Finding a full sun spot in my yard is a challenge, which is why I’ve been on a mission for the past several years to find plants that do well in part shade to full shade. Here are my favorites.
10. Hydrangeas. I’ve had some issues with these gorgeous plants over the years. I’ve found that some varieties like Bobo hydrangeas prefer near full sun (at least in hardiness zone 5), while the classic Annabelle hydrangea blooms just fine in shade.
9.Spiderwort lights up full shade spots with lime green leaves and eye-catching purple flowers.
8. The bright, cheerful flowers of primrose are just what I want in spots that don’t get a ton of color.
7. Fuchsia is an annual that attracts hummingbirds, although I’ve never spotted one near my plants. That’s okay, because the flowers are splendid. They spill over containers making them great for hanging baskets.
6. Bleeding hearts produce dainty pink or white flowers in shade. These are my kids’ favorites. When I accidentally dug one up last summer they made me promise to replace it.
5. Not all weigela varieties will bloom well in shade, but mine has been producing lots of lovely dark pink blooms for years. The purplish leaves also add interest even after the blooms drop.
4. Lady’s Mantle (pictured in front of my weigela) is low-maintenance and produces yellow flowers all summer long. I love the interesting shape and light green color of the leaves. These plants grow fast and fill out bare spots.
3. Hostas are beautiful and tough. While they do take a few years to grow to their full potential, they are low maintenance. I planted a variety of hostas in a shady spot where I couldn’t get much else to grow.
2. I never thought of iris as a shade plant. But when my neighbors shared a ton of bulbs with me, I ran out of places to plant them and they ended up in spots that barely get six hours of sun. For several years I have marveled at my blooming iris.
1. You could walk past a patch of columbine and not give them much notice. But take a closer look and you’ll realize that these flowers are exquisitely shaped from every angle making them my very favorite shade plant.
Vanessa Tsumura lives in Wisconsin with her family. She blogs about crafts and DIY projects at Bluet & Clover.
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