Shade Loving Perennials

Have tons of shade in your yard, yet long for a gorgeous garden full of sumptuous variety? Do not despair. Shade-loving perennials will transform that sunless corner into a garden to envy. Knowing what perennials work in shade will get you the beauty you crave.


Hostas are hardy, leafy, herbaceous, perennial plants that are a shade-garden staple. They will provide year after year of outgoing and companionable beauty with lots of variations in foliage and size-about 45 species, to be more precise. Their leaves are broad and shiny. Hosta flowers appear on tall stalks that project proudly from the plants' center. Hostas can be found in many colors, from green-and-white variegated, pale yellow, light green, "blue" (a blueish green) and white. The flowers range from white to purple. This plant is a go-to for any shade garden. The advantage of Hosta is its easy disposition and how well it can be divided, providing a tremendous value to the shade gardener.


Ferns come in thousands of varieties, and the species is as old as the ice age. The fern will propagate readily to fill out a shady area with lacy foliage and exciting shapes and sizes. Cinnamon fern boasts flower stalks that look like sticks of real cinnamon. Ostrich fern has feathery fronds that add delicacy to the luxurious shade garden.

Bleeding heart

One of the sweetest, old-fashioned plants is also a shade lover. Bleeding heart grows in graceful stems of up to 3 feet. Ornamental, heart-shaped flowers appear on a long, curved stem and can be found in shades of red, pink and even white.


If you're looking for super-exciting shocks of flaming color from your shade-loving perennials, Astilbe is made in the shade. The profuse blooms brighten the darkest spots in a stunningly counter-intuitive manner. Flowers can be found from white to bright pink to red.

These are just a few of the many options for making a bare, shady garden spot lush.

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