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Shade Tolerant Perennials

Shade. We all love it – it provides cool refuge from the beating sun, a place for our pets to lounge and our children to play. But for all the good shaded areas do, they can be dull without colorful flower blooms and rich green plants dancing back and forth in the summer breeze. The good news is that there are shade tolerant perennials. So if your outdoor areas are wooded, or that single large tree you favor is blocking the sun, a shaded garden will allow you to colorize to your hearts content.


Shade Tolerant PlantsFirst, plants known for their leaves, like hostas, ferns, and border plants can provide a gorgeous backdrop for your shade tolerant perennials that flower. The foliage comes in a wide variety of textures such as course and feathered, and also in many patterns: striped, splotched, multi-toned, variegated, and spotted. When it comes to form, you’ll find ground covering – like wild ginger, and goutweed -- as well as tall spiking growth among your options. The majority of options available to you are not only beautiful, but tolerant and hearty.


Once you have chosen your shade tolerant perennials in terms of primarily foliage plants, you should select your colors. You can go with all one color, mix it up a bit, or go for a full blown multi-color bonanza. Shade tolerant perennials come in many colors. They, like the foliage plants, come in a variety of forms. You’ll find flowers that arch, are rounded, and that grow quite tall.

Shade tolerant PlantsMulticolor perennials that grow well in full shade include lungwort. As for partial shade, the balloon flower, yarrow, poppy, some varieties of roses, and day lilies do very well. Other shade tolerant perennials, include, but certainly are not limited to aster (yellow, orange), periwinkle (green), the Christmas rose (fuchsia), and globe thistle (blue-purple). One of the best things you can do is to get a gardening book specific to your region. It will help you to pick out the shade tolerant perennials that will do well in your area.


Herbs are yet another option for shaded areas. Herbs that are shade tolerant perennials in most geographic areas include: angelica, wild ginger, sweet woodruff, holy grass, cilantro, rosemary, and lemon grass. There is also mint and spearmint – these two herbs will grow pretty much anywhere. With leaves of exquisite texture and relaxing scent, they could easily be the aromatherapy section of your landscape.

Shaded areas don’t have to be barren – there are many types of shade tolerant perennials to consider. With all of the textures, shapes, and colors available, there is no reason why your shaded areas should look any less attractive than those bathed in sunshine. A creative combination on foliage, flowers, and herbs may actually make your shaded areas the focal point of your yard. With the added retreat from the heat, you may want to move some outdoor furniture, like a park bench or lawn chairs, into the shaded area to enjoy your shade tolerant perennials.

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