Perennials for shade

Shade plants

How can you make a shade garden inviting? With perennials, of course! Many people think that perennials won’t grow in shade. Fortunately, there are plenty of beautiful shade gardens that disprove this idea; the variety in shade plants is surprisingly extensive.

Shade is no problem for many perennials

A shady garden doesn’t have to be monotonous: on the contrary, a cool shady habitat can harbour the loveliest shade plants. They may be less spectacular but definitely no less attractive. We define a shady garden as one that receives less than three hours of full sun a day (or a longer time if the plants receive filtered light). Creating a successful planting in a shady garden is not difficult but it will be important to consider exactly how shady the location is. The number of shade plants in cultivation that will grow in partial shade such as under deciduous trees and shrubs or in front of a wall is surprisingly large.

Shade plants introduce light in shady spots

Most shade plants are also referred to as woodland plants. They evolved to grow beneath trees and shrubs in their original habitats so they usually produce flowers in the spring. At that time of year, woodland plants take advantage of the fact that the branches of deciduous trees and shrubs are bare of leaves. Some shade plants, however, bloom during the summer and autumn. A good way to introduce light into a shady spot is to focus on selecting perennials with light flower colours and/or green and white variegated leaves.

Caring for shade plants

Shade is usually not the biggest problem for shade plants. Instead, this is dry soil beneath trees or next to north-facing walls. If they lack both enough light and water, most shade plants will not survive. For this reason, be sure to give them extra water during dry periods. Another way to help shade plants is to give them a layer of mulch so that the soil beneath it will retain moisture better. To do this, scatter a layer of compost, wood chips or tree bark among the shade plants. This will also add humus to the soil. Humus acts like a sponge to improve the water retention of the soil. Groundcovers are perfect, too, since their leaves create a solid ‘roof’ above the soil.

Good shade plant varieties

Take a look at the various shade plants by clicking on ‘Find your perennial’. You’ll be amazed! There are even evergreen shade plants. Some favourite shade plants are lungworts (Pulmonaria), monkscaps (Aconitum), columbines (Aquilegia), plantain lilies (Hosta), Japanese Spurge (Pachysandra terminalis), barrenworts and Caucasian Forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla).

Edible Garden

Wonderfully fragrant lavender in your garden

Whether your garden is formal or wild, lavender is always a great fit. Positioned in the right spot and looked after properly, lavender plants will ...
Lees meer

Create a stunning border with combinations of perennials

For the very best display in your garden, choose a border with perennials. When choosing your combinations, location, flowering period, and the growing heights are ...
Lees meer

A garden filled with flowers? Choose perennials!

Do you love to surround yourself with flowers? With perennials, you can create a stunning flower garden that you will want to spend time in ...
Lees meer

Perennials, for a beautiful autumn and winter garden

With their colourful flowers, unusual leaves and stunning winter silhouettes, perennials are an asset to your garden in any season. If you make some smart ...
Lees meer

Perennials that will withstand drought

Unfortunately, we have all felt the consequences of summers that are drier more often and for longer. Watering the garden becomes almost inevitable if we ...
Lees meer
IV223954 aangepast

A façade garden: green, fun and climate-resistant

If your street could use an extra dose of greenery, why not create a façade garden with perennials: from green foliage plants to exuberantly flowering ...
Lees meer


Scroll to Top