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USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’. Knowing your zone number is helpful when shopping for plants because:

  • Cold-area gardeners can avoid buying plants that simply won’t survive their lowest winter temperatures.
  • Warm-area gardeners can steer clear of plants that need a period of cold weather in order to bloom again.
Find your Plant Hardiness Zone here.

15 Easy Perennial Plants for Shady Gardens

Astilbe Amethyst

Astilbe Amethyst brightens up the shade garden.

Bleeding Heart Pink is an old time favorite with arching stems of lovely, heart shaped flowers.

Lungwort forms a dense ground cover without becoming invasive.

Ajuga Easy-to-grow, vigorous ground cover; can become weedy and invade lawns. Part to Full Shade.

Astilbe Feathery plumes of colorful flowers. Part to Full Shade.

Bleeding Heart Elegant arching stems bear heart-shaped flowers. Part to Full Shade.

Cardinal Flower Flowers are hummingbird magnets; requires moist soil. Part to Full Shade.

Columbine Intricate spurred flowers hover above lacy foliage. Part Shade.

Coral Bells Attractive foliage in a range of colors adorned with delicate stems filled with small flowers. Part Shade.

Ferns Vase-shaped foliage add dimension and texture. Part to Full Shade, depending on species.

Forest Grass Compact, fountain-shaped grasses. Part to Full Shade.

Hosta The classic shade plant, available in a wide range of sizes and foliage colors. Part to Full Shade.

Hydrangea Small to medium-sized shrubs adorned with showy flower clusters. Part to Full Shade.

Lamium Fast-spreading ground cover with pretty variegated foliage. Part to Full Shade.

Lenten Rose Plant in rich, moist soil and enjoy late winter/early spring blooms. Part to Full Shade.

Lungwort Attractive flowering ground cover that spreads but doesn't become invasive. Part to Full Shade.

Spiderwort Unique, three-petaled flowers; requires moist soil. Part Shade.

Viola Pretty pansy-like flowers; plants can self-sow and become weedy. Part to Full Shade.

4 thoughts on “15 Easy Perennial Plants for Shady Gardens”

  • Betty L Szalay
    Betty L Szalay April 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I want to have a red white and blue garden for 4 th of july
    Actually it is a raised bed along side the stairs and house of my modular home ,I usually have impatians there and can get red and white plants but can not find a blue flower to and to the red and white impatiens which of course are in full shade
    Help -----Thank you
    Betty L szalay

  • Deborah Winters
    Deborah Winters April 10, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Just so you know. I am a long time gardner and i love astilbe and bleeding heart and have tried for several yrs to grow them. Finally one garden shop employee confessed....Houston is too hot to sustain them...even in the shade.

  • Deborah Winters
    Deborah Winters April 10, 2011 at 6:37 am

    If someone has been successful with them here, I would love to know.

  • Mike "The Seed Man" Lizotte

    Hello Deb,

    A very easy and quick Red/White/Blue garden can be created with sowing Red Poppy, Blue Cornflower and annual White Baby's Breath. We feature this mix in our American Flag packets that we sell. I've also seen it done with Delphiniums as well.

    I hope this information helps and let me know if we can be of further assistance!


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