Mothering Forum banner

Shade plants OTHER than Hostas (and bleeding hearts!)

1510 Views 21 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Emilie
Help - I have a smallish back yard that is quite shaddy. We resodded it, took out the dozens of hostas (that is all there were) and have a blank canvas now along the edges.

What are some good shade plants (perinal)? I am aware of hostas, bleeding hearts, hydrangas, and ferns. I am in the upper midwest - not sure what zone.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Columbines do well in partial shade. Violets are a nice shade loving ground cover. If you want edibles, currents and gooseberries both do well in shade.

Here's a list of shade plants.
I know you pulled them out, but I am a huge hosta fan. I am going to guess the ones you pulled are either the huge blue ones or the monster green ones... however, there are so many cool varieties with different color/size foliage and flowers. They are so easy to grow and require such little attention

How about columbine? Periwinkle? Do you want mainly flowers, foliage, creepers or upright plants? Does your yard get shade all year or just in full summer? If it gets a lot of light in the spring you could plant spring bulbs.
See less See more
Check out your native plant list for your area. Here in PA, all the best natives grow in shade including: columbines, trilliums, blue bells, jack in the pulpit, cinnamon ferns and more!

Your state DCNR should have a listing on their website.
See less See more
Seconding the PP's suggestion to check out native shade plants. I'm in the upper midwest, too, and some of my favorites are:

- Wild geranium
- Wood violets
- Trout lilies
- mayapples
- False Solomon's seal
- Wild ginger

And then there are some that aren't technically shade plants, but I've had good luck with them in shady areas that get a little sun:
- Prairie clover
- Golden alexander
- Blue-eyed Grass (so cute - this is an absolute fave of mine)

Also some fruits will do well with just a little sun:
- As the PP mentioned, currants and gooseberries should do fine
- Brambles (blackberries especially)
- Amelanchers
See less See more
I really like coleus.
I plant irish moss, soapwort, and mint. The mint doesn't grow as crazyin shade as it does in full sun.
Monarda, primrose, lily-of-the-valley, campanula, and astilbe all like the shade.

Oh - and I LOVE coleus, too. There are so many gorgeous varieties!!!!
lots of good suggestions....I also love toad lilies. They bloom late summer when a lot of other shade plants are done.
I have beautiful Iris in my almost completely shaded fron tflower bed.

Comfrey plants like part shade. What about a medicinal herb garden? Lots of them are shade lovers!
The ones that pop in my mind (and a couple have been mentioned, but I'll give them a second):
lily of the valley
blood root
shaggy manes (those are mushrooms...)
See less See more
I was just inhaling some of my Lily of Valley last spreads, but not aggressively in my area. It's a nice shade of green, too.
Seconding the astilbe suggestion. They are so beautiful, come in quite a few colors, and love shady spots.
My woodland poppy is doing great. Flowering now. Plus I agree with canadian ginger, very nice groundcover.
Lenten or Christmas rose is really nice and very low maintenance.
I'm going to third astilbe and fourth columbine. I like color is the shade, not just varying shades of green.

Have you checked out helebores? I love them but I don't have any shade.

Originally Posted by Rhiannon Feimorgan View Post
Columbines do well in partial shade. Violets are a nice shade loving ground cover. If you want edibles, currents and gooseberries both do well in shade.

Here's a list of shade plants.
What a great list! Thank you for posting that link, I need ideas for a deeply shaded area too...
See less See more
I just put in a lot of new beds in heavy shade - and almost all the plants mentioned have a place. Hostas can be great - but they need to be dug up and thinned (just chop up the root base to a smaller size and replant) and devided every so often. There are some cool looking varieties with nearly lemon yellow leaves, and tiny to giant in size.

There are several varieties of bleeding hearts - so you can get a different look. Also Helleborus, which I think several people have mentioned. There are many very cool varieties.

Violets seem to like my yard.

Moss can be quite nice, if you can encourage it to take hold

There are also many different varieties of ferns, so you can get more interesting ones than just the regular old green (e.g. Japanese painted ferns).

Trillium and jack in the pulpit, are both woodland shade plants.
Impatiens do really well in the shade as long as they get enough water. Begonias also do well. They are annuals here but I've brought in the Busy Lizzies (Impatiens) over the winter as houseplants and they flower throughout the year.
Windflowers are nice in the spring and do great under treas.

Coleus are easy and come in many varieties.

Begonia do well in partial shade/shade as well.

Astilbes also come to mind.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.