Which Plants Like Shade?

Which Plants Like Shade?

which plants like shade

If you have a garden with a lot of shade, it may seem like a challenge to fill the area with pretty flowers. But the truth is, there are plenty of pretty annuals, perennials and even a few shrubs that thrive in shady areas.

One of the most popular choices is impatiens, which come in an array of colors and are fast-growing, able to fill large spaces quickly. They also grow well in containers.


Hostas are a classic perennial that is commonly used to brighten shady spaces in the garden. They come in a variety of sizes, textures, and colors to suit any landscape.

The shade-tolerant nature of hostas makes them ideal companions for daffodils, tulips and other spring-blooming bulbs. They are also popular as ground covers beneath trees and shrubs for an easy-to-maintain, attractive landscape.

They can be planted in a wide range of soil types and conditions, but they prefer rich, well-drained, and moist soils. Add compost or other organic materials to improve the soil if necessary.

Most varieties of hosta will do best in partial shade, but some will tolerate a few hours of full sun each day. Yellow or golden-colored hostas may require more sunlight than lighter foliage. Leaves on hostas that receive too much sunlight can become burned and wilted.


One of the most popular foliage plants in gardens today, caladiums come in a variety of sizes and colors. They can be grown in containers or outdoors.

They are natives of tropical rain forests and prefer filtered sunlight or part shade to grow their best. They also need good drainage and even moisture to thrive, but little fertilizer is needed.

In hot dry areas, direct sun can burn the leaves. However, newer varieties can tolerate more sunlight if you plant them in a location that is shady most of the day.

Caladiums are very hardy, but will go dormant as the weather turns cooler in the fall and winter. To help them recover, lift the tubers in the fall and store in dry peat moss until the soil warms up in the spring.


Azaleas love to be in a spot that provides a balance of sunlight and shade. Too much direct sun or too little filtered light will make these shrubs look unhealthy and may even kill them.

These plants do best in a location that receives about six hours of sun in the morning and afternoon. They also appreciate being placed in an area that gets more sun in the winter than in the summer.

Evergreen azaleas will thrive in dappled shade of trees, but deciduous types do better in full sunlight. If you live in a hot climate, give these shrubs extra shade to protect them from sunburn.

They are also easy to care for and will reward you with blooms year after year. Prune them just after flowering, trimming back errant branches and shaping them as needed to keep them looking their best.

Toad Lily

If you love the unique look of spotted flowers, you’ll be thrilled to know that the Toad Lily is one of the best plants to grow in shade. This perennial makes an elegant addition to shady gardens, especially as it begins blooming later in the season than many other shade plants.

Toad lilies can thrive in partial or full shade. They are most often found growing naturally on the edges of shady forests.

These clump-forming, slowly spreading perennials prefer moist and rich soil that has a slightly acidic pH level. They are long-lived and disease-resistant.

They propagate from seeds, stem cuttings or division. The slow forming, creeping rhizomes develop clumps of green foliage and small, white flowers speckled with purple. They bloom summer to fall and are great for adding late-season color to the garden. They also complement other shade-loving plants like hostas, ferns, astilbe, and hellebores. They are easy to grow and not invasive.