Shade Plants

It’s extremely easy to grow pretty blooms and shrubs in sunny outdoor and indoor spots, but what about the shadier areas? Thankfully there are a number of shade-loving plants available, all of which thrive without a great deal of sunlight, yet still, add colour and fragrance to our homes and gardens.

Here we have the key tips on how to grow shade plants, and the key details relating to which plants grow well in the shade and which do not.

Shade-loving plants

There are a number of shade-loving plants out there to pick from, although the following are among the most popular.

1. Astilbe

These elegant perennial plants boast an old-fashioned look and are able to thrive in both partial sunlight and shade, providing the soil is rich and moist. Their tall feathery plumes flower in the months of spring and summer, producing beautiful purple, pink, white and red flowers.

These blossoms are hugely popular as cut flowers in the home. Depending on the variant, astilbes can grow anywhere between one and six feet in height.

2. Coleus

These blooms are available in a rainbow of hues and patterns. Also known as Solenostemon scutellarioides, they’re grown for their impressive foliage, rather than their flowers. When placing them in containers or vases, a great idea is to mix several shades and species with contrasting colours to create a dramatic effect.

They’re often grown as annuals in cooler climates and make a great option for those looking for low maintenance plants. Many grow these plants on patios, whilst newer varieties have a much greater tolerance for full sunlight. Avoid placing them in harsh sunlight, as this will cook the plants.

3. Coral Bells

Coral bells, also known as Heuchera, feature delicate blooms, which come out in the months of late spring and early summer. This perennial’s flowers are quite insignificant, however, it’s dramatic foliage makes up for it. The leaves come in a range of beautiful shades, including everything from warm-orange caramel hues, to nearly black ‘Obsidian’ shades.

The ‘Peach Flambe’ is a popular variant to choose, as its young foliage begins a shade of peachy yellow, and turns a deep red over time. When fully matured, these plants reach a deep shade of plum, this usually occurs by late autumn.

Plant this picture-perfect plant in semi-shady areas or under deciduous trees. They’re a great option if you wish to add a splash of colour to your home or garden.

4. Impatiens

This extremely prevalent flowering annual, also known as Impatiens wallerana, thrives in a garden with partial shade. Impatiens flowers come in a wide variety of shapes and hues, and feature singles, doubles and semi-double blooms that range from pink to orange to red.

They’re easily sourced online and at your local garden centre and look great when planted in bunches in hanging baskets, garden beds, window boxes and lining walkways.

These easy to grow annuals thrive best in rich, moist soil that is able to drain well. One thing to watch out for when planting Impatiens is their susceptibility to downy mildew disease. This can, however, be avoided when they are planted in the correct environment.

5. Polka dot plant

Often referred to as the freckle face plant, botanical name: Hypoestes Phyllostachys, this impressively attractive annual, boasts an array of white, red, green and pink leaves. It is famous for its splotches and freckles, hence where the nickname comes from. This plant flourishes in rich, well-drained soil and is best suited to partial sunlight and areas boasting plenty of humidity.

When placing this plant indoors, it is a good idea to mist it on a regular basis. Simply use a spray bottle to upsurge the air moisture. The polka dot plant enhances both the indoors and outdoors, adding a fanciful touch to vases, garden beds and containers. It looks great when grown alongside coleus in pots.

Polka dot plant, impatiens and coleus are just a few of the shade-loving plants in existence, all of which thrive in darker gardens and indoor spaces, meaning you can add colour and life to areas you deemed unworthy of housing plants, blooms and shrubs.

How to shade plants

If you have decided to plant an array of shade-loving plants in your garden, yet live in a location that gets a lot of suns, you can build various areas of cover.

From floating row covers, created using a lightweight garden fabric that is safe to drape directly over plants and flowers, to support hoops, that is able to hold a cover above plants, there are many options to choose from. You may even wish to get creative and fashion something yourself.

How to grow shade plants

All plants necessitate different methods of care. Some are very easy to care for and require little water or pruning, whilst others are more high maintenance. It’s important to consider how much time you have available to care for these plants and also your existing garden space.

Each plant comes with different care instructions and knowing a little more about this will help you to choose the correct shade-loving plants for your home and garden. It will also help you to ensure they thrive in the conditions you have to offer.

What are good flowering shade plants?

Some of the best flowering shade plants include:

  • Bletilla
  • Dead Nettle
  • Caladium
  • Torenia
  • Foamflower
  • Primulas
  • Coleus
  • Lungwort
  • Heuchera
  • Hostas
  • Oakleaf hydrangeas
  • Astilbe

What plants grow well in the shade?

As listed above, there are many plants in existence that thrive in shaded conditions. Before planting any one of these, do your research though. Look into their size (when fully matured), their shape, whether they are high or low maintenance, and how easy they are to obtain.

Colour should also be an important consideration, especially if you already have a certain garden theme in place.

Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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