Top 4 Shade Plants

Looking for the best plants to fill out shady areas of your garden? Find out what will thrive in our area.

Many of the most popular plants are sun loving, but when you have a shady area, those plants are not going to thrive.

Patch asked Peter Brindle from in Wayne for the best shade loving plants for the growing zone that includes southeastern Pennsylvania.

Hydrangea (climbing hydrangea): Many people are familiar with the Hydrangea shrub characterized by their large flower heads in white, pink, and red. However, in an acidic soil you will also see blue flower heads. The green foliage works well as a foundation plant or accent in a flower garden. It also does well in potted containers for patios and decks. Hydrangea plants grow well in partial sun or shaded areas with a moist soil. Climbing Hydrangea has creamy-white flat-topped buds in summer. This climbing vine is a slow growing groundcover. Its dense, glossy foliage gives a three-dimensional look to walls, columns, and often used to cover wooden posts or fences. This plant will need to be kept trimmed to keep it from overgrowing the area.

Wild Ginger or Assarum Canadensis: The leaves of plant have a spicy ginger fragrance when crushed, but shouldn't be eaten. However, the roots are edible and can be used as a flavoring like ginger. This spring wildflower has satiny, heart-shaped leaves with purplish brown flowers that grow beneath the leaves in spring. This plant grows best in full to occasional shade in a moist soil. It is best used as edging bordering walkways or as groundcover.

Sweet Woodruff  or Gallium Odoratum: This plant has a fresh mowed grass scent when crushed and grows well in partial shade to full shage in a moist soil. It has bright green leaves and is best used as ground cover or edging. An attractive feature about this ground cover is that it sprouts white blossoms in mid-spring.

Hakonechloa Macra: This shade plant shows its best side in shaded areas with its vivid colors and its calming movement in a breeze. It is sometimes referred to as an ornamental grass, which is ideal for groundcover or bordering a walkway. It also grows well in a potted container on a patio in a moist soil.

What shade loving plants have you had success with in your garden? Tell us in the comments.


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