Discover The Top Landscaping Plants For Shade And Sun

Shade gardens are all the rage these days, and for good reason. They add a lot of interest (and shade) to your yard without taking up too much space. 

They’re also easy to maintain and have the added benefit of attracting birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to your garden. 

If you’re looking for some ideas on how to create your own shade garden but aren’t sure what plants will work best in this environment, then check out this list!

Shade Loving Plants for Color and Texture!
1. Landscaping plants can elevate your outdoor space and bring it to life.
2. Choosing the right plants can be a daunting task, but there are many resources available to help guide you.
3. A landscape renovation requires careful planning, assessment, and attention to detail.
4. Including a water feature in your outdoor space not only adds aesthetic appeal but can also have many benefits.
5. Xeriscaping is a great way to conserve water and still have a beautiful landscape.


Hostas, which are shade-tolerant plants and easy to grow, are also low-maintenance plants that are good for the environment. 

They’re also a favorite among gardeners and landscapers alike and that’s because they can serve as excellent ground cover, add color to your garden or yard, and even help attract birds!

If you’re looking to elevate your garden to the next level, take a look at our guide on 10 Must-Have Landscaping Plants for inspiration. With a wide variety of plants that can thrive in different environments and climates, you’re sure to find something that will bring your outdoor space to life.


Camellias are a popular flowering shrub that thrive in both shade and sun. They’re easy to maintain, making them an excellent choice for gardeners of all levels. A long-lasting bloomer with stunning blooms of white, pink, red or purple flowers, the camellia is quick to adapt to new situations and grows at a slow pace.

ProductFlower ColorBloom TimeDescription
Shishi GashiraPinkLate Fall to Early WinterLow-growing, compact habit with masses of small, double pink blooms
YuletideRedLate Fall to Early WinterCompact shrub with vivid red, single blooms and glossy foliage
April RememberedWhiteLate Winter to Early SpringLarge, semi-double blooms with wavy petals and bright yellow centers
Black TieDeep RedLate Winter to Early SpringFormal double blooms with ruffled petals on a compact, upright shrub
Pink IciclePinkLate Winter to Early SpringSemi-double, pink blooms with contrasting yellow stamens and dark green, glossy foliage
Nuccio’s Bella RossaDeep PinkMid to Late WinterLarge, showy blooms with pink petals and a creamy white center

Note: The above products are examples and may not be available in all areas. Please consult with a local nursery or garden center for additional camellia options.


If you’re looking for a plant that will make your garden smell wonderful and thrive in the shade, then lavender is a good choice. Lavender is also drought resistant and easy to grow, making it an attractive option for those with less experience with gardening.

Lavender plants can be used as borders around beds or in containers on patios or porches. They are deer resistant, so they can safely be planted near vegetable gardens without fear of being eaten by deer.


Peonies are a very popular plant, and for good reason. They’re easy to care for and beautiful flowers that last a long time. In addition to being stunning in their own right, peonies provide a wonderful habitat for pollinators like bees and butterflies.

If your goal is to have a garden that attracts birds and other wildlife, then it’s hard to go wrong with peonies!

Choosing the right plants for your landscape can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Landscaping Plants for Your Yard. With practical advice on everything from soil type to sun exposure, you’ll be able to create your dream garden in no time.


Hydrangeas are one of the best plants for shady areas. They’re easy to grow, making them a great choice for new gardeners and beginners alike. Hydrangeas come in many different varieties and colours, so there is a hydrangea just waiting for you!

Drought tolerant, these lovely flowers also have long-lasting blooms that will keep your garden looking beautiful all season long.


Ferns are perennials that can be grown both in shade and in full sun. They are easy to grow, low maintenance and have a wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes. Ferns grow best in moist soil with plenty of organic matter for good drainage. 

The best fern varieties for growing under trees or other shady areas include Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), hardy mountain holly (Polystichum angustifolium), maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes), royal fern (Osmunda regalis) or resurrection fern (Polypodium polypodioides).

Autumn FernBronze-colored new growth turning to dark green, thriving in shade or part sun
Japanese Painted FernSilver or red-bronze fronds with green edges, ideal for shade gardens
Lady FernBright green, lacy fronds with a bushy growth habit, tolerates some sun
Western Sword FernLarge, robust fronds and tolerance for dry soil conditions, great for mass planting
Kimberly Queen FernUpright, glossy fronds up to 3 feet tall, perfect for container gardening
Boston FernClassic favorite with long, graceful fronds and tolerance for low light conditions

Note: The above products are examples and may not be available in all areas. Please consult with a local nursery or garden center for additional fern options.


Astilbe is a shade-loving perennial that’s easy to grow and maintain. This flowering plant forms clumps of arching stems with medium green leaves, which produce showy pink and white flowers in the summer. 

You can grow Astilbe in partial shade or full sun, as long as you give it well-draining soil and plenty of water during hot days.

If you’re considering a landscape renovation, there’s a lot to think about before you begin. Our Ultimate Guide to Landscape Renovation provides an in-depth look at the process of updating your outdoor space, from assessing the area to choosing the right plants and hardscaping elements. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional, this guide has everything you need to know.


Sedum is a common name for many succulent plants. The genus Sedum is part of the Crassulaceae family, known as “stonecrops.” 

Some of these plants are native to Europe and North America, but many more come from other parts of the world. Sedum plants are generally very easy to grow and maintain their beauty over time because they do not need frequent watering or fertilization.

Sedums make excellent additions to your home landscaping because they’re drought tolerant and can withstand low light conditions well. They can also be grown indoors if you have enough space!


Pansies are a good choice for shade. They grow well in pots and have an abundance of colors, making them great for beginner gardeners as they tend to be easy to care for.

Pansy plants are generally small and produce beautiful flowers that will brighten up your home or yard. They can also be used as cut flowers in bouquets or arrangements.

Delta Pure YellowVibrant yellow blooming pansy with a compact, mounded habit
Cool Wave MixVersatile trailing pansy series with vibrant colors
Fizzy PeachUnique peachy-orange blooms with dark contrasting centers
Matrix OceanLarge, velvety blooms in rich shades of blue
Inspire Plus RaspberryCompact and early blooming with pink and purple flowers
Matrix MorpheusMulticolored blooms in shades of purple, yellow, and white

Note: The above products are examples and may not be available in all areas. Please consult with a local nursery or garden center for additional pansy options.

English Ivy

English ivy is a great groundcover, but it can also be trained up a wall or trellis. It grows well in shady areas and thrives on neglect. This versatile plant is easy to grow and propagate, making it the perfect choice if your time and energy are limited.

English ivy is a perennial plant that can be grown from cuttings, so you don’t have to worry about pollenizing the flowers with bees (although they do look pretty). And while they won’t flower until they’re at least two years old, once they start blooming they’ll put on quite an impressive show!

Including a water feature in your landscaping can do wonders for the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. But did you know there are also a multitude of benefits associated with incorporating water into your landscape? Check out our guide on The Benefits of Incorporating a Water Feature to learn more about how a water feature can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and provide a habitat for wildlife.


Dianthus is a low maintenance flower that can be grown in full sun or partial shade. It makes a good choice for rock gardens and borders, as well as massing in the landscape. Dianthus blooms all summer long and can bloom even when growing in partial shade. It’s deer resistant, too!


Hollyhocks thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9.

You can grow them indoors or outdoors, but they’re usually planted as background plants because their height and size can be overpowering if you don’t give them space to breathe.

Most hollyhocks reach about 4 to 6 feet in height and width, but some varieties can get much taller than that.

Plant hollyhocks before the last frost of spring in a sunny spot with average soil conditions (they don’t like rich or heavy soils). Water them regularly until they’re established; then once every week or two should be sufficient to keep them happy until they flower around the middle of summer. 

After blooming, cut back on watering so the bulbs have time to recover before next year’s growth begins in late spring/early summer—and make sure not to let any foliage get browned from drying out too much!

Want to conserve water and still have a beautiful landscape? Xeriscaping might be the right choice for you. Our guide on Xeriscaping Ideas provides innovative and creative ways to save water and beautify your landscape at the same time. With tips on soil preparation, plant selection, and irrigation systems, you’ll be able to create a low-maintenance and water-efficient landscape that meets your needs.


Hopefully, we’ve given you a good idea of what to plant in your shade garden. Remember that the best plants for shade are those that will thrive with little maintenance and flourish with little water. 

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of flowers, shrubs or trees! If you know someone who is looking for advice on landscaping plants for their garden, please share this article with them!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources on landscaping and plants that you may find helpful:

18 Shade-Loving Plants for Your Garden – This article from House Beautiful highlights 18 different plants that do well in shady areas, including ferns, hostas, and bleeding hearts.

Shade Garden Ideas: Plants That Don’t Need Much Sun – Learn about a variety of shade-loving plants and how to incorporate them into your garden with ideas from Garden Design.

10 of the best shade loving plants to try in your garden – Homes & Gardens provides an in-depth look at 10 different types of shade-loving plants, including hydrangeas, Astilbe, and heuchera.


What are the best plants for landscaping?

The best plants for landscaping depend on a variety of factors, including the amount of sun exposure, soil type, and climate conditions. Consult with a local nursery or landscaper to determine which plants will thrive in your specific environment.

How do I choose the right plants for my yard?

Choosing the right plants for your yard involves evaluating the sun exposure, soil type, and existing landscaping features. Consider consulting with a professional to determine which plants will thrive in your specific environment.

What is xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping is a landscaping method that involves using plants and hardscape features that require minimal water to maintain. This technique promotes conservation of water resources, making it an excellent option in areas with low rainfall or water restrictions.

How can I conserve water in my landscaping?

Some ways to conserve water in landscaping include choosing drought-tolerant plants, using mulch and compost to retain moisture in the soil, and installing drip irrigation systems.

Can I include water features in my drought-tolerant landscape?

Yes, incorporating water features in a drought-tolerant landscape is possible, especially if the water is recycled through a pondless system or rainwater harvesting. Consult with a professional to assess your water feature options.