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The best plants for shade

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What to plant when sunshine is lacking

If your yard is privy to big shady trees, your garden may be lacking a little color. Most brightly colored flowers rely on at least a few hours of sunlight each day in order to look their best.
What to plant when sunshine is lacking

Having a shady yard doesn't mean that you have to give up on your garden; you just have to know what to plant! If you need more color, consider adding other elements to the garden to provide color.

There are several shade-loving perennials and annuals that you can add to your garden. While not all of the plants will flower, a mixture of several plants will provide texture and multiple shades of green. The combination of many shade-loving plants can be just as attractive as a garden filled with sunshine and flowers.


  • Old-fashioned bleeding heart
  • Hosta
  • Lungwort
  • Yellow Corydalis
  • Lamium
  • Hellebore
  • Astilbe
  • Monkshood
  • Japanese painted fern
  • Wild ginger
  • Japanese forest grass
  • Bigroot geranium


  • Impatiens
  • Coleus
  • Perilla
  • Browallia
  • Oxalis
  • Polka dot plant
  • Fuschia
  • Sweet potato vine
  • Lobelia
  • Viola
  • Balsam
  • Beefsteak plant

Accessorize your yard

Shady yards are often filled with shrubs and greenery, but there are several other ways to add color besides simply planting flowers. These options are relatively inexpensive and will provide color all year long unlike most flowers.

What to plant when sunshine is lacking

Amazon, $74.99

Metal flower stakes come in many varieties and can be found at most garden stores. Add the stakes to garden beds and any greenery that needs a pop of bright color. Try making your own out of recycled materials like soda pop cans.

What to plant when sunshine is lacking

Amazon, $28.61

Use fun accessories to dress up your yard. Add a little interest to your garden with unique planters and accessories. They don't necessarily have to be colorful; the touch of whimsy alone will help break up all the greenery.

What to plant when sunshine is lacking

Amazon, $94.99

Colorful flowerpots will add a pop of color and will last year after year. Fill them with fresh herbs, evergreens or annuals and place them around your yard for a burst of color. No need to spend a fortune on colored pots, buy some inexpensive terra-cotta pots and give them a bright coat of spray paint.

More gardening tips

Create a garden hummingbirds will love
Create a pest-free garden
Create a garden filled with butterflies

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