22 Perennials for Shade (Plants and Flowers)

Check out 22 diverse and gorgeous perennials that grow great in the shade. Our collection includes flowering perennials and plants.

Perennials that love shade

All plants need sunlight to grow but not all of them love sunlight as much as others. Some of them are known as perennials plants and flowers.

They are called perennials because they grow and blossom during spring and summer seasons but start to wilt and die on autumn and winter seasons. They sprout back again in springtime from their rootstock, the herbaceous perennials.

Known perennials are likely shady plants, as they would prefer to bloom hiding from direct sunlight.

This is perfect for those gardeners who are hesitant to grow flowers because of their shady locations.

Hence, they would rather prefer to plant green foliage, which is a bit plain looking without the colors and blooms but this thought is a mistake because there are several flowers and plants that are shade tolerant.

There are several flowers that grow well in shade like perennials that bloom in spring time and die after but do not worry, as they amazingly grow back when the searing season is up.

We have listed some of the perennial flowers and plants you can choose from and start growing in your own shady garden this spring or summer season. Check them out and get inspired.

1. Anemone

These white Anemone blossoms rise from dormancy during spring. This is a white species of Anemone that last until spring ends. The pistil and stamen are bright yellow highlighting the surrounding white petals.

These white Anemone blossoms rise from dormancy during spring. This is a white species of Anemone that last until spring ends. The pistil and stamen are bright yellow highlighting the surrounding white petals.

Zone: 6 to 9
Season: Spring and fall
Light: Anemones grow best in part shade areas.
Water: They appreciate wet soil but do not water too much as their roots rot in too soggy soil. A well-drained soil should be maintained.

2. Bleeding Heart

This perennial plant only blooms in spring and lasts until the spring time ends. Its blooms resemble a pink heart shape with white pulp in the center opening that hang on arching stems.

This perennial plant only blooms in spring and lasts until the spring time ends. Its blooms resemble a pink heart shape with white pulp in the center opening that hang on arching stems.

Zone: 3 to 9
Season: Spring
Light: Bleeding heart loves to be in cool and shady areas.
Water: Needs regular watering to keep the soil moist especially in summer when rainfall is less than one inch per week.

3. Brunnera

This is a forget-me-not perennial plant, which is one of the favorite shady flowers because of its nice blue tiny petals. This plant blooms in sprays of tiny flowers during spring and die in winter, but they are self-seeding plants, their characteristic that allows them to grow during spring time again.

This is a forget-me-not perennial plant, which is one of the favorite shady flowers because of its nice blue tiny petals. This plant blooms in sprays of tiny flowers during spring and die in winter, but they are self-seeding plants, their characteristic that allows them to grow during spring time again.

Zone: 3 to 8
Season: Mid and late spring
Light: Brunnera prefers and grows well in full shade.

Water: Consistent average watering is needed.

4. Campanula Bellflower

Most species of this flower offer long blossoms from late spring to late summer. Its bell or saucer shape is quite an attraction since they grow in parallels. They have several colors and some of them are herbaceous species, which mean they grow with soft stems and can produce flowers and seeds in a short span of time. They are sometime biennials and annuals too.

Most species of this flower offer long blossoms from late spring to late summer. Its bell or saucer shape is quite an attraction since they grow in parallels. They have several colors and some of them are herbaceous species, which mean they grow with soft stems and can produce flowers and seeds in a short span of time. They are sometime biennials and annuals too.

Zone: 4 to 8 but some likely grow in 3 and 9
Season: Late spring to late summer
Light: Full sunlight but can survive partly shaded areas.
Water: Water them during the summer if the rainfall is less than one inch per week.

5. Columbine

This plant usually begins to bloom in early to mid-May and last until June. The entire life span of this plant can last three to four years and would require you to replace them with younger ones.

This plant usually begins to bloom in early to mid-May and last until June. The entire life span of this plant can last three to four years and would require you to replace them with younger ones.

Zone: 3 to 9
Season: Spring and summer
Light: Columbine loves the sun but not too hot, especially during summer so partial shade would be preferable.
Water: Keep watering until plant is well established and after that weekly watering is possible as long as the soil is not too dry.

6. Epimedium

Epimedium is of the genus Barrenwort. This four petaled flower comes in yellow, beige, pink, lavender, purple, red, or white colors and usually blooms from spring to early summer. Pink leaves emerge in spring and turn evergreen in summer.

Epimedium is of the genus Barrenwort. This four petaled flower comes in yellow, beige, pink, lavender, purple, red, or white colors and usually blooms from spring to early summer. Pink leaves emerge in spring and turn evergreen in summer.

Zone: 5 to 8
Season: Spring
Light: Part sun to light shade
Water: Water once or twice weekly especially if the soil is dry.

7. Gardenia

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An aromatic and beautiful perennial flower that blooms from mid-spring to mid-summer. This type of flower is a bit challenging to plant as it requires high humidity. Its glossy evergreen leaves grow in bushes and when it blooms its blossoms look like bursting white bulbs.

Zone: 8 to 10
Season: All season flower but blooms in hot season like summer
Light: Gardenia blossoms well in shady areas.
Water: Water the plant slowly right onto the soil making sure excess drains out. Do not mist as water droplets can cause leaves fungal.

8. Hellebore

Blooming in late winter to early spring this flower is no doubt beautiful as this comes in a variety of colors from white to black. Its green foliage is perfect for landscaping too, only that almost all parts of it are poisonous, so you must be extra careful.

Blooming in late winter to early spring this flower is no doubt beautiful as this comes in a variety of colors from white to black. Its green foliage is perfect for landscaping too, only that almost all parts of it are poisonous, so you must be extra careful.

Zone: 4 to 9
Season: Spring
Light: Hellebore may need streaks of sunlight but successfully grows in shady areas.
Water: Though they love to have damp soil, soaking them with too much water can cause their roots to rot. It is advisable to water them just to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.

9. Hosta

This is ideal for a low maintenance garden and is also one of the perennial plant favorites. They become evergreen when planted under shade and can last for several years. They start to mature from four to eight years. The pure leaf plant is a good garden addition with a white shade on either edges or centers.

This is ideal for a low maintenance garden and is also one of the perennial plant favorites. They become evergreen when planted under shade and can last for several years. They start to mature from four to eight years. The pure leaf plant is a good garden addition with a white shade on either edges or centers.

Zone: 3 to 9
Season: Rise up in spring after winter dormancy
Light: Though Hosta is known as a shade lover, its sunlight requirement depends on the color. The lighter the leaves, the brighter the sun while the darker the foliage color, the lesser the sunlight exposure, which likely grows in shade.
Water: This is a low maintenance plant but would need proper moisture especially on hotter days like summer when rainfall is less than one inch per week.

10. Hydrangeas

Amazingly blue, vibrant pink, frosty white and lavender blossoms in one plant and this characteristic is why this flower loved so much. This easy to cultivate blossom is active from mid-summer through fall.

Amazingly blue, vibrant pink, frosty white and lavender blossoms in one plant and this characteristic is why this flower loved so much. This easy to cultivate blossom is active from mid-summer through fall.

Zone: 4 to 7
Season: Mid spring or late summer
Light: Hydrangeas would thrive in full sun but successfully grow in partial shades.
Water: These plants love moist soil but not too soggy. Hence, water them moderately allowing excess water to drain while leaving the soil damp.

11. Japanese Painted Fern

A great add on to your shady garden as this has deep red and blue stems. This usually grows in summer climate areas but are delicately planted in shade for them to perfectly grow healthy.

A great add on to your shady garden as this has deep red and blue stems. This usually grows in summer climate areas but are delicately planted in shade for them to perfectly grow healthy.

Zone: 4 to 9
Season: All season plant but successfully grows in spring
Light: Thrive in full shade and partial shade
Water: Average to moisten soil. Only requires weekly watering for as long as the soil is  dampen.

12. Lamium

This patchy silver leaf plant continually grows on and off until fall. Its salmon pink blossoms are nice and catchy.

This patchy silver leaf plant continually grows on and off until fall. Its salmon pink blossoms are nice and catchy.

Zone: 3 to 8
Season: Spring
Light: Thrives in full shade and also survives in direct sunlight with damp soil.
Water: Loves moist soil but not too soggy. Adjust watering accordingly, keeping the soil moist to prevent them from rotting and other fungal infections.

13. Lily of the Valley

This is one of the most fragrant blossoms in the spring and early summer. Its bell shaped white blossoms grow from its stems and its leaves are lance shaped.

This is one of the most fragrant blossoms in the spring and early summer. Its bell shaped white blossoms grow from its stems and its leaves are lance shaped.

Zone: 3 to 7
Season: Spring and early summer
Light:Lily of the valley would likely thrive in light to moderate shade.
Water: Water the plant when the first two inches of soil layer is dry. Avoid pouring on the plant’s foliage as much as possible. It is advised to just keep the soil moistened.

14. Lungwort

This is a cool white spot evergreen with rough and hairy leaf texture. They usually appear in spring with its flowers in either blue, pink or white and most of them have two or more different colors in one plant.

This is a cool white spot evergreen with rough and hairy leaf texture. They usually appear in spring with its flowers in either blue, pink or white and most of them have two or more different colors in one plant.

Zone: 3 to 9
Season: Blooming in early spring
Light: Lungwort can survive in either sun or shaded areas.
Water: They love moist soil. Hence, during long dry seasons it is best to keep their soil moist by watering every 7 to 10 days by soaking the soil until 10 inches deep.

15. Lychnis Flower

You can easily grow this foliage and it grows up to 2.5 feet. Its leaves are attractive and its flowers are beautiful with its stunning pink eyes. This blooms at its most awesome stage during July and second season in August.

You can easily grow this foliage and it grows up to 2.5 feet. Its leaves are attractive and its flowers are beautiful with its stunning pink eyes. This blooms at its most awesome stage during July and second season in August.

Zone: 3 to 9
Season: Flowers during summer and autumn
Light: Lychnic Flower thrives in both full or partial shades with moist soil.
Water: They grow well in moist soil. Watering is required regularly to keep the soil moisten.

16. Monkshood

An herbaceous wildflower with a sepal that resembles hoods worn by monks, which is why it is called Monkshood. It blooms in late summer or early fall and it has fancy palmate leaves that resemble a hand.

An herbaceous wildflower with a sepal that resembles hoods worn by monks, which is why it is called Monkshood. It blooms in late summer or early fall and it has fancy palmate leaves that resemble a hand.

Zone: 4 to 8
Season: They bloom late summer and early fall
Light: Monkshood thrives in either full sun or part shade but it is preferable to plant this in the latter.
Water: They can survive short periods of drought but it is recommended to water them regularly to keep the soil moist.

17. Pink Astilbe

Its pink flowers are somewhat cottony and smooth along with its glossy green leaves. Its blooming time is in spring and summer. Not only is it known for its pink colors but it also blooms in red and white.

Its pink flowers are somewhat cottony and smooth along with its glossy green leaves. Its blooming time is in spring and summer. Not only is it known for its pink colors but it also blooms in red and white.

Zone: 4 to 9
Season: Early to mid summer
Light: Astilbe can tolerate full to partial sun
Water: Water the plant heavily once a week to provide them moist soil.

18. Pink Frost Flowers

Blossoms flaunting from late autumn to early spring. This is a great perennial plant that grows well in semi-shaded or full-shaded areas. It can be a great ornament indoors and can be used in cut flower arrangements.

Blossoms flaunting from late autumn to early spring. This is a great perennial plant that grows well in semi-shaded or full-shaded areas. It can be a great ornament indoors and can be used in cut flower arrangements.

Zone: 5 to 9
Season: Late autumn to early spring
Light: Pink frost flowers thrive in either semi or full shaded areas.
Water: They need moist soil thus watering them to keep the soil moist is important. You may do it once a week when they are well-established.

19. Sepmervivum

A succulent bearing flower and is known as 'hens and chicks' as its other name. This plant is known to die after it blooms, which happens once in each plant. Typically it starts to grow its flower in summer.sepmervivum

A succulent bearing flower and is known as ‘hens and chicks’ as its other name. This plant is monocarpic known to die after it blooms, which happens once in each plant. Typically it starts to grow its flower in summer.

Zone: 3 to 11
Season: Summer
Light: Hens and chicks likes to be in the full sun but can also tolerate light shade
Water: Once established, these plants are very tolerant in drought and would only require little to no watering. Hence, once planted they must have a well-draining soil like sand or rocks.

20. Sticky Jerusalem Sage

A soft yellow blossoming plant that grows in late spring, early summer or mid summer. It has a fuzzy textured foliage and beautiful yellow flowers.

A soft yellow blossoming plant that grows in late spring, early summer or mid summer. It has a fuzzy textured foliage and beautiful yellow flowers.

Zone: 4 to 10
Season: Early to mid summer
Light: Sticky Jerusalem Sage likely grows in full sun but can tolerate partial shades.
Water: It only needs occasional watering once established.

21. White Trillium

This plant is best planted and divided during its dormancy in late summer and early fall. It is known for three characteristics- three leaves, petals and sepals. Commonly, this is also called the trinity flower.

This plant is best planted and divided during its dormancy in late summer and early fall. It is known for three characteristics- three leaves, petals and sepals. Commonly, this is also called the trinity flower.

Zone: 4 to 9
Season: Flowering late winter or early spring
Light: Trilliums require full to partial shades.
Water: Requires constant watering on dry seasons to keep moist soil but not too soggy.

22. Yellow Cordalis

This bluntly plant blooms golden yellow blossoms from late spring to early fall. This is also a family of bleeding heart and is also known as yellow fumitory, hollowort, and yellow larkspur.

This bluntly plant blooms golden yellow blossoms from late spring to early fall. This is also a family of bleeding heart and is also known as yellow fumitory, hollowort, and yellow larkspur.

Zone: 4 to 8
Season: Late spring to early fall
Light: Yellow corydalis thrives in either full or light shades.
Water: They love to be in moist soil but cannot tolerate wet soil, especially in winter.

Related:

25 Purple Flowers | 75 Garden Path Ideas | 101 Front Yard Ideas | 19 Perennials for Sun

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1 Comment

  1. Amy says

    What is the scientific name of the Pink Frost Flower?

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