Brighten Up Shady Spots with Foliage and Flowers

Brighten Up Shady Spots with Foliage and Flowers


Flowers, foliage, tropicals -- see what you can grow in the shade. 
Do you have large trees in your yard? Or an overhanging roof above your porches? Or is your front or back yard facing north? Then you have shade in your yard.

And that’s important when it comes to adding plants to beds, borders, patios, porches, and window boxes in the shaded areas around your home. 

What exactly constitutes “shade?”
Shade, in the gardening world, is defined as areas that receive less than 3 hours of direct sunlight a day. Partial Shade/Sun areas can use plants that need between 3 and 6 hours of sun per day. When you are at the garden center or shopping online, look at the plant tag/light requirements. This will tell you what kind of light your plants need. 

Leafy foliage plants that excel in shade
There are many foliage plants that offer beautiful green peace in shade. Hostas are a popular foliage plant and favorites for gardeners who are looking for ground covers under mature trees. Here are five reasons to grow hostas in your yard and how to use them in the landscape.

Ferns are also a frilly option in shaded areas (there are both annual and perennial types), so they can grow in hanging baskets on front porches or under trees in dark shade in the ground. See our Shopper's Guide for Buying Outdoor Ferns for beautiful options.

Colorful flowering plants that turn on the lights
But dark spots can also be brightened up with beautiful colorful shade-loving flowers. Oh, and there are so many to choose from.

Perennials, such as bleeding heart and hellebore will get bigger and bloom more each year. Here are more perennials you can plant in your yard.

And colorful annuals, such as begonia and impatiens, are ideal for tucking into dark spots. Here are annuals that shine in the shade.

Tropical plants, beauties like coleus and caladium, work well in containers (so you can bring them indoors when the weather turns cool). You can even use houseplants, such as monstera, bromeliads, and snake plants, in shaded outdoor containers. See more tropical beauties for shady areas.