Shade Garden Plants

Plants that can Grow in the Shade

Shade Garden Plants-Shade plants
Hosta Shade plant

Shade gardening is another way to grow garden plants that are beautiful and healthy-looking. Over the years the approach of many gardeners was to install plants that required sunlight focusing only on areas that met this requirement rather than mixing it up to create interest.

Why should areas that have the most sunlight get all the excitement and action? Then there are some homeowners that have constant shade and may be wondering if there is hope for them installing a beautiful garden. The good news is there is hope for you to have the garden of your dreams. What we will be looking at is bringing balance to the landscape and garden through shade gardening Which can work wonders as we create a design that is pleasing to the eyes.

Factors that encourage shade gardening

A great way to improve soils in shaded areas is to add organic matter because the organic matter will help to condition the soil by adding nutrients, making the soil porous that aids in proper drainage, good air circulation, absorption of water, and fertilizers. Here are some ways to amend the soil by adding organics.

Shade garden soil improvement by using organics

Soil amendments

How to apply

Work organics in the top few inches of the soil if roots of trees make it difficult to spread organics on the soil surface. When working with organics such as cow, chicken, or horse manure ensure that manures are well-rotted or dry before using because fresh manure can damage plants by burning plant roots.

Factors that encourage shade gardening includes

  • Buildings
  • Trees
  • Walls
  • Fences

While it is true that this problem can be solved by removing parts of a tree which include limbs and branches to allow sunlight to pass through it is not as easy when it comes to buildings, fences, and walls so the only alternative is to create a plan by installing plants around them that will help you to achieve your goals.

The soils in these areas also play an important part in the overall success of your garden plants, therefore, we must keep this in mind by choosing the right shade-loving plants that will survive in these soil types.

The goal here is to spend some time learning about the type of garden soil you have and also learning as much as possible about garden plants that are suitable for this area. Yes, you are right, a little homework is needed but the good news is this homework will pay off in big ways as you reap the benefits of having installed a successful shade garden. By following the example above under Shade garden soil improvement will enhance soil structure.


When it comes to buildings or other structures it is always good to plant along the borders installing low growing plants or maybe a few tall plants against the walls and smaller plants in front. Who says that the rules can’t be broken. Another great idea is to install vines on trellises that will cling to these surfaces and continue to climb as they grow. The key here is to mix it up and have fun.


Transform this area by installing garden features such as tables and chairs while installing plants around the tree. You can have the option of removing some of the branches and limbs so that sunlight can pass through not only benefiting your garden plants but for you to take advantage of Vitamin D that it provides.

However, be careful in how much exposure you get to protect your skin or simply allow the branches and limbs to remain as you enjoy the nice shade relaxing in your favorite chair. There’s nothing like enjoying the great outdoors after a hard day’s work. So go for it and create your garden oasis.


In some cases, a wall is just a wall, without any plants or garden features a wall can become an eye-sore but by installing a few plants as stated when it comes to installing plants alongside a building can bring much help by softening up that area as you create a work of art.


When it comes to fences there are many types from wooden to chain link etc.. again installing plants that climb makes a great choice for chain link fences also there is the option of planting other shade-loving plants. Some benefits of a chain-link fence are the opening or the style of the fence that allows sunlight to pass through.

The benefits of having a shade garden

  • Trees can help to change the climate which is known as micro-climate which gives you the benefit of either enjoying the sunlight or basking in the shade
  • Trees, as well as walls, can help to break wind speed
  • Walls can act as a sound barrier to help with noise reduction
  • Walls create privacy
  • Walls are good for security purposes creating a safer environment
  • Trees will help to attract wildlife such as birds by providing a home  while you enjoy their sweet singing
  • Fences provide protection as well as privacy
  • With a shade garden, you water less saving time and money

Shade-loving plants

Here’s a list of some shade-loving plants that can help you to achieve your goals of gardening successfully.

Impatiens_ shade loving plants
  • Impatiens
  • Coleus
  • Coral Bells
  • Flowering Maple
  • Lady’s Mantle
  • Hairy Bergenia
  • Camellia
  • Cashmere Bouquet
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Lenten Rose
  • Pacific Iris
  • Trumpet Honeysuckle

These are just a few of the many shade-loving plants that can be successfully grown in your shade garden.

Word of caution: Check with your garden nurseryman or garden center salesperson as to which shade loving plant is best for your zone.

The final word

Having a shade garden is a great way to spruce up those shaded areas while creating a beautiful design that brings balance to your overall garden and landscape.

Shade gardens have become very popular and many persons are taking advantage of these gardens that bring along with it, it’s many benefits. Investing in a garden of this type can be very rewarding. Shade garden, taking gardening to the next level.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.