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10 Plants That Grow in the Shade (With Pictures)

plants in pots indoor

Shady areas are notoriously difficult to add plants to. The large majority of plants require at least partial sun and if part of your yard is shady, you may be hard-pressed to find plants to put in that area.

With that said, there are a few plants that can easily be grown in the shade if the conditions are correct. Many of these plants are surprisingly appealing and easy to care for. Therefore, they are a great option for those shadier areas that other plants just won’t grow in.

Here is a list of our favorite shade-loving plants.

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The 10 Plants that Grow in Shade

1. Heuchera

Image Credit: margarita-zueva, Unsplash
Common Name: Coral Bells

Coral bells are practically the easiest plant to care for that can grow well in shadier areas. This plant varies considerably. There are tons of different leaf colors ranging from burgundy to salmon and you can easily find something to match your needs and aesthetics.

While this plant does not have any flowers, the foliage itself is pretty interesting. However, some variations do have flowers on top of their slender stems.

2. Lamium Maculatun

Lamium Maculatun
Image By: marina-yalanska, Unsplash
Common Name: Deadnettle

This low plant features silvery leaves and purple flowers. It is extremely easy to grow. In fact, it is often described as a little too easy to grow. It can easily take over gardens, so it is usually recommended to plant it in pots. (However, it can send out runners that can spread the plant even if it is in a pot.)

With that said, its prolific nature means that it is practically impossible to kill. It can grow in a variety of conditions, so you don’t have to worry about making things perfect for it, either.

3. Tiarella Cordifolia

tiarella cordifolia
Image Credit: AngieC333, Shutterstock
Common Name: Foamflower

While this plant isn’t as showy as some others, it does have a natural look that many people like. It has rather plain, matte leaves and small flowers. The flowers come in either white or pale pink, depending on the type.

Newer varieties are showing up all the time. Therefore, be sure to take a look around for a plant that matches your aesthetics. Some variants today have burgundy-red leaves, for instance.

4. Pulmonaria

Image Credit: lungwort, Pixabay
Common Name: Lungwort

With its beautiful, silvery leaves, this plant is quite showy and doesn’t require much care in the least. It loves shaded areas and is pretty easy to take care of. Therefore, we highly recommend it as one of the easier plants to care for on this list.

The leaves are typically splashed with silver, though the extent of the silver color does vary. It blooms in spring with variably colored flowers. These flowers are related to the genetics of the plant, though a single plant can have flowers of many different colors.

This plant is one of the few shade-loving options with very showy flowers.

5. Astilbe

Image Credit: Etienne, Pixabay
Common Name: Astilbe

For those looking for a very colorful plant, we recommend this one. They are known for their large, showy blooms that come in a variety of different colors. There are countless varieties available, so you can typically find something fitting for every style.

You can also find options with a variety of different foliage colors. Some also differ in height and bloom times, so some people only plant differing variants of Astilbe, providing a range of colors and ensuring that blooms brighten up the shady parts of your yard throughout much of the warm season.

6. Digitalis

Image Credit: gary-j-stearman, Unsplash
Common Name: Foxglove

Foxgloves love shady areas and result in beautiful blooms. However, growing them is a bit more complicated than growing other flowers. They usually spend their first year growing up and out—but without any flowers. During the second year, they produce magnificent blooms and after that, they die. Therefore, your average plant will live for 2 years.

However, these plants typically reseed in the same ground they are planted in so you usually end up with flowers every year anyway. These are pretty reliable flowers, even if they only technically stay around for 2 years.

7. Hakonechloa

Image Credit: Svetlana Zhukova, Shutterstock
Common Name: Japanese Forest Grass

This grass may not be as showy as other options on this list. However, it grows great in partial shade or even completely shaded areas. It does in a small clump that doesn’t reach higher than 12”. The narrow leaves cascade over the plant, providing some interest to shaded areas.

You can find a few different varieties of this plant. There are varying colors ranging from lime green to dark green, and some even turn bright colors in the fall.

8. Primula

Image Credit: szjeno09190, Pixabay
Common Name: Primrose

Primroses are notoriously difficult to grow. However, if you provide them with plenty of shade and provide them with plenty of water, they actually do okay. Plus, there are hundreds of species of these flowers—you can find flowers in just about any color or size. If you’re looking to add some color to the shady part of your yard, this is an easy flower to use.

9. Alchemilla

Image Credit: May_hokkaido, Pixabay
Common Name: Lady’s Mantle

This adorable plant may look pretty normal. However, it has beautiful leaves that catch water and dew, making them look like small jewels. They also have flowers in June, which are typically yellow-green in color. Often, these flowers make great fillers in bouquets. Plus, these plants typically don’t cause much trouble and are easy to grow.

These plants also come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the correct option for you. For instance, there is a very small version that only gets about 6 inches high that is perfect for pots and smaller places.

10. Euphorbia Polychroma

Image Credit: Antranias, Pixabay
Common Name: Spurge

All Euphoria plants are quite easy to take care of. While the plants themselves don’t last forever, they do self-sow pretty easily. They can also be removed with ease if you have too many—or for transplanting into other locations. You can find all sorts of options in terms of color and size, as there are many variants of this plant available.

Many of them do have very beautiful flowers, though the color and size will vary. Feel free to shop around and find the best plant for you.

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While many plants do not like the shade at all, there are several species that don’t mind spending time in shadier areas. In fact, some plants thrive specifically in the shade and partial shade. Many of the plants we mentioned above are pretty easy to take care of as well. Therefore, you can easily spice up the shadier parts of your yard without much of a problem.

Depending on the size of your landscaping project, you’re probably going to need multiple of the plants we mentioned above. Most come in many different varieties. Therefore, we recommend that you shop around and select the variety that you like the most.

Featured Image Credit: vadim kaipov, Unsplash


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