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  • Writer's pictureBath Garden Center

16 Shade-Loving Plants: What Plants Grow Well in the Shade?

Gardening in Colorado can be a rewarding yet challenging endeavor, especially when dealing with the state's varied climate and unique terrain. For those with shaded gardens, finding plants that thrive without abundant sunlight might seem daunting or the available selection may be discouraging. However, there are many plants that are well-suited for these conditions, able to bring vibrant color and lush foliage to those dim corners. Join us in exploring a variety of shade loving plants perfect for Colorado gardens, ensuring that even the shadiest spots in your yard can bloom beautifully. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these plant recommendations will help you create the garden of your dreams despite limited sunlight.


1. Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

Bleeding Hearts are wonderful perennials for shaded areas. Their delicate, heart-shaped flowers and fern-like foliage thrive in cooler, shaded spots, providing a splash of color from spring to early summer. These hardy plants are not only visually stunning but also resilient, making them an ideal choice for gardeners looking to brighten up shady areas of their landscaping.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 - 9

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 24" - 3'

  • Width: 24" - 3'

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Red/Pink

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts Hummingbirds, Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Easy Care, Fast Growing, Staff Favorite


2. Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Coral Bells (Heuchera)

Heuchera, commonly known as Coral Bells, are excellent perennials for areas of your landscape that receive limited sunlight. Their vibrant, scalloped leaves come in a variety of colors, adding visual interest and texture to any garden. Thriving in partial to full shade, Coral Bells are both hardy and low-maintenance, making them a perfect choice if you are seeking out flowering perennials for shade.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade, Sun

  • Height: 12" - 18"

  • Width: 16" - 20"

  • Foliage Color: Green, White, Purple, Lime Green, Variegated

  • Bloom Color: White, Pink

  • Bloom Time: Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Hummingbirds, Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Easy Care, Salt Tolerant, Staff Favorite


3. Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)

Creeping Jenny/Moneywort- Lysimachia nummularia

Creeping Jenny, also known as Moneywort, is a fantastic shade loving groundcover. This hardy perennial features bright yellow-green leaves that form a lush carpet, adding a pop of color wherever it grows. Thriving in partial to full shade, Creeping Jenny is low-maintenance and perfect for filling in difficult areas with vibrant foliage.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Groundcover, Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 - 8

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 2" - 4"

  • Width: 12" - 18"

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Yellow

  • Bloom Time: Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Fast Growing, Rabbit Resistant, Moist Conditions


4. False Forget-Me-Not (Brunnera macrophylla)

False Forget-Me-Not (Brunnera macrophylla)

False Forget-Me-Not, or Brunnera macrophylla, thrives in shaded environments, showcasing delicate blue flowers that resemble true forget-me-nots. Its heart-shaped leaves add intricate texture and beauty to shaded borders or woodland settings. Hardy and low-maintenance, Brunnera macrophylla is an excellent choice for gardeners seeking reliable color and foliage in areas with limited sunlight.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 - 8

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 12" - 16"

  • Width: 12" - 16"

  • Foliage Color: Green, Multicolor, Silver

  • Bloom Color: Blue

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Staff Favorite


5. Hosta

Hosta

Hostas are ideal perennials for shaded conditions in Colorado gardens, known for their wide variety of leaf shapes, sizes, and colors ranging from vibrant greens to variegated patterns. They thrive in cool, moist environments, making them perfect for under trees or along north-facing walls where sunlight is limited. Hostas are prized for their lush foliage and ability to add texture and depth to shady garden spaces throughout the growing season.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 3

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 12"

  • Width: 24"

  • Foliage Color: Blue, Green, Multicolor, White, Yellow

  • Bloom Color: Purple

  • Bloom Time: Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts Hummingbirds, Cut Flower


6. Lenten Rose (Helleborus)

Lenten Rose (Helleborus)

Lenten Rose, or Helleborus, is a superb option, boasting early spring blooms that endure even through snow. Their evergreen foliage provides year-round interest, and they are remarkably drought-tolerant once established. Hellebores thrive in partial shade, making them perfect for adding color and texture despite limited sunlight.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 4

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 18" - 24"

  • Width: 18" - 24"

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Orange, White, Pink, Red, Purple

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Easy Care, Rabbit Resistant, Salt Tolerant, Staff Favorite


7. Periwinkle/Myrtle (Vinca minor)

Periwinkle/Myrtle (Vinca minor)

Periwinkle, also known as Vinca minor, thrives in shaded conditions, spreading quickly to form a dense ground cover with glossy green foliage and delicate blue or white flowers in spring. It is remarkably adaptable to various soil types and requires minimal maintenance once established, making it an excellent choice for filling in shady areas with vibrant, low-maintenance greenery.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Groundcover, Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 4 - 10

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade, Sun

  • Height: 4" - 6"

  • Width: 18" - 24"

  • Foliage Color: Green, Variegated

  • Bloom Color: Blue, Purple

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Easy Care


8. Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

Virginia Bluebells, or Mertensia virginica, thrive in shaded environments, showcasing clusters of nodding, blue, bell-shaped flowers in early spring. Their elegant foliage turns yellow and dies back by summer, making them an ideal choice for naturalizing beneath trees or in woodland settings where they provide early-season color and then allow other plants to take over later in the year.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 3

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 18" - 24"

  • Width: 12" - 18"

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Blue

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Deer Resistant, Staff Favorite


9. Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum)

Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum)

Dead Nettle, or Lamium maculatum, features attractive silver-green foliage with variegated patterns and delicate pink, white, or purple flowers. It spreads quickly to form a dense ground cover, suppressing weeds effectively. Thriving in shaded areas, dead nettle requires minimal maintenance once established, making it an excellent choice for adding color and texture to your shady scapes.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Groundcover, Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 2 - 8

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 6" - 8"

  • Width: 12" - 24"

  • Foliage Color: Green, Multicolor, Silver

  • Bloom Color: Pink, White, Purple

  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Easy Care, Fast Growing, Rabbit Resistant


10. Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

Hydrangeas are wonderful perennials for shade, known for their large, showy blooms that can range from pink to blue depending on soil acidity. They thrive in cool, moist environments and their lush foliage provides a beautiful backdrop throughout the growing season, making them a popular choice for adding elegance and charm to shaded landscapes.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Shrub

  • Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 4' - 5'

  • Width: 4' - 5'

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: White, Pink, Blue

  • Bloom Time: Fall, Spring, Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Easy Care, Fast Growing, Native


11. Bugbane (Cimicifuga)

Bugbane (Cimicifuga)

Bugbane, or Cimicifuga, showcases tall spikes of fragrant white or pink flowers in late summer to early fall. This shade loving perennial adds texture and interest, and it tolerates various soil types well, making it a versatile and striking choice for enhancing shady corners with late-season blooms.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 5

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 4'

  • Width: 4'

  • Foliage Color: Black

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant, Moist Conditions, Fragrant


12. Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

Bugleweed, or Ajuga reptans, a perennial groundcover that forms a dense mat of colorful foliage and spikes of blue, purple, or pink flowers in spring. It is low-growing and spreads quickly, effectively suppressing weeds while adding vibrant color and texture to shaded areas with minimal maintenance. Bugleweed can tolerate foot traffic 1-2 times per day and is great for attracting pollinators to your yard.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Groundcover, Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 - 10

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade, Sun

  • Height: 4" - 6"

  • Width: 8" - 10"

  • Foliage Color: Brown, Green

  • Bloom Color: Blue, Purple

  • Bloom Time: Spring

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant, Fast Growing


13. False Spirea (Astilbe)

False Spirea (Astilbe)

False Spirea, or Astilbe, are shade loving plants that produce feathery plumes of flowers in various colors from early to mid-summer. Its fern-like foliage remains attractive throughout the season, adding texture and depth to shady areas. Astilbes are low-maintenance and ideal for creating vibrant, lush borders or filling in under trees where other plants struggle to thrive.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 28"

  • Width: 12" - 24"

  • Foliage Color: Green, Red, Yellow, Pink, Purple, White

  • Bloom Color: Red

  • Bloom Time: Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant


14. Masterwort (Astrantia)

Masterwort (Astrantia)

Masterwort, or Astrantia, showcases intricate, star-shaped flowers surrounded by papery bracts that resemble petals. Its unique blooms add a charming, cottage garden feel to shaded areas, and its low-maintenance nature makes it a delightful choice for enhancing the beauty of low-light areas.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 4

  • Light Requirements: Shade

  • Height: 24" - 28"

  • Width: 20" - 24"

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Red

  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer

  • Attributes: Cut Flower, Prefers Moist Conditions


15. Bishop's Weed (Aegopodium podagraria)

Snow On the Mountain/Bishop's Weed- (Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum')

Bishop's Weed, or Aegopodium podagraria, is well-suited for shaded gardens, forming a vigorous ground cover with attractive variegated foliage. It spreads quickly to fill in bare areas and suppress weeds effectively, making it a practical choice for adding greenery and texture to shaded spots with minimal care required once established.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Groundcover, Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 3 - 8

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 6" - 12"

  • Width: 12" - 24"

  • Foliage Color: Green, Multicolor, White

  • Bloom Color: White

  • Bloom Time: Summer

  • Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Cut Flower, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Fast Growing, Rabbit Resistant


16. Toad Lily (Tricyrtis formosana)

Toad Lily (Tricyrtis formosana)

Toad Lily, or Tricyrtis formosana, thrives in shaded conditions, displaying unique orchid-like flowers with speckled petals in late summer to early fall. Its exotic appearance adds interest and color to cool, moist areas, making it a captivating choice for shaded borders or woodland gardens. These ornate plants thrive with minimal maintenance, providing late-season blooms when few other plants are flowering.


Plant Characteristics

  • Plant Type: Perennial

  • Hardiness Zone: 4 - 9

  • Light Requirements: Partial Sun, Shade

  • Height: 24" - 3'

  • Width: 18" - 24"

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Bloom Color: Multicolor, Purple, White

  • Bloom Time: Fall

  • Attributes: Cut Flower

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1 Comment


pricots sistera
pricots sistera
Jul 08

The toad lily, or Tricyrtis formosana, is a shade-loving plant that blooms from late summer to early fall. It has unusual orchid-like flowers with speckled petals. geometry dash

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