12 Perennials that Love Shade to Brighten Your Garden

Many gardeners look forward to seeing their perennials bloom once more each spring. The blossoms put on a stunning display that gives your landscape seasonal interest and draws beneficial pollinators.

Hosta, which is renowned for its stunning, striking leaves, also produces tiny, lily-shaped blossoms in shades of white or purple. According to Adrienne Roethling, garden director at the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, there are numerous variegated variants, some of which have remarkable streaks or flawless markings.


This hellebore cultivar develops lovely, double cup-shaped purple to black blooms and is an attractive evergreen that grows in a bushy, upright clump.

Odyssey Hellebore Onyx

While many phlox species may tolerate some shade, forest phlox is one of the most popular types.

Forest Phlox

Your garden will have year-round interest thanks to autumn fern. In the garden, its erect, V-shaped habit makes it a fantastic form, especially when combined with a striking hosta, according to Roethling.

Fall Fern

Nowadays, epimediums, also known as barrenwort, are a common shade-loving perennial, but Sandy Claws is a favourite due to its leaves, which becomes a stunning maroon in the winter.

Sandy Claws of the Barrenwort

The Virginia bluebell is a native of the Eastern United States, which extends west to the centre of the continent.

Bluebells of Virginia

When properly tended for, Japanese painted fern can last the entire season, unlike many perennials that only provide interest for a few weeks.

fern painted in Japanese

There are numerous shades of orange, red, pink, white, and even yellow in columbines. In a shady garden, any type will work, but if you need ideas, go to Corbett.


Phacelia, a plant native to the southeastern United States that self-sows freely once planted in your garden, is excellent for filling in gaps in your landscape.


A beautiful perennial, maidenhair fern thrives in regions of your garden that receive a lot of shadow.

Maidenhair Fer from the North

This tiny climber will give colour to your landscape after most other perennials have finished blooming for the year because it is one of the newest native plants in the garden to do so.


Green-and-gold is a shade-loving species of ground cover that is simple to grow. Ground covers are a low maintenance solution to fill in gaps in your garden.


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