Shade Blooming Plants: 10 Seasonal Blooms For A Flowerbed In Shade

By Becca Badgett | May 2, 2020
by Becca Badgett
May 2, 2020

Adding a flowerbed to enliven the landscape doesn’t always end up in a spot with perfect conditions, but that’s okay. There are lots of ways to work around sunlight situations that aren’t exactly the best. If part of your new flowerbed location is in the shade, there are many options to add blooming color there. I’ll share some of my tips, along with great shade lovers to try.

Planning a Flowerbed in Shade

It’s important to determine how much sun your planting spot gets and how that will change once trees leaf out and the angles of the sun change with the seasons. Six hours of sun is considered full for planting requirements and less is considered partial shade. So, if your area changes from two hours of sun to three or vice-versa, flowers for part shade will still be fine.

Layer flowers according to their height, if desired, or plant them in clumps and clusters. The flowerbed planted in straight rows can look boring but may have a place in your landscape.

You’ll want something blooming at all times of the year when possible, so plan for it. There are lots of perennial flowers that tolerate shade and bloom when temperatures first warm in spring. Research the many varieties that bloom this time of year. Check by your zone and search for shade blooming plants for the particular season. Research each specimen before planting.

Shade Blooming Plants You’ll Love

Ready to get started? Here are my top 10 picks for seasonal flowers that tolerate shade:

  • HelleboreHellebore is an evergreen perennial with nodding pink blooms that become an attractive green. Great plants that tolerate partial shade conditions and bloom in early spring.
  • Anemone – The Grecian windflower, Anemone blanda, will tolerate some shade, though flowers best with more light and moist soil.
  • Wildflowers – Adding a partial shade wildflower mix is great for filling in shady spots between other flowers.
  • Bleeding heart – With white or pink and white hanging, heart-shaped flowers, bleeding heart plants (Dicentra) are a short-lived perennial and will take some shade well.
  • Brunnera – Another plant that needs shade and offers bright blue blooms, brunnera does best when planted in rich, moist soil.
  • Columbine – Great trumpet-shaped blooms that are favorite of hummingbirds, columbine will reseed when flowers are left on the plant.
  • Toad lily – Typically a fall-blooming shade plant, toad lily has speckled blooms and needs deep shade for optimum flowering. Plant a substantial clump of these in spring for early autumn beauty.
  • Autumn crocus – While the plant leafs out in spring, autumn crocus produces blooms in fall and tolerates shady conditions.
  • Japanese anemone – Star-shaped flowers make the Japanese anemone a showstopper in the garden.
  • AstilbeAstilbe is a favorite in the garden and blooms in white, red or pink. This beauty prefers moist partial shade.
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    Comment added June 1, 2020Reply

    Freezer and crocuses I also really love! Thanks for the helpful post.

  • Margaret CARDIFF
    Comment added May 9, 2020Reply

    Are Bay berries edible ? small red berries on a 10yr old culinary bay shrub

  • Margie Amason
    Comment added May 2, 2020Reply

    Thanks for the info. Question. I have a shrub that is not uniform, and I think it comes from the pittisporous family, namely, Japanese mock orange. But, it has never flowered. I've had it for years, I have even propagated it n came out fine, but no flowers. Can someone help me. I'll send a photo. Thanks margie

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