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15 Easy Perennial Plants for Shady Gardens

by Suzanne DeJohn

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.

astilbe amethyst
Astilbe Amethyst brightens up the shade garden.
bleeding heart pink
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.