Six Hearty Perennials That Thrive in The Shade


Do you have a lot of shade in your garden? These six hearty perennials thrive in the shade, making them the perfect additions to your gorgeous garden.



Do you want to plant a garden in the shade? Hostas are your heroes! It is best to plant this shade perennial in the late summer to early fall. Note there are many varieties of hostas, so you have a lot of options for your garden. They do flower, but the primary attraction is their foliage.

The good news is that hostas do not require a lot of care and they last for quite a long time. For the most part, all you need to do is incorporate about an inch of compost in the spring before the shoots emerge, and water the plants regularly to keep the soil moist. They even take care of most weeds on their own!

However, you have to be wary of slugs near your hostas, particularly if you choose a variety with smooth leaves. Plant your hostas with other shade-loving plants, ideally colourful flowers to balance out the appearance.


Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart

Two popular varieties of bleeding heart perennials are the old-fashioned bleeding heart and the fern leaf bleeding heart. Regardless, this variety of perennial enjoys moist soil and regular watering. Before you plant the seeds, which you should do in the fall or spring rather than the summer, work in some compost.

Note that you should not remove any foliage before it changes to yellow or brown, as it is storing nutrients for the future. You may want to incorporate regular fertilization and time-release plant food to encourage a long bloom. To effectively divide the clumps of bleeding hearts every few years, dig up the roots carefully, remove any dead ones, and divide the rest into other shaded areas of your garden.


Toad Lily

Toad Lily

Plant your toad lily seeds in the late fall or early spring for the best results. Look for areas with light to moderate shade. Some morning sun, if they have enough moisture in the soil, is fine for this perennial. Plant the seeds three inches deep in rich, moist, and slightly acidic soil.

Remember to water them regularly and thoroughly, though they can tolerate some dryness when established in your shaded garden. If you see spotted leaves or brown edges, you need to water them more. The only major feeding they need is a decent amount of compost each spring.

Siberian Forget-Me-Not

Siberian Forget-me-not

This perennial enjoys moist soil with lots of organic mulch to help nourish it. If you want to have blooming Siberian forget-me-nots in the first season, be sure to plant the seeds in the fall. You should water them quite often when they are young. Once the plants are growing well, you can start to water them less (though still keep them moist). If you want your Siberian forget-me-nots to last longer, be sure to divide them every few years.


Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob's Ladder

This hearty perennial can start as a divided plant or directly from seeds. When planting from a seed, do so in the spring or fall. Divide Jacob’s Ladder every two to four years in the spring to make these perennials last longer. This flower grows the best in loose, rich, and moist soil. Make sure to water Jacob’s Ladder regularly, especially if you do not see a lot of rainfall. You can give them some fertilizer in early spring, but they do not require much maintenance in terms of feeding.


Solomon’s Seal

Solomon's Seal

Any garden in the shade, particularly if you want to include perennials, needs to have some Solomon’s Seal. This flower blooms with white bell-shaped blossoms, which later become bluish-black berries in late summer. Look for healthy Solomon’s Seal from a nursery or divided from a friend’s garden for the best results. Make sure to leave plenty of room for this perennial to spread when planting them in your shade garden. Water Solomon’s Seal regularly to keep the soil moist.


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