s good news. You can plant an easy care garden when you make sure you’re using plants that can tolerate little sunlight.

The Best Perennials for Shade

Compared to full sun gardens, the perennials that live in the shade produce fewer blooms in slightly paler shades. 

Choose from any of these perennial flowers to put together a shade garden that needs little attention. 

Purple Coneflower

Photo by [Duncan] on Flickr
Photo by [Duncan] on Flickr

Purple coneflowers are named for the flowers they produce, a pale purple coneflower consisting of a huge head and several dainty petals. Even in partial shade, each perennial plant can produce shoot after shoot with about five to six flowers. Give them plenty of space to fill out. 

New England Aster

Photo by Benjamin Hayes on Flickr
Photo by Benjamin Hayes on Flickr

Producing smaller and more flowers than a purple coneflower plant, the New England Aster is a compact bushy plant. This variety is native to many regions and puts out bright purple flowers towards the end of the summer, when most other shade loving perennials have began to go entirely green. 

Shasta Daisy

Photo by F. D. Richards on Flickr
Photo by F. D. Richards on Flickr

Because they can be found in a wide variety of growing areas, the Shasta Daisy makes a great low light option. Their bright flowers lighten up very shady spots, but because they are in a lower light area they won’t produce as many blooms and they will be smaller than when they are planted in full sun. 

Bee Balm

Photo by Audrey on Flickr
Photo by InAweofGod’sCreation on Flickr

Bee Balm is actually an herb, but it is a perennial herb that is grown for its unique flowers and ability to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. It also happens to be a favorite of bees, so plant it towards the back of a the garden bed where its height won’t be a problem and block shorter flowers.

Hostas 

Photo by Dwight Sipler on Flickr
Photo by Dwight Sipler on Flickr

There are so many varieties of hostas, and a lot of them are new varieties because they grow so well in the shade. Grown for their lush leaves and spikes of flowers, you can add them to create a uniform look with all green leaves, brighten up a spot with light green to white leaves or to provide flowers with blooms from purple to white. Hostas are great perennials for borders, where they can be lined. In addition, you can save a lot of money with hostas when you divide them after they have outgrown the area they are planted in. 

Need some more help? Check out these great books on shade perennials.

Taylor’s 50 Best Perennials for Shade: Easy Plants for More Beautiful Gardens The Natural Shade Garden Planting the Dry Shade Garden: The Best Plants for the Toughest Spot in Your Garden
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