Searching for plants that grow in full shade can be extremely complicated. For sunlight requirements, plants are often categorized as full sun, full sun to partial shade, partial shade, dappled (or filtered) sun/shade, and full shade.
However, full shade does not mean zero sun! If a plant is listed as full shade, it means the area it is planted in will only receive 4 or fewer hours of direct sun. Another thing to keep in mind is your hardiness zone.
A plant’s hardiness is largely determined by its ability to withstand cold winter temperatures, so a plant that may thrive in the zone next to you, may not even be able to survive in yours.
Below are 11 beautiful and unique plants that could liven up those shady areas.
1: Wheee! Hostas (Hosta Hybrid)
Tip: Slug bait should be applied in early spring. This is when new shoots begin to appear and will assist in minimizing slug population.
2. Jack of Diamonds (Brunnera Macrophylla)
Tip: These plants do best in full shade with steadily wet soil, but make sure to use mulch during the winter.
3. ‘All Gold’ Japanese Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa Macra)
Tip: Grow in rich, loamy soil. Does not tolerate clay soils, very dry soils, or poorly drained soils. In zones 5-6, mulch with fall leaves. In spring, remove leaves and cut back foliage.
4. ‘Spot On’ Lungwort (Pulmonaria Hybrid)
Tips: This plant grows best in partial shade in moist, organic soil. Make sure to keep it watered, especially when it’s dry.
5. Little Sweet Betsy (Trillium Cuneatum)
Tip: The best time to plant these is late summer to early fall. This allows the rhizomes time to establish a good root system.
6. Lilafee Fairy Wings (Epimedium Grandiflorum)
Tip: Grow in average, acidic, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. For the best display, cut back old foliage in late Winter or early Spring.
7. ‘Blue Wonder’ Toad Lily (Tricyrtis)
Tip: Don’t allow the soil to dry out. Adding mulch will minimize evaporation and help maintain moisture
8. ‘Interstella Lily of The Valley Shrub (Pieris Japonica)
Tip: Make sure to keep these protected from winter winds at colder temperatures. Adding a 2 to 3” layer of mulch should help greatly.
9. Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus Tricuspidata)
Tip: Prune unsightly growth once a year (late Winter) and only prune one-third of the plant at a time.
10. Fringed Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra Eximia)
Tip: Watch out! These plants are poisonous if eaten!
11. ‘Pink Pewter’ Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium Maculatum)
Tip: This plant does best as a groundcover or edging plant. It is small, so it’s perfect to plant under shrubs and larger perennials.
Get Help With Your Tree & Shrubs Today
All of these plants should thrive in shade. However, without proper care, trees and shrubs can begin to deteriorate. Additionally, what may work for one yard may be detrimental to another.
Luckily, our local tree and shrub care team members are extremely knowledgeable and can diagnose any issues you may have. For a free quote, you can either give us a call or submit a form!