The Best Shade Tolerant Plants

Your garden might not be in the prime position for sunlight, but that’s not to say that you can’t still enjoy plants there. You may also have a shaded corner of your garden that’s looking a little empty. This guide should help you to choose which plants are right for your shaded area, and won’t wither from the lack of light.


This shade-loving plant flowers in a variety of colours, including blue, gold and green. The clump forming herbaceous perennials are grown for their colours, so are sure to brighten up the shaded areas in your garden. They grow best in damp soil and require protection from slugs and snails which can be achieved through placing grit and broken egg shells around the base of the plant.

Elephant’s Ears- Bergenia

These strikingly coloured flowers (they turn a bright purple colour in winter) are guaranteed to add a pop of colour to your garden, despite the lack of sun. The hardy evergreen perennials flower during spring and are available in a wide range of colours and will grow perfectly well in most soils.

Lily of the Valley- Convallaria Majalis

The Lily of the Valley are perhaps one of the most famous shade-loving plants as they naturalise under trees and shrubs. The fresh green leaves and bright white flowers grow to form a beautiful dense carpet . In May, the delicate bell-shaped flowers will fill the garden with a pleasant fragrance, which is used in the perfume industry. These flowers can be planted either directly into soil or in pots.


This brightly coloured flowering plant will grow in most soils and is available in a variety of sizes (from 30cm to 6m!). They will grow best when sheltered from harsh winds, as the flowers can be delicate and will flower variably between January and August. The contrast of the colourful flowers with the rich green leaves make this plant and wonderful addition to any shaded garden.

Rose of Sharon- Hypercium Calycinum

This low-maintenance flowering plant makes perfect ground cover for your shaded garden area, but will grow equally well in part shade and even full sun. The exotic yellow flowers are sure to brighten up your garden, even when the sun is nowhere to be seen!


Not only will Hebes bring colour to your garden, they also attract butterflies, meaning they have a doubly positive effect. They will grow in most soils and only need protection from cold and drying winds in the winter months. This easy maintenance plant, grown for their wonderful foliage and gorgeous flowers is a great addition to any garden.

White Christmas Rose- Helleborus Niger

This stunning flower is ideal for a shaded garden, especially during winter. The hardy plant will flower mid-winter and the bright white flowers (growing up to 8cm in diameter) will show even in the frost and snow. The bright yellow hearts and dark green leaves work as a perfect pick-me-up in your sparse winter garden.

Do you know of any shade tolerant plants? Or perhaps you have tips on how to aid plants growth when the sun is in short supply! Let us know in the comments section!

[Photo Credit: jacki-dee]