Most gardens will experience some areas that receive shade throughout the day, making it more challenging than usual to find plants suitable for these conditions. There are plenty of choices, however.
Julian Palphramand, Shrubs, Specimen Plants & Roses Buyer at Wyevale Garden Centre has put together his top five shade-loving plants for your garden. Guaranteed to bring color and interest to shaded spaces while remaining low maintenance!
Pansies are perennial favorites among home gardeners thanks to their vibrant colors and round-faced flowers, often known as violas. Easy to grow, pansies add beauty and vibrancy throughout summer gardens; planting them as annuals or perennials makes a statement that makes everyone smile!
These flowers are hardy in cold weather and can survive even light frosts, although if temperatures dip below freezing for extended periods of time cover your plants with mulch such as pine straw or peat moss to help them survive until warmer conditions return. When conditions warm back up again they should recover more quickly.
When selecting pansies for your garden, select mature plants with compact crowns and deep green leaves that have established themselves well. Avoid those that are overgrown or leggy as these will have difficulty taking root and will need help establishing themselves quickly.
When planting new plants, make sure they are six inches apart and water regularly for optimal growth and flowering. Apply a high quality fertilizer such as Espoma PlantTone to extend blooming seasons and maximize blooming success.
Remove spent or faded flowers regularly to encourage stronger, longer-lasting blooms and lower fungal disease attacks on old blossoms. Trim lanky branches as needed to promote compact branch growth for improved flowering results.
Pansies typically bloom from early spring until fall, depending on their variety. Some varieties even tolerate heat better than others and extend their flowering season further – making them suitable for container plantings.
Pink flower seeds make an excellent way to add vibrant color to pots, window boxes and rock gardens. Grow them from seed or buy established cells-packs at most nurseries for maximum success – for optimal results start the seeds indoors before transferring them outside when spring comes around.
Columbines are popular blooming plants for all sorts of gardens. Hardy yet blooming profusely even in partial and full shade conditions, they make an excellent cottage-style choice as well as container plants.
Woodroses are native to North American woods and slopes and thrive under various soil conditions. Not only are they visually appealing, but their vibrant flowers also attract birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, deer-resistant features make them great additions to any garden!
Their flowers feature long spurs bursting with nectar-filled sacs, making them popular with hummingbirds and other pollinators. Red, pink, and white varieties are common.
Blooms of these exquisite blooms typically last four weeks before beginning to fade and die back, providing a colorful addition to a garden during late spring and early summer months.
Perennials typically only live for three seasons before needing replacement. Container plants such as violets (Viola) or trillium (Trillium) make great companions for these perennials.
To maximize the beauty and success of columbine flowers, it is vitally important that they are deadheaded regularly. Doing this allows the plants to focus their resources on producing strong roots instead of spreading seed freely around your garden – but beware: doing this may result in earlier plant deaths than otherwise would occur.
Columbines are extremely easy to take care of and require only minimal upkeep for maximum growth. No special attention or fertilization are needed for them, however mulch or compost may help the roots absorb vital nutrients more effectively. Because columbines tend to become leggy plants it is recommended that they are kept in an area with good drainage.
3. Bleeding Hearts
The old-fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra coronaria) is one of the most beloved plants for any shade garden or woodland border, featuring delicate, fern-like leaves and stunning, heart-shaped blooms that emerge each spring.
Hardy perennial, this plant can tolerate partial to full shade conditions and is deer and rabbit resistant. Make it part of your garden as groundcover or add it as an accent plant in woodland or shady borders for a beautiful spring display until its first frost.
Bleeding hearts thrive best in moist but well-drained soil that also contains plenty of organic matter to hold moisture for them to flourish and retain moisture. When planting bleeding hearts, add a generous layer of compost before digging it in, and apply balanced fertilizer when new growth appears in spring.
To ensure the health of your foliage, water deeply once or twice weekly or whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, or more often in warmer climates during spring and early summer.
Add extra color and depth by including shade-loving perennials like ferns or hostas as part of the design – they’ll extend blooming time for bleeding hearts while filling any empty spaces as their flowers start to die back.
Old-fashioned bleeding hearts make ideal backyard plants as they require minimal upkeep and thrive in shaded spots of your garden. Therefore, if gardening takes up too much of your time or you simply prefer this plant over others.
Bleeding hearts, perennial members of the Poppy family, are native to both Asia and North America and make a popular landscaping choice due to their beauty and ability to tolerate heat and drought conditions.
4. Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) is an ideal choice for gardeners looking to add interest and fragrance in shaded corners of their yards. Its nodding bell flowers have a fragrant fragrance, blooming each spring with perfect symmetry in a tight cluster.
This native woodland flower spreads easily, naturalizing in moist soils with rich nutrients. Furthermore, its resilience makes it suitable for various conditions, including cold and drought – making it the ideal candidate for your shady spot!
Small white flowers boasting sweet, musky scents are an elegant way to enhance a garden or floral bouquet, as they feature leaf edges with creamy yellow edges changing to chartreuse over summertime. Variegated forms also exist.
If you love the look of lily-of-the-valley but lack space for a full plant, try growing it in containers instead. Just plant some pips or rhizomes and they’ll quickly form lush colonies; deer-resistant too! So they make the perfect additions for either woodland gardens or cottage gardens alike!
Indoor propagation can also be accomplished during the fall by digging up and planting individual pips or rhizomes from outdoors, being sure to keep their roots damp while keeping their tips just beneath the soil surface.
Lily of the valley is an easy plant for newcomers to gardening to care for, making it perfect for beginners. Although it tolerates various soil types, Lily of the Valley prefers well-drained, rich soil containing organic matter for optimal growth. When planting it is best to add slow release fertilizer at planting time; adding some in Spring before flowering starts is best as this will ward off pests while keeping plants healthy and productive.
5. Japanese Anemone
Anemones make an ideal addition to any shade-loving garden, offering variety in shapes, sizes and colors. Some varieties do well in full sun while others thrive better under part shade conditions or even dry conditions. Anemones also make a wonderful choice if you want to create borders or flower beds in a shady area of your yard.
Japanese Anemones, commonly referred to as windflowers, are beloved garden favorites thanks to their delicate yet graceful flowers. Boasting delicate pink or white blooms on tall slender stems measuring two to three inches across in diameter.
These plants offer low maintenance options that require no pruning and thrive under most conditions in the garden, making them great additions to a mixed border alongside hostas and asters.
plants thrive best in partially shaded areas of your garden where they can benefit from the morning and afternoon sun’s coolness; full sunlight may damage their foliage and result in scorch marks on leaves.
Japanese anemones spread by underground rhizomes depending on the soil type, but in heavy and quick-draining soil conditions they may become difficult to control and may become invasive.
To avoid this happening, Japanese anemones should be planted in well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients and retains moisture throughout summertime. They can tolerate clay or calcareous soils provided they drain sufficiently during winter.
Japanese anemone flowers are beautiful and eye-catching, featuring an eye-catching green heart surrounded by golden stamens crowned by golden petals that may or may not double. A fantastic plant to accent any garden design and add beauty during fall!