I have a good deal of shade on my property. My home was built in the mid-eighties so much of the original landscaping is mature, including the trees which offer quite a bit of shade. This is great for our electric bill in the summer but not so great for someone who wants to grow sun-loving flowers and vegetables.
That being said I have found many great plants that work well in the shade. Here are seven shade perennials which are not the run-of-the-mill plants, which just might work for your shady areas.
Pulmonaria aka Lungwort
Lungwort is a perennial that comes up early in the spring. I love the blue flowers. Check out my article on lungwort from last year to learn more about its name and habits.
I have this beauty in two spots. The first one is located is heavy shade, under a dogwood tree, next to a pine. The other is close to our foundation in the back of the house. They both perform well, and last throughout the season with dainty flowers in the spring.
Brunnera aka False Forget Me Knot
This can be invasive but I haven’t found it to be an issue for me. I really love the blue flowers and the nice mounding habit that fills a space nicely in the garden.
This is a variety with very dark leaves which I like, and sometimes use in flower arrangements. It blooms in late summer when many of my other plants are fading, with bright golden flowers.
Lamium aka Dead Nettle
This is a ground cover that seems to grow anywhere. The gold flowered one was here when we bought the house. The second one I often buy for containers as it trails nicely and will bloom on my shady front porch.
Epimedium aka Bishop’s Hat
This sweet perennial has pretty red rimmed heart-shaped leaves and cool yellow flowers early in the spring that are supposedly shaped like a bishop’s hat.
Japanese Painted Fern
This last one is more well-known but great for the shade. In fact, the Japanese painted fern was named Perennial Plant of the Year in 2004 . It grows well even among the roots of our huge red maple. You can see it here enjoying the tight space with sweet woodruff.
I hope you enjoyed this shady parade and that I helped you find a few new perennials to add to your shopping list.