Best Flowers and Plants to Grow in the Shade

Plants and flowers thrive in the sun – but what about those spots in your yard that don’t get extra rays? For places where your yard receives less than four hours of sun, it can be tougher to get plants to flourish.

The solution? Find plants that still grow even with less sunlight.

Below Alexander Coe, Manager at Auburn Oaks Garden Center in Rochester Hills, shares some of his top picks for plants and flowers to place in the shade.

Coe points out that planting has benefits besides beautifying your lawn, “When kids learn how to take care of plants it can be very educational and rewarding for them. They have pride in the things they’re growing.”


Choose these varieties for greens that will come back year after year without replanting. Here are some of the best perennials for shade.

Hosta: These plants are easy to grow, even in the shade. A long stalk shoots up from groups of green leaves that hang closer to the ground. The stalks include bell-like flowers in various colors. One drawback: Deer like hostas, too.

‘Lady in Red’ Fern: Add green accents throughout your yard by planting Lady in Red ferns. Lacy, green leaves emerge from these plant’s red stalks. The plants grow 2-3 feet.

Goat’s beard: The spiky stalks of this plant burst with white. These can grow up to 3 or 4 feet tall even in the shade.


To add pockets of color to your lawn, opt for annuals, which need to be planted again each year.

Begonias: Whether indoors or in the shade, begonias come in a variety of colors. The shiny, waxy leaves give way to small flowers. These plants don’t like the frost, though, so if the temperatures dip consider covering them at night.

Wishbone flower: Also called Torenia, or Clown Flower, their blossoms have a unique look. The delicate interior shape of the upturned flower looks like a wishbone.

Coleus: These leafy plants include a rich assortment of textures and colors. The bright leaves have contrasting tones of pink and green, red and orange, and bright yellows. The leaves offer decorative ground cover without needing much sunlight.

Curious what the best flowers and plants are for full sun? Take a peek at our post all about it.


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