9 Plants to Grow in Shade

The next time you’re at the local garden center, step over to the dark side… and by dark side, I mean the area where they keep the shade loving plants.

Shade plants have it all figured out. They’re loving life out of the rays of the scorching sun. Who can blame them? When it’s hotter than a Billy goat in a pepper patch, I like to spend my time in shady spots too.

Plants that thrive in the shade are more efficient at utilizing the far-red light that streams through the canopy of trees. Far-red light is light at the extreme red end of the visual spectrum, between red and infra-red. Most of these plants also have broader, thinner leaves to catch more sunlight.

Whether you use annuals, perennials, or shrubs, you can brighten the shady areas of your garden with any of these vibrant varieties.


Bloom-A-Thon® Red Reblooming Azalea
Great color AND it blooms in spring and again in summer and fall.

Proven Winners Bloom-A-Thon Red Reblooming Azalea shade plant grow

Invincibelle® Spirit Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
Delightful pink flowers on a hardy hydrangea that grows in zones 3 – 9. Blooms first appear in early summer and repeat through the first frost.

Proven Winners Invincibell Spirit Hydrangea shade plant grow


Key Lime Pie Coral Bells (Heuchera)
One of my favorites for the edges of paths and in containers. The chartreuse foliage brightens low light areas.

Key Lime Pie - Coral Bells - Heuchera hybrid shade plant grow

Shadowland™ ‘Empress Wu’ Hosta
Tremendous 18-inch wide leaves and flower stalks that grow up to 5 feet.

Proven Winners Empress Wu Host shade plant grow


Rockapulco® Double Impatiens
Produces masses of rosebud-like blooms. Plant Rockapulco® White to bring light to deep shade or Rockapulco® Purple for a shock of color.

Proven Winners Rockapulco White Impatiens shade plant grow

Diamond Delight® Euphorbia
Such a floriferous annual that loves the shade.

Proven Winners Diamond Delight Euphorbia shade plant grow

Surefire® Series Begonias
Choose Surefire™ Red or Surefire™ Pink or both for your shade garden. The extra-large blooms are show stoppers.

Proven Winners SureFire Begonias shade plant grow

Charmed® Wine Oxalis
Pair this plant’s dark wine leaves with something vibrant like  Key Lime Pie Heuchera for a colorful combination.

Proven Winners Charmed Wine Oxalis shade plant grow

ColorBlaze® Lime Time™ Coleus
This striking coleus will grow in both sun or shade. The super saturated green foliage is beautiful paired with blue or purple.

Proven Winners ColorBlaze Lime Time Coleus shade plant grow

So there really is no reason your garden couldn’t be as lush in the shade as it is in the sun. Play with your colors and textures; have fun with it. There are so many interesting options for full or partial shade; you may just find yourself drawn to the dark side.

Good to Know: Planting Under Trees

There are many plants that thrive under trees, but if you garden in these spaces you know that tree roots can present a challenge. A solution for this is container gardens placed under the tree. Just remember that shady doesn’t equate moist. Don’t forget to water the containers when the top inch of the soil is dry.