shade flowers

Top Plants and Flowers That Grow in Shade for Your Garden

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When you think about a garden, you might picture a patch of land basking in the sunlight, but not all gardens require full sun. In fact, there are many plant varieties that require more shade than they do sunlight, and would not grow well with full sun exposure.

If you have a shady area that you’re looking to spruce up, some shade-loving flowers may be a good addition. Or, if you’re looking to fill a shady section of your garden, there are plenty of shade tolerant plants and vegetables that thrive in the shade as well. 

shade tolerant plants

Shade-Loving Perennial and Annual Flowers

When it comes to finding some flowers for shade to add to a shady section of your property, you really have a lot of options to choose from. Here are some great options that will thrive with little sunlight!


Alyssum grows well in partially-shaded areas which means that it can get up to four hours of direct sunlight a day. Alyssum comes in a few different color varieties including white, shades of purple, and shades of pink. Alyssum does well as a ground cover and will create nice patches of flowers in your shaded flower garden.  


white pink begonia

As one of those annuals that grow in shade, begonias are fairly adaptable flowers when it comes to sunlight requirements. These flowers can grow in full shade, partial shade, and full sun if needed. Begonias generally come in white, red, and pink for the blossoms, and green and red for the foliage.  


Impatiens come in a wide variety of colors, making them a great choice if you’re trying to match a color scheme in your shaded flower garden. Some common colors include white, red, pink, orange, purple, and yellow. Impatiens will grow well in either full shade or partial shade and have a long blooming season.


Lobelia flowers bloom the best in cooler months but not too cool and may require shade to keep them at their optimal temperature. Even in the shade, these flowers may stop blooming if the temperature rises too high in the summer. Once the temperature starts to cool back down, they should resume blooming.

Bleeding Heart

red bleeding heart

As one of those shade loving perennials, bleeding hearts are another flower that will actually bloom best in cooler temperatures.

If you live somewhere with warm summers, a nice shaded location is ideal for your bleeding heart flowers. The shade will keep them cool for a longer period of time, translating into a longer blooming window.  

Lily of the Valley

lily of the valley

Lily of the Valley flowers are fairly adaptable and can grow in many different climate settings.  They do, however, prefer a partially-shaded location where they can stay cool.

For the Lily of the Valley, moisture control is more important than the amount of sun it receives, meaning that as long as you keep your soil properly moist, it should thrive in your shaded areas.

Vegetables That Grow in Shade

Sections of your garden that are shaded should not be counted out; there are plenty of options when it comes to vegetables that grow in the shade. 

There is an even larger number of vegetables that tolerate shade, but some actually require it for various reasons.  


When it comes to lettuce, there is a good reason to keep it growing in the shade. If temperatures get too warm, the plant will go to seed and end the harvesting window.

Keeping your lettuce plants in the shade will help to keep them cool, lengthening your harvesting season. Lettuce actually grows better in cooler seasons, but if you want to get it started in the summer months, a heavily-shaded area is the place to grow it.  


Broccoli is another plant that grows best in the shade. Broccoli plants are actually flowering, and if temperatures get too warm, it will speed up the blooming process.

Keeping broccoli growing in the shade will delay blooming. Once broccoli blooms, it becomes bitter and is no longer great to eat.  


Arugula is another plant that grows best in the cooler seasons. Planting arugula in a heavily-shaded area in your garden will help to extend its harvest window. Delaying the harvest window will result in more produce each season.  


Shade plays an important factor when it comes to the quality of your kale produce. Yet another cool-season crop, your kale will become bitter and tough if grown in weather that is too warm.  To help keep your kale plants cool in the summer months, planting it in a shaded area of your garden is a must.


Similar to the broccoli plant, cauliflower heads will start to bloom into small flowers if not harvested early enough.

Growing cauliflower in a partially-shaded area will slow its growth and keep the flowers from blooming too early. Once the flowers bloom, the cauliflower heads are no longer able to be harvested, so paying close attention to the growing patterns is important for good production.  


Celery can be a tricky crop to grow because it is slow-growing and temperature-sensitive.  Growing celery in a partial-shade environment is crucial for good produce. 

If the celery plant gets too warm the stalks will become hollow, and the produce will lose quality.  The negative to growing in the shade is that your celery may produce smaller stalks, but small stalks are better than no stalks!  

Why Some Plants Grow Better in the Shade

There are a number of reasons as to why some plants grow better in the shade than they would in direct sunlight. Many popular vegetables that are grown throughout the country actually thrive in cooler climates, so to help acclimate them to the warmer months, providing shade is a must.  

Some plants do not necessarily need to be in the shade to thrive but have the capacity to.  Some plants have large broad leaves that are apt for absorbing sunlight. Plants that don’t require much sunlight are energy efficient. These plants make the most of the sunlight they do receive so they don’t need the constant sunlight. 

We hope you enjoy reading our list of the best flowers that grow in shade. For more flowers to grow in your garden. Check our list of common types of flowers.

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