The 12 Best Plants for a Shade Garden

Every gardener loves the sun. Roses, daises, lavender, and milkweed all thrive in sunshine.

However, just because you’ve got a shady yard doesn’t mean it’s doomed to be dull. Keep reading to learn about our favorite shade-loving plants.


Hostas are the first plants everyone thinks of when it comes to the shade, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. There are more than 2,500 named cultivars, ranging from petite to mammoth varieties, to choose for your yard.


Ferns, like hosta, are some of the best foliage plants. They come in many shades, textures, and sizes. Check out the maidenhair ferns with mounds of fine textured light and dark green foliage on their thin black stems. They typically grows 1 to 3 feet tall.

Bleeding Heart

One of the most beloved perennials is bleeding heart. Bleeding heart grows 10 to 18 inches tall and boasts clusters of pink heart-shaped flowers growing on ferny blue green foliage.

Wild Cranesbill

Wild cranesbill grows 1 to 2 feet tall with clusters of pink flowers over starry rounded leaves. Blooms in late spring.

Solomon’s Seal

For a taller variety of shade plant, try Solomon’s seal. Growing up to 7 feet tall, the greenish white bell-shaped clusters hang from arched stems with oval green leaves. Flowers are followed by red and white speckled fruit in late summer.

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s ladder has clusters of deep blue bell-shaped flowers on top of succulent stems with fernlike foliage. This plant grows 8 to 16 inches tall.


Astilbe, also called false spirea, is a regal plant with airy plumes of densely packed tiny flowers. They vary in size from 5 to 24 inches, and can be different colors ranging from red, rose, magenta, pink, lavender, lilac, cream, and white. This plant does well in the shade or sun.

Coral Bells

Another plant that can grow in the sun or shade is coral bells. Coral bells has lovely foliage topped with clusters of airy white, pink, or red flowers. Most are around 12 inches tall.


Lamium, also called dead nettle, is a creeping groundcover with silver-mottled or striped leaves and tiny 1-inch rose-pink flowers. With its silvery leaves, this plant can really brighten up the shadiest spots.

Stella de Oro Day Lily

Stella de oro day lily is a perennial favorite that grows up to 2 feet tall. It has trumpet-shaped golden yellow flowers atop dark green leaves.


This striking 2-to-3 foot tall plant has spikes of soft yellow tubular flowers with dense rosettes of broad green leaves. An added bonus, foxglove are deer resistant.

Shade Garden Plants and StorageMart

A full garage is a sign of a good life because it means you have lots of outdoor hobbies.

If you find yourself running out of room, consider self storage as a solution. At StorageMart, we offer self storage units that can be rented on a month-by-month basis. Check out our storage unit guide  to find the ideal place for your lawn and gardening equipment.

It’s fast and easy to rent a storage unit, as well as a lot more affordable than buying a new home with more garage space. Contact us to rent a unit online today or for more information.