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Shade gardens are a great way to add beauty and color to your outdoor area, even when there is little direct sunlight. But with so many plants to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones will truly thrive in the shadows. To help narrow your selection, we’ve gathered experts in the field to pick their top 12 choices for plants that will flourish in the shade.
Unearth the Best Plants for Shade Gardens
When it comes to selecting plants for a shade garden, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually quite a few choices. From small flowers to towering trees, there are many plants that can thrive in the shade. Of course, the list of plants you choose from will depend on your local climate and the amount of sun or shade your garden gets on a daily basis.
To get the best advice on which plants to choose for your shade garden, we consulted with a team of experts who specialize in horticulture and landscaping. Here’s what they had to say.
Get the Best Plants for your Shade Garden
When selecting plants for a shade garden, you want to choose plants that will do well in lower light conditions. That means sticking to plants that are tolerant of shade or partial shade, and avoiding plants that are meant for full sun. In addition, you’ll want to pick plants that are appropriate for your local climate, as some plants may not survive in certain conditions.
Shade-loving plants come in many varieties, so you can find something to suit any style. Whether you’re looking for small flowering plants, stately trees, or lush ground cover, there are many great choices that will do well in the shade.
The Science Behind Shade Garden Plants
Shade plants have adapted over time to survive in lower light conditions. In general, they tend to be smaller, with fewer leaves and fewer flowers. They also tend to grow more slowly than plants that are in direct sunlight. However, these plants are incredibly resilient and are able to survive in less hospitable conditions. Many shade plants are even drought-resistant, making them a great choice for areas that don’t get much moisture.
It’s also important to note that shade plants are often shady to begin with. That means that if you’re starting with a new garden, or planting in an area where there is a lot of direct sunlight, you may need to add some trees or other structures to create more shade.
Expert Tips for Planting in the Shade
When planting in the shade, it’s important to pay attention to the amount of light that plants are getting. While most shade plants will still do well in low light, it’s a good idea to place them in areas that get some morning or afternoon sun. This will help the plants get the energy they need to survive.
It’s also important to make sure that your soil is healthy and well-draining. Shade plants tend to require more frequent watering, so you’ll want to make sure that the soil can hold onto moisture. Additionally, make sure to mulch your plants to help retain water and add fertility to the soil.
Planting in the Shade: Our Top 12 Picks
Now that you know the basics of planting in the shade, you might be wondering which plants to choose for your garden. Here are 12 of our top picks for shade gardens:
- Hostas – These low-maintenance perennial plants come in a variety of colors and shapes and make great ground cover.
- Ferns – Ferns are classic shade plants, and they come in many different varieties. They’re also easy to care for and require minimal maintenance.
- Hellebores – These low-growing flowers are perfect for adding color to your garden year-round.
- Lamium – This evergreen ground cover grows best in well-drained soil and makes a great addition to any shade garden.
- Astilbe – Astilbe is a great choice for shady areas, as it produces a multitude of beautiful, feathery flowers in the spring.
- Impatiens – These colorful flowers do well in partial shade and can provide a lovely splash of color to your garden.
- Meadow Rue – This tall, stately plant adds drama and texture to any garden, and it’s also quite easy to care for.
- Bleeding Heart – Bleeding heart is a classic shade-loving plant, with lovely drooping flowers that add a unique charm to any garden.
- Lily of the Valley – These white, bell-shaped flowers are perfect for adding a delicate touch to any garden.
- Japanese Painted Ferns – These colorful ferns are perfect for adding texture to your shade garden.
- Hydrangeas – Hydrangeas come in a variety of colors and sizes, and they make a great addition to any shade garden.
- Japanese Maple – A classic tree, Japanese Maple is perfect for adding a touch of height and structure to any garden.
Whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, these shade plants are sure to add beauty and texture to your garden. With a little bit of love and care, they’ll be sure to thrive in the shade.
Finding the right plants for your shade garden can be a challenge, but with the right advice and a little bit of research, you can find plants that are perfect for your garden. From small, colorful flowers to towering trees, there are countless options to choose from – and with the expert picks above, you’ll be sure to find something that’s just right for your shade garden.
- Gardening Know How, Plants for Shade Gardening, Accessed June 2021
- The Spruce, Top Plants for Shade Gardening, Accessed June 2021
- Fine Gardening, Important Tips for Planting a Shade Garden, Accessed June 2021
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