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Best Perennial Shade Plants For Your Shade Garden

Choosing the best perennial shade plants for your shade garden can sometimes be a challenging task. Many shaded areas of the landscape have moist to slightly damp soil and very little sunlight.  While this will limit your selection of what plants will not only grow, but also thrive in these conditions.


Select plants from this perennial plants list, and your shaded garden area is sure to become one of your favorite parts of your landscape. 


For shade gardens with moist soil, plant an assortment of fernsAutumn Brilliance Ferns are evergreen with green to bronze foliage to brighten up dark areas. Larger growing ferns, like the Cinnamon and Royal ferns can add a tropical feel. The Ostrich fern is known for its edible fiddleheads, which to many is considered a culinary delicacy. For a low growing ground cover, plant the Arborvitae fern.


A favorite of perennial shade plants is the Hosta. The Golden Tiara hosta produces beautiful foliage of lime green with lighter golden green edging.  Hosta Patriot is a variegated green leaf hosta with creamy white outer margins. For large spaces, plant the Sum and Substance and be amazed with its huge blue green leaves. If you’re limited in shaded space, the Blue Mouse Ears hosta is a tight low growing variety that will grow nicely along the garden edge.


There are many natives that can be added to your perennial plants list for your shade garden.  A good choice, especially if you are a beginning gardener, is the heuchera or coral bells, as they’re commonly called. Bright leafed heucheras are the Electric Lime, Southern Comfort, Georgia Peach and Cajun Fire. These evergreen perennial plants are long-lived and colorful additions.


The Lenten Rose or Hellebore is another evergreen perennial that adores lightly shaded areas. Plants this tough garden plant and enjoy the beautiful blooms produced in late winter to mid spring. Hellebores bloom at a time of the year when little else is in color.


Add these shade loving plants to your perennial plants list as choice plants to begin your shade garden. As your garden plants grow, you will want to fill in blank spaces. Feel comfortable in testing plants for the area, too.


Finding the best perennial shade plants for your shade garden is an ongoing process. Plant plants that you enjoy watching grow and appreciate how they add character to an otherwise dark garden area.