The Best Plants For Shaded Spaces

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Bleeding Hearts are absolutely gorgeous, and are surprisingly resilient in the shade! / Image: Adventures of KM&G-Morris via Flickr CC

Not all of us have the luxury of a big plot of land just begging to be turned into a lush garden. One of the best things about having a garden in the city is that big or small, you often have to get creative. Even the perfect patch of soil can be thwarted by the shade of neighboring buildings or too-close apartment complexes. Happily though, there are plenty of plants that do just fine in the shade. Here are some options that are just as great for full, lush home gardens as they are for a quaint, shaded patch:

Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart – Bleeding Hearts have always been one of my mother’s favorite plants. With their pink, heart-shaped blooms, they’re easily one of mine, too. Old-Fashioned Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) is also an excellent plant to grow in the shade, and because they can grow up to four feet tall, a great choice to show off your gardening skills.

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Hostas are among the heartiest of perennials. / Image: ripplestone garden via Flickr CC

Bigfoot Geranium – These plants are known for being some of the toughest, most low-maintenance ones around. They don’t mind extreme heat or draught, and they definitely don’t mind the shade. Bigfoot Geraniums have lovely little pink or white blossoms, and plenty of sturdy green leaves to keep your garden looking full and healthy.

Ajuga – Primarily grown for its superior groundcover and foliage, and its resilience against shade, Ajuga boasts glossy, dark green leaves and pops of blue flowers in the springtime. This plant grows only about 6 inches tall, but be warned: Ajuga is known to spread out quite a bit, so if you’re working with a really small space this might not be the best choice for you.

Hosta – As Better Homes and Gardens points out, “Hostas are among the showiest and easy-to-grow perennial plants that grow in the shade.” With different varieties to choose from, you can have a sprawling garden of Hostas, or a more contained grouping of the sturdy, leafy plant. It’s also worth noting that Hostas pair beautifully with Bleeding Hearts, making for an easy combination in your shaded garden.

What plants have you found to be great at thriving in the shade?

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About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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