17 Shade Loving Perennials to Beautify your Garden

An ideal gardener is the one who uses every part of their garden, including the shady spots.

Fortunately, some perennial plants and flowers grow even in partial to full shade. Apart from beautifying your sheltered gardening areas, these low-maintenance perennials attract essential pollinators to your garden.

Most perennials go dormant in winter and come back every year. It is essential for a gardener to add evergreen perennials to fill the empty landscape.

The plants listed below are listed along with their growing conditions and zones.

17 Best Perennials Plants to Grow in Shade

1. Hostas

hostas plant to grow in shade

Prominent for their attractive, diverse foliage, hostas go well with other ornamental plants.

Most hostas varieties bloom in early spring to mid-summer. You can use this perennial to border garden and as ground cover.

It prefers to grow in well-drained soil with partial to full shade.

  • USDA zones 3 to 8 are favourable for growing hostas.
  • To prevent pest damage, it is advisable to trim the hostas during the early winter season.

  • Size: 4 inches (small varieties), 5 feet (giant varieties)

2. Bergenia Cordifolia

Bergenia Cordifolia

This evergreen perennial has glossy foliage and blooms in spring.

The Bergenia plant should be considered if you’re looking to border your garden with perennial flowers.

Native to Europe and Asia, Bergenia plants do well in partial to full shade.

  • It prefers loamy and moist soil.
  • USDA zones from 3-8 can grow this plant.
  • Size: 1-2 feet tall.

3. Golden Male Fern

golden male fern

It is a semi-evergreen fern that produces chartreuse-colored foliage in the spring, which turns dark green in summer.

It thrives in well-drained soil and can withstand drought once the plant is well-established.

Royal Horticultural Society awarded the Golden Male Fern for its growing qualities.

  • Grows in partial and full shade.
  • It can survive under full sun if provided enough moisture.
  • Size: 3-4 feetDisease and pests free.
  • Preferred for shady garden beds and borders.

4. Snowy Woodrush

Grown as garden cover and edging paths, the snowy woodrush plant belongs to the Juncaceae family.

Though it may look like grass, it is not.

This non-toxic plant has green leaves with white colored flowers.

  • Prefers partial to full shade.
  • It can grow under full sun but needs adequate watering.
  • Size 1-2 feet in height.
  • USDA Zones: 4-9

5. Helleborus Onyx Odyssey


With double cup-shaped purple-to-black blossoms, hellebore winter jewels have green foliage, making an outstanding floral combination.

Opt for different hellebore varieties to beautify your garden with different colored blossoms.

  • Size: 1-2 feet tall.
  • USDA zones: 5-8
  • Does well in partial to full shade.

6. Autumn Fern

autumn fern

The new leaves of this perennial fern are orange-red, which turn bright green with time.

Autumn ferns are preferred for growing as garden covers and are suitable for small spaces.

  • Does well under partial sun and shade.
  • Height 1-2 feet
  • USDA zones: 5-9

7. Sandy Claws Barrenwort

A charming ground cover, Sandy Claws Barrenwort thrives in shady spots with well-drained soil. It’s well-suited for USDA zones 5-9.

8. Virginia Bluebells

Known for their bell-shaped blue flowers, Virginia Bluebells prefer moist, rich soil in partial to full shade. They are well-suited for USDA zones 3-8.

9. Columbine Flowering Plant

Columbines are delightful, with unique spurred flowers. They prefer well-drained soil in partial shade and are suitable for USDA zones 3-9.

10. Lungwort

Lungwort, or Pulmonaria, offers colorful foliage and does well in shady, moist conditions. It’s suitable for USDA zones 3-8.

11. Primrose

Primroses, with their vibrant blooms, bring early spring color to shaded areas. They thrive in well-drained soil and are suitable for USDA zones 3-9.

12. Wood Spurge

A tough and adaptable plant, Wood Spurge does well in partial and full shades. It prefers well-drained soil and is suitable for USDA zones 4-8.

13. Astilbe Perennial Plant

Astilbes are known for their feathery plumes and thrive in moist, well-drained soil in partial shade. They are well-suited for USDA zones 4-9.

14. Hydrangeas

hydrangea in clay soil

Hydrangeas are versatile and can thrive in both partial and full shade. Depending on the variety, they prefer well-drained soil and are suitable for various USDA zones.

15. Periwinkle

Periwinkle, or Vinca, is a ground cover that thrives in partial to full shade. It’s adaptable and suitable for USDA zones 4-9.

16. Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose

Also known as Helleborus orientalis, Lenten Rose blooms early in the year. It prefers partial shade and well-drained soil and is suitable for USDA zones 4-9.

17. Foamflower plant

Foamflowers, or Tiarella, thrive in shady, woodland-like settings. They prefer well-drained soil and are suitable for USDA zones 4-8.

Why You Should Plant in Your Garden?

Spring is the end of dormancy and a new reason to begin rejuvenating.

It comes with lots of work and plans to utilize the homestead landscape.

This is why most gardeners prefer planting perennials, as they produce new blossoms yearly.

With little maintenance, perennial plants can fill your garden.

Below are 5 reasons why it is important to plant perennials in your garden.

  • Attracts essential pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds.
  • Low maintenance. Unlike annuals, to grow perennials, you must provide regular winter watering, weeding, and pruning.
  • Most perennials are pests and disease-free.
  • Planting perennials reduces soil erosion and is good for the garden’s ecosystem. Plant once and reap its benefits every year.
  • Most perennials continue to grow and bloom with little efforts


To make the gardening landscape attractive, you must fill the empty spots with attractive flowering plants.

As flowering plants require sunlight, choosing perennials that can grow in shade is recommended.

So, you don’t have to worry about sunlight exposure and reap the benefits of planting perennials.

Hostas and hydrangeas are my favourite perennials. What’s yours?

perennials to grow in shade