10 Best Shade-Loving Plants That Will Add Texture to Your Garden

In many of our gardens, structures and tall trees can hinder the growth of various plants which require a good amount of sunlight. This issue can sometimes discourage homeowners from adding flowers and shrubs into their outdoor space, but we’ve got you covered with our top shade-loving plants! Another alternative is a greenhouse, which will naturally regulate heat and provide weather protection as necessary.

These plants will thrive in your lesser lit areas and will provide a cool contrast and subtle detail into your garden.

Here is our garden experts’ top list of plants that thrive in the shade:

1. Hydrangea


Known to be resilient and tough, hydrangeas are one of the shade-loving plants which will provide your garden with a reliable summer glow, despite being beneath trees and other shady areas. Coming in a variety of sizes and forms, this plant is low maintenance and bears huge, flattened blooms which can range from white and pink, to purple and blue hues. They must be grown in moist but well-drained soil.

2. Hardy Geraniums


Even in dry shade, hardy geraniums do well in the garden. Its G. endressii and G. x oxonianum varieties are a great option, though they tend to self-seed freely and can be pretty sprawling . The G. macrorrhizum, G. phaeum, and G. Versicolor, on the other hand, are suitable as ground-cover plants in full or partial shade.

Scented geraniums are also one of the best natural alternatives to air fresheners you can grow indoors. There are actually a number of different plants and crops that can be easily grown indoors!

3. Rubella Plant


This evergreen can help light up any shady part of the garden in winter and spring. However, you need to plant it in acidic soil or in a container of ericaceous compost. The rubella plant blooms rich redbuds from winter to spring, which will then unveil clusters of beautiful white flowers that bring a sweet, strong scent.

4. Welsh Poppy


The Meconopsis Cambrica, also known as the Welsh poppy, is one of the shade-loving plants that can add a touch of cheerfulness into your borders and edges of paths. It grows in damp and shady conditions, providing a natural display of colour throughout summer when planted in woodland borders.

Other poppy varieties also belong to the list of the fastest-growing flower seeds you can plant in the garden.

5. Cyclamen


Flowering before the summer ends, the Cyclamen Hederifolium blooms light pink flowers that appear beautifully before its marbled leaves, which appear in autumn. When the leaves of various perennials have died back in autumn and winter, this plant can add fresh foliage into your garden, being considered as one of the best plants that make your outdoor space bloom in autumn.

6. Persicaria Virginiana or ‘Lance Corporal’


Surviving in both partial or full shade, the Lance Corporal plant’s bright green leaves come in striking dark chevron markings. They can add texture into your garden aside from lush foliage and bright flowers. This plant grows best in moisture-retentive soil, but can also survive in dry shade and can self-seed at times.

7. New England Aster


If you want to welcome late colour into your garden this Autumn, you can grow New England asters which survive in semi-shaded spots. This perennial is more mildew-resistant than other varieties of New York asters. Their blooms feature a range of soft hues, some common colours are the light ‘Harrington’s Pink’ and the lilac ‘Purple Dome’.

8. Ferns


Ferns, of which many varieties are evergreens, can be a great addition to your garden. They feature a wide range of shapes and sizes, and they happily grow in shaded areas. Some of its most common species include the shiny-leaved Asplenium, the tough Polystichum, and the moisture-loving Osmunda regalis.

In fact, they are also widely grown as an indoor plant. The Boston fern is considered as one of the best air-purifying houseplants.

9. Melica Uniflora

Known as the “quietly attractive” deciduous native grass, this shade-loving plant can grow in woodlands, on shady banks, and even in alkaline soils. Melica unifloras forms upright clumps with stems of dainty rice-like flowers. Once established, this plant will self-seed quickly.

10. Astrantia


Popular for being a perennial plant for herbaceous borders, astrantias grow well in the damp ground at the edge of woodlands. In similar conditions, this plant will also do great in the garden. It loves moisture-retentive soil for healthy growth.

Consider these top shade-loving plants and enjoy a blooming and luscious garden with little maintenance! Check out more of our helpful gardening articles on our blog site. If you’re in need of any potting sheds or greenhouses to grow the plant species you love, shop through our range of designs too!