Plants for Shade Gardening

Growing an attractive shade garden may at first appear challenging for some. After all, successful shade gardening comes with it's own set of rules, and plants that flourish in sunny areas simply, well.....don't in shady ones. But don't be afraid of the shade. On even the hottest and most humid of days, a walk through the shade garden can help calm and cool your senses, and even help relieve stress. And while a shade garden may not pack the same powerhouse of color as their sunnier counterparts, shady nooks can be far from dark and drab. At Garden Supply Co, we have hundreds of beautiful plants for shade gardening that will provide interest and light in the shade garden through use of color, texture, and foliage.


As you stroll through the garden center, you may have overlooked our quiet back corner under the arbor. Here you will find our huge selection of plants for shade gardening. And one quick glance will show you that shade plants can be far from boring. Quite the contrary, in fact. Shade plants can still provide the flowers you may crave, and provide interest through an amazing variety of foliage color and texture. 

If it's flowers you want, impatiens and New Guinea impatiens will provide non-stop summer blossoms in a wide range of colors.

Impatiens- Garden Supply Co

Or there are many varieties of blooming begonias, including Tuberous, Dragon Wings, and the new Whopper begonia, which provides extra large flowers up to 3 in. (7 cm) across from spring through fall.


There are also, of course, many fabulous flowering shrub plants that thrive in shade, including azalea, rhododendron, gardenia, hydrangea, just to name a few.

hydrangeas- Garden Supply Co

However, don't rely solely on flowers for providing interest in shady corners. Look for shade plants that have colored foliage or interesting textures or leaf shapes. Focus on foliage and plant in mass. Cultivate interest with foliage. Create harmony through mass plantings. When a single specimen is planted it tends to be lost in the shade garden. Since many flowers on shade plants are small and delicate, large masses are more effective.


As you can see, there is a huge variation of foliage color and texture available on shade perennials such as Heuchera, with colorful foliage ranging from yellows, reds, purples, & black.

Caladiums- Garden Supply Co

Or Caladiums, grown for their bold long-lasting and colorful foliage. Color combinations include various shades of red, pink, white, green, and yellow-green, with prominently colored midribs and contrasting margins.

Coleus- Garden Supply Co

Coleus plants glow with color, from soft and elegant to deep, bold tones—perfect for shady yards, gardens and terraces.

Hosta- Garden Supply Co

Hostas are extremely popular, hardy herbaceous perennials grown primarily for their beautiful foliage. Leaves come in a wide range of shapes, colors, sizes, and textures and may be solid in color or variegated in different combinations of blue, green, white, and gold.

For powerhouse interest, contrast the elliptical long leaf of a Hosta with the feathery leaf of a fern.

Ferns- Garden Supply Co

Gardening in the woods should be a pleasure, rather than a challenge. The lack of a lot of sun can overwhelm or even frighten some gardeners instead of what it really is -- an excuse to grow a lot of great plants some would have never attempted before. For more tips on selecting the perfect plants for shade gardening, stop by the garden center. Our friendly experts are on hand seven days a week with answers to all your gardening questions.