Plants to grow in shaded areas

Plants to grow in shaded areas

A common question we get asked in the garden centre is suggestions for plants that will grow well in shaded areas of the garden and thankfully there are quite a few choices that can add colour and drama to a shaded area. We can have different scenarios of shade - partial or dappled shade, shade in dry conditions perhaps from a large tree, a shed or hedge, perhaps shaded damp areas. Also we might have different requirements - climbing plants for shaded situations, ground cover plants or maybe plants to enhance a front door area that is shaded for part of the day. I’ve picked out a few of my own favorites for different requirements that should solve any problems you might have. Firstly I’d always recommend to improve the soil by digging in some well rotted farmyard manure and compost to give your plants the best foundation for growing in and particularly important for dry ground that might suffer from competition from large overhanging trees or hedges, so focus on conditioning the soil as best you can. 

A real favorite for some partial or dappled shade is the native Foxgloves or Digitalis Purpurea - very adaptable plant that will grow in sun or partial shade, they’ve beautiful tall flower spikes with tubular flowers that range in colours of white, pinks and purples and loved by bees, it’s hardy and comes back every year flowering all Summer. It self seeds, so you can look forward to having a few new plants each year and will tolerate exposed conditions. Aquilegias, sometimes called Granny's Bonnet are another great perennial for a shady position.They come in colours of white, pinks, yellows, reds and blues - easy to grow, will also self seed, and are a lovely old cottage garden style plant. Give them a mulch of Gee up manure or farmyard manure and they’ll thrive for you.

For ground cover situations Pulmonaria or Lungwort is a super choice, they’ve beautiful foliage and funnel shaped flowers - mostly seen in blue, but also pinks, purples, red and white. If you’re looking for a climbing plant for a north or east facing wall or fence there are some nice options to add interest, fragrance and flowers - one to consider is Honeysuckle Lonicera 'Serotina' - lovely fragrant flowers, good for wildlife and easy to grow. It will need support, a trellis or some climbing plant supports. Star Jasmine or Trachelospermum jasminoides has beautiful star shaped white flowers that also have a nice fragrance - also needs support and just a small bit of sunlight - a fantastic evergreen climber - make sure to keep it well watered. Also consider some variegated ivies - self clinging  climbing plants - great for a splash of colour. For shrubs that are happy to grow in shaded areas Sarcococca or Christmas Box is an excellent choice and will even grow in full shade - lovely sweetly scented white flowers in Winter. Spotted Laurel or Aucuba has glossy green leaves with yellow speckles and red berries in Autumn - very easy to grow and evergreen The beautiful architectural leaves of Fatsia japonica or Castor Oil plant is a great shrub for shaded areas - looks great in beds or containers at the front door. For hedging plants Portuguese laurel and common laurel will do well in shade or Box plants, Buxus, or Viburnum are all great evergreen plants to grow.

For pots and containers Impatiens - either New Guinea Bizzy Lizzies or the bedding bizzy lizzies perform well in shaded areas, along with violas & begoinias

A few more plants to mention in brief include Hostas, Daphnes, Vinca, Choisya, Holly and varieties of Hydrangea. So as you can see if you have different situations in the garden that are in shaded areas there are lots of choices and solutions that will do well for you.

Back to blog