Shade Loving Plants

Many times, we are faced with hard to design area. Many find a shady area hard to design. Shade doesn’t have to be our enemy! Let’s break it down and define the differences in shade areas.


Light shade is an area with shadows of trees, hedges, walls or a building. Plants that will bloom in full sun areas will usually do well in a light shade area.  Most of these areas will have sun for a portion of the day.

Dappled or Filtered

Dappled shade is filtered sunlight through the canopy of trees. It allows sunrays to shine through and shifts as the sun shifts. Dappled light is the most common light in the suburban yards and the wood edges.

Partial Shade

Part shade is a garden area that receives up to 6 hours of direct sunlight.  The majority of sunlight hours need to be in the morning, and the heat of the afternoon shadows will shade and cool the garden. It is one of the most common forms of a shade garden.  If the area receives direct sunlight in the afternoon, it would be considered a full sun garden. The light is harsher and drying.

Full or Deep Shade

Deep shade in a garden can be found under evergreens or shrub and trees that are spaced very closely. Direct sunlight can not penetrate the canopy. It is a cool shade and difficult to have plants bloom in these conditions. Plants that can survive this type of shade have very strong leaf structures.


Gardening can be fun in shady areas with a little insight! The beauty of different fauna and foliage plants is endless. Understanding the type of shade will give you the best success needed! Below is a list of shade-loving plants for you to research for your next project!  Happy planting.


AroniaAcanthus mollis
BerberisAjuga reptans
CalycanthusAlchemilla mollis
ClethraAquilegia canadensis
ComptoniaArisemea triphyllum
Cornus racemosaAruncus species
Cornus sericeaAsarum canadense
HamaelisBrunnera macrophylla
Hydrangea paniculataConvallaria majalis
Hydrangea quercifoliaCorydalis
Itea sppDicentra species
Kamia sppDigitalis purpurea
Leucothoe sppFerns
Ligustrum sppGalium odoratum
LinderaGaultheria procumbens
MahoniaHeuchera species
Pieris sppHosta
Rhamnus sppLamium maculatum
RhododendronLigularia species
RibesLobelia species
Symphoricarpos sppMertensia virginica
Taxus sppPholox divaricata
Thuja occidentalisPodophyllum peltatum
Tsuga sppPolemonium caeruleum
Viburnum, mostPologonatum
Primula japonica
Acer campestrePulsatilla vulgaris
Amelanchier spp.Solidago sphacelata
Cercis canadensisTradescantia andersoniana
Chionanthus virginicusTricyrtis
Cornus FloridaTrillium species
Cornus Kousa
Magnolia virginiana


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