We recently landscaped around our house, and I truly thought the shaded north side of our home would be the hardest place to find flowers for. However, I did my research and found lots of beautiful flowering plants to thrive in shade areas that get less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day. In fact, we have a larger variety of flowers on our shady side than on any other side of the house! These are my picks for the best flowering shade plants.
Best Flowering Shade Plants:
I’ll be honest here. I didn’t know what Columbines were until they just appeared in our shade garden last spring, but they’ve grown well and we’ve since added additional varieties. Columbines come in different shapes depending on the type. The wildflower varieties are a unique shape which includes rear spurs, and the double flower varieties have tons of petals for a luxurious look.
Hello, helleborus! These winter bloomers come in many stunning varieties, particularly the double petaled ones. One of the downfalls to this plant is that the fancier varieties can be a bit expensive, so check with your local garden fundraiser sales and you might be able to find them for a steal like I did!
This beautiful wildflower can be hard to find at nurseries, but it’s certainly worth the hunt! One of the first wildflowers to bloom in the spring, hepatica thrives in shady environments and can be found in white, blue, purple, and pink.
Bleeding hearts are classic shade flowers that come in yellow, pink, red, and white. They bloom in spring and may rebloom during the summer in cooler climates. Plant these to add a cottage feel to your garden.
I’m a sucker for the soft, cotton candy-like astilbe! We have pink and peach ones in our garden, but they also come in other colors such as white and red.
Hydrangeas are one of my personal favorites though it might surprise people to see them listed as one of the best flowering shade plants. We have them all around our house, and our first ones actually started on our shade side. We’ve had great luck with growing the Endless Summer hydrangea varieties in the shade. Other varieties such as Magical Harmony and Glowing Embers also do well in full shade environments.
Some varieties of bellflowers are short and can handle shade well, making them an excellent groundcover choice for shade gardens. We have started these on one end of our shade garden to see how they do. So far so good!
You can plant these babies anywhere! Ours do great in full shade, and they’re a wonderful way to add color to your shade garden.
Spanish Bluebells can be planted in full sun to full shade and are available in white, pink, and blue varieties. These late spring bloomers grow to about 16 inches tall.
Lungwort / Virginia Bluebells
I haven’t tried these yet, but this is another woodlands wildflower that can grow in full shade. Buds begin as pink and then open up into blue blooms.