Whether you have an area of your garden that receives little sunlight or it’s simply a neglected spot, there are plenty of plants that can thrive in these areas.
When choosing shade-tolerant plants, you need to consider the soil type in your shady area. Some plants need moist, but not waterlogged conditions to thrive; others require drier soils.
Lobelia is one of the most popular flowering plants in gardens and container plantings. It can grow in sun or shade, is virtually pest-free, and provides a reliable splash of color from spring through fall.
Lobelia does well in rich, moist soil that never dries out, but it also tolerates light to partial shade. If growing in containers, place them in a location that receives 4-6 hours of sunlight daily and make sure they’re watered regularly.
Annual lobelia seed can be sown directly in the garden in late winter or early spring. Or, you can start them indoors about 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost date in your area.
Once the seeds have germinated, plant them in a pot or nursery tray in well-drained rich soil, allowing the crown of the stem to stay slightly above the soil surface. Space the clumps about 4 to 6 inches apart.
Hydrangeas are a gardeners dream, with their gorgeous ruffled blooms, easy-to-maintain growth habits and wide range of types and sizes. Whether you’re planting in a garden or in a container, these shrubs bring instant beauty to any space.
Hydrangea plants like sun, but they can also thrive in a little shade. However, they need a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day to grow properly.
It’s also important to remember that hydrangeas can be more susceptible to drying out and flowering less efficiently in the heat of summer when they don’t get enough water. Deep watering 3 times a week is the best way to keep hydrangeas healthy and flowers thriving.
Most hydrangeas can be grown in any type of soil, but they do prefer rich, fertile loam with good drainage. They can also tolerate some acidic or alkaline soil. With certain varieties, you can even control the flower color by adjusting the pH of the soil, allowing pink, red or blue blooms on neutral to acidic soils and purple, blue, green or white blooms on alkaline soils.
Often known as a ‘key flower’ because of its egg-yolk-yellow nodding flowers, cowslip (Primula veris) can brighten up hay meadows and ancient woodlands. It is also widely grown in gardens and is a popular wildflower seed mix.
Like other spring blooming plants, cowslip needs some shade to flourish. This is especially true if the temperature is high during the summer.
A common garden plant, cowslip thrives in moist, rich soil with partial shade or sun. This perennial is also a good choice for a garden near a pond or where a woodland border would benefit from some dappled sunlight.
Cowslip can be a little finicky when it comes to watering, so it’s a good idea to check on its condition throughout the growing season and adjust accordingly. It may need a bit more water during the first year or two, or when it’s in a new growing location. This is because new roots are developing, which require more moisture than those of older plants.
When you’re trying to add some color and blooms to a shady area in your garden, impatiens are an excellent choice. They thrive in just 2-5 hours of sun a day and can even grow well in a spot that receives dappled or filtered light.
They’re easy to grow from seed or transplants. You can collect their seeds from ripe pods and sow them in late summer or fall. Or, you can start them indoors in a seed-starting mix six to 10 weeks before the first spring frost.
You’ll need to water impatiens regularly. They like moist but not soggy soil, and they can wilt in hot weather if they don’t get enough moisture. They’ll often recover if you water them soon after they dry out.