Ideal Shade-Loving Plants for Your Garden

Among the most desirable shade-loving plants we find species with flowers such as hydrangeas and non-flowering varieties such as coleus.
Ideal Shade-Loving Plants for Your Garden

Last update: 29 March, 2022

If your garden has a large area of shade, it’s important to know which plants are shade-loving and which ones can adapt to this condition. Most species of flora require direct sunlight to grow, but there are exceptions to the rule.

So if you have a shady garden don’t feel disheartened. In this article, we’re going to tell you about the plants that thrive in shade and the ones that’ll give your outdoor space some colorful vitality and freshness. Ready? Here we go!

Shade-loving plants for your garden

Believe it or not, there are a wide variety of shade-loving plants and they’re just as beautiful and indispensable to the ecosystem as sun-loving plants. Many of them are usually grown indoors, but they can easily grow outside too. Read on to learn more.

Japanese maple

Japanese maple.

The Japanese maple is one of the most appreciated plants for its beauty and color, which varies according to the seasons. It’s a large plant that reaches between six and ten meters tall. In fact, there’s actually a subspecies that reaches fifteen meters. However, it can be grown in pots and pruned to control its growth.

Japanese maple thrives and grows best in a semi-shady environment. Direct exposure to the sun can cause burns and damage to its leaves, which are characterized by being webbed.

Astilbe is one of the most popular shade-loving plants because of its beauty and the color of its flowers. So if you really like flowering plants, this is the perfect one for you. This plant is used to decorate and create flower arrangements, but it also looks outstanding in the garden.

Native to China, Japan, and North America, it’s perennial and grows best in moist soils, for which a shady environment is essential. Of course, in the flowering months, it’s important to provide it with a warm, semi-shady environment.



Do you like tall plants? If so, Aconitum is an excellent option for you since it’s characterized by reaching one meter in height. For this same reason, it needs to be planted in gardens with good drainage, those that are slightly humid, and with partial or total shade.

However, Aconite or Aconitum napellus is considered to be one of the most toxic plants in Europe. It contains aconitine which is one of the most powerful plant toxins. So be careful and take care when handling it.


Have you heard of plants with heart-shaped foliage? Caladiums are a recognized shade-loving plant and their leaves are in this beautiful shape. In addition, their colors are very bright with tones of green, white, red, purple, and pink.

Caladiums grow much better in shady places, but they like a warm and humid environment. For this reason, they’re usually planted underneath other plants, shrubs , and trees. It’s commonly used to decorate the borders of gardens.

Beautiful shade-loving plants: Coleus


Coleus is a shade-loving plant that’s a member of the mint family, so its scent will infuse a spectacular fragrance. In addition, its leaves have a great variety of stunning colors, between green, pink, red, and yellow.

Although it’s a plant that’s without flowers, its colors will make you fall in love with it. It’s considered to be a shrub, but the design and elegance of its leaves make it appealing, and therefore a popular choice for many gardens. In fact, it’s widely used indoors because it thrives best in the shade, protected from direct sunlight and hot climates.

Bleeding heart

Full or partial shade? Incredibly, the bleeding heart plant is well suited to either of these two alternatives! In addition, it usually produces flowers in a beautiful pink or red color with white tips. These flowers fall vertically from the stems in a curious heart shape.

The spoken tradition within some countries indicates that the white bleeding heart flower transmits purity, nobility, and peace. The red represents passion and the rose represents romance.


Shade plants, hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas are beautiful plants. Their flowers grow in a kind of bouquet shape and come in different colors, with blue, pink, red, and white being the most popular. Although they enjoy the morning sun, they thrive better during shady afternoons.

So far more than forty species of hydrangea have been classified.

Which shade-loving plants do you like the most?

We’ve now presented some shade-loving plants from which you can choose to decorate your outdoor spaces. In addition, we included some options with and without flowers. Whichever one you liked the most, all of these are beautiful and easy to care for at home.