The Garden Blog

Plant Guides & Resources

The Garden Blog
Print Resource

Our Top 6 Shade Perennials

Category: How-to Guides | Posted by: Jeremy Newell

Our favorite perennials actually thrive in the shade and are available in a virtually limitless selection of sizes, shapes and colors. Exciting, right? Give this list a go:

Coral Bells (Heuchera): Known for their gorgeous, interesting foliage with heart-shaped, intricately veined leaves or rich dark or silvery leaves. Coral Bells form round mounds and the stems of the small bell-shaped blooms make pretty cut flowers.

Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa): Gardeners love this slow-growing grass that gracefully drapes over rocks, walls and edges of containers and cascades down sloped landscapes. The grasses’ bright chartreuse color practically glows in the shade. Bonus: require little water once established.

Hosta: You can create an entire shade garden with just one species. We love large-leafed varieties including Sagae, Patriot and Sum and Substance, as well as medium to small favorites like Fire & Ice, Paul’s Glory, Guacamole and Blue Mouse Ears. We had you at the names, right? Plus some varieties have fragrant flower spikes in pink, lavender or white.

Brunnera: Very low-maintenance, slow-growing perennial that eventually spreads out into an attractive ground cover. Delicate but long-lasting bright-blue flowers are often mistaken for forget-me-nots, a characteristic we find endearing.

Ferns: Ferns can be regal, spunky and classic additions to pots, patios, porches and window boxes. These ancient plants flourish in the shade and are at once delicate-looking and hardy. Discover a new variety this season.

Variegated Solomon’s Seal: These native beauties pair well with ferns and Hostas, other shade lovers and are narrowly edged in white. Stems are slightly reddish with white plumes of flowers in late spring. Generally untouched by deer.

Leave a Reply