36 Ornamental Plants for Shade | Plants that Do Well in Shade

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Want to grow beautiful plants in the shaded spot of your home or garden? These exclusive Ornamental Plants for Shade will do just fine!

Not all homes enjoy full sunlight. If you too have a spot at your home or garden that looks gloomy in the shade, then don’t worry! These Ornamental Plants for Shade are going to thrive in dappled sunlight and will look at their best all year round!

Check out our article on shade-loving shrubs here

Ornamental Plants for Shade

1 Bush Lily

Ornamental Plants for Shade

Botanical Name: Clivia miniata

USDA Zones: 9-11

Bush lilies are evergreen plants that produce large clumps of funnel-shaped, orange flowers nestled in dense clusters of green, strap-like leaves. This plant desires dappled shade and protection from the direct sun to live up to its full potential. Perfect for shady spots and you can also grow it as a houseplant.

2. Japanese Maple

Botanical Name: Acer palmatum

USDA Zones: 5-9

There are several dwarf to semi-dwarf varieties of Japanese maple that grow remarkably well in pots. And not just that, varieties like Mikawa Yatsubusa, Murasaki Kiyohime, and Viridis can grow in a shady space too, albeit with a few hours of sunlight.

3. Hellebore

Ornamental Plants for Shade 2

Botanical Name: Helleborus

USDA Zones: 4-9

A perennial plant with stunning flowers, Hellebore is a welcome sight during those gloomy days of late winter and early spring. Prized for its striking foliage, hellebores prefers semi-shaded spot. Growing hellebore in containers indoors is also possible.

4. Purple Pixie

Botanical Name: Loropetalum ‘Purple Pixie’

USDA Zones: 7-10

With its compact size and weeping habit, Purple Pixie is exactly the plant you need for your container garden. This versatile, low-maintenance dwarf shrub bears rich purple foliage. Grow it in window boxes and hanging baskets to add a vibrant pop of color with other plants.

5. Japanese Sedge

Ornamental Plants for Shade 3

Botanical Name: Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’

USDA Zones: 8-9

Everillo ticks all the boxes for a low-maintenance, shade-tolerant plant that doesn’t disappoint in terms of appearance either. It sports lime green foliage all year round and grows up to one-and-a-half feet tall. It demands less and thrives happily as long as you supply it with regular water.

6. Impatiens

Botanical Name: Impatiens

USDA Zones: 9-11

Highly valued for their multi-petaled, rose-like blooms, double impatiens offer a sizzling array of color choices, such as pink, purple, red, lavender, and lilac, to name a few. Just place them in a well-drained potting soil indoors in dappled sunlight and water them regularly, that’s all.

7. Primrose

Ornamental Plants for Shade 4

Botanical Name: Primula vulgaris

USDA Zones:

Primrose has striking foliage arranged in a rosette form. While this plant has adapted to alpine climates around the world, it grows well in practically any setting, provided it’s well-watered. It also requires protection from direct sunlight, making it a great choice for growing in containers indoors.

8. Aureola a.k.a Japanese Forest Grass

Botanical Name: Hakonechloa

USDA Zones: 5-9

A slow-growing, semi-evergreen shade-lover, Aureola flaunts intriguing variegated golden leaves with green stripes that give this forest grass its unique appearance. The shade plays a vital role in promoting the brilliant chartreuse color that characterizes its look.

9. Coleus

Ornamental Plants for Shade 5

Botanical Name: Plectranthus scutellarioides

USDA Zones: 9-11

Coleus comes in many colors. Even the leaf shapes are striking and varied that do justice to its flowers. Being a shade-tolerant plant, coleus is not fussy at all and doesn’t demand anything apart from regular watering, making it one of the best Ornamental Plants for Shade.

10. Persian Shield

Botanical Name: Strobilanthes dyerianus

USDA Zones: 8-11

Persian Shield is mainly prized for its dark green leaves marked by luminous purple stripes and silver borders. While Persian Shield might prefer a wee bit of sun, it does surprisingly well in the shade as well. This makes it perfect for growing indoors.

11. Oxalis

Ornamental Plants for Shade 6

Botanical Name: Oxalidaceae

USDA Zones: 5-9

Characterized by dainty, starry flowers, and pinwheel foliage, oxalis is a gorgeous plant that stays beautiful every season. You can grow it in a planter with fuchsia or torenia and place it in your drawing room. This plant thrives in the shade and does well in moist, well-draining soil.

12. Ornamental Asparagus

Botanical Name: Asparagus setaceus

USDA Zones: 8-11

With sprawling fern-like growth and compact structure that thrives best in partial shade and cool temperatures, ornamental asparagus is a hardy and elegant-looking plant that is great for growing in containers. Its low-maintenance nature makes it a win-win all the way for apartment-dwellers and novice gardeners alike!

13. Mona Lavender

Ornamental Plants for Shade 7

Botanical Name: Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’

USDA Zones: 9-11

With lush green, glossy leaves, and lavender blooms, this fast-growing perennial shrub is an absolute shade-lover and a delight to grow indoors. Despite being a delicate perennial, it tolerates light frost surprisingly well. Few shade-lovers bloom so dependably year-round and fewer still are as fun to grow as Mona Lavender!

14. Creeping Jenny

Botanical Name: Lysimachia nummularia

USDA Zones: 4-10

Creeping Jenny is a leggy little invasive plant that is remarkably easy to grow. This mat-forming perennial is characterized by golden yellow leaves and trailing stems that drip gracefully over the sides of pots giving a pleasing look. Does great in direct sun to full shade.

15. Plantain Lilies

Ornamental Plants for Shade 8

Botanical Name: Hosta

USDA Zones: 3-9

Hostas come in a myriad assortment of colors, shapes, and textures. Being demanding of cool weather and moisture, this plant is a staple to any shade garden, as well as a container. The white flowers with stunning accents will add an aesthetic touch to your interiors.

16. Fuchsia

Botanical Name: Fuchsia magellanica

USDA Zones: 9-11

Marked by spectacular brick red blossoms, fuchsia is rumored to be a fussy plant, but if you play your cards right you can easily grow it indoors. They flower all summer long and are best grown indoors during the cold climate. Fuchsias look classic in hanging baskets and mixed containers.

17. Coral Bells

Ornamental Plants for Shade 9

Botanical Name: Heuchera

USDA Zones: 4-9

Coral bells are shade-loving perennials with striking borders and fabulous flowers that come in a wide spectrum of colors. They mostly thrive in the shade. Their unique, exotic colors are known to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, making them a great addition to containers.

18. Lobelia

Botanical Name: Lobelia erinus

USDA Zones: 6-9

Fountains of flouncy, vibrant blooms make Lobelia an attractive addition to your garden. Since they last longer in partial shade, you’re best off growing them in containers indoors.  As long as you provide it with regular watering, it produces a wealth of intense blue or purple flowers.

19. Silver Falls

Ornamental Plants for Shade 10

Botanical Name: Dichondra argentea

USDA Zones: 7-10

This eye-catchy, trailing annual gives you a nice way to include shimmering, silver foliage into pots. Apt for hanging baskets, window boxes, or even hanging over the sides of a container. Dichondra demands partial shade to produce heart-shaped, soft foliage.

20. Dead Nettle

Botanical Name: Lamium purpureum

USDA Zones: 3-8

Who knew weeds could be so pretty! Valued for its silken, spade-like leaves and dainty purple flowers, deadnettle is an ornamental herb that grows alongside pavements, garden borders, and practically anywhere. It’s called “dead-nettle” for its resemblance to stinging nettle.

21. Viola

Ornamental Plants for Shade 11

Botanical Name: Viola tricolor var. hortensis

USDA Zones: 6-9

For a vivid splash of color in pots and hanging baskets, count on Violas! With blooms as cheery and vibrant as a sombrero, these evergreen perennials are hard to beat. Violas are typically grown indoors during winter before planting out in early spring. These plants can handle chilly frosts well but are intolerant of direct sun.

22. Begonia

Botanical Name: Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum

USDA Zones: 8-10

Begonias are prized for their ability to offer dynamic-color flowers in low-light conditions. Recent varieties even offer a lingering fragrance. All Begonias desire moderate temperatures, proper drainage, and protection from direct sunlight. It is one of the best Ornamental Plants for Shade.

23. Mahonia Soft Caress

Ornamental Plants for Shade 12

Botanical Name: Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’

USDA Zones: 7-11

‘Soft Caress’ has all the qualities of Mahonia, sans the spiny foliage and unruly structure. Its compact and manageable size makes it perfect for adorning as a specimen at home, as well as using in borders or foundation plantings. It thrives best in full shade and proper drainage.

24. Irish Rose

Botanical Name: Aeonium arboreum

USDA Zones: 9-11

Aeoniums are gorgeous succulents bearing fleshy, waxy leaves that grow in intriguing rosettes of various colors. They are hardy and tend to turn dormant in summer to conserve water. When the weather turns cooler, they perk up and grow back their leaves. Just plant them in well-drained soil and you’ll be fine.

25. Torenia

Ornamental Plants for Shade 13

Botanical Name: Torenia fournieri

USDA Zones: 2-11

Delicate, vivid, and full of character, Torenia is a ground-hugging plant that flowers throughout summer and that too in shade. It looks great in ornamental combinations or just on its own. You can grow it in window flower boxes, hanging baskets, and in any container with proper drainage.

26. Foam Flower

Botanical Name: Tiarella

USDA Zones: 4-9

A stunning perennial, it grows clusters of white flowers on one stem. Doing well in shade, if you are looking forward to growing a flowering plant that does great in that shaded spot in your yard, this will keep you happy!

27. Astilbe


Botanical Name: Astilbe chinensis

USDA Zones: 4-9

Brightening up the shady gardens with its white, pink, and red flowers that match perfectly with its deep green foliage, astilbe is also a great plant to attract butterflies and beneficial insects. Even when they are out of bloom, their foliage continues to look striking.

28. Foxglove

Botanical Name: Digitalis purpurea

USDA Zones: 5-10

It is a tall plant with gorgeous, bell-shaped flowers coming in the shade of white, pink, lavender, red, yellow, and purple. They do well in both full sun to shade. However, do bear the fact in mind that all parts of the plant are extremely poisonous.

29. Marsh Spurge

Ornamental Plants for Shade 15

Botanical Name: Euphorbia palustris

USDA Zones: 4-11

Doing well in both sun and shade, the spurge is going to take your attention with its bright, green-yellow flowers. It is easy to grow with a fast growth pattern and is a perfect plant to brighten up any shady border of your garden.

30. Caribbean Copper Plant

Botanical Name: Euphorbia cotinifolia

USDA Zones: 9-11

With colorful leaves and matching, tiny flowers in the cream-white shade on pale yellow bracts, this plant shines at a shaded spot of yards and can flower all year round. It is a relatively fast-growing plant, reaching a height of 4-6 feet.

31. Leopard Plant

Botanical Name: Ligularia

USDA Zones: 7-10

It showcases a huge leaf structure and makes for another great ornamental plant for shade. Some varieties even have gorgeous orange and yellow blooms, such as the Rocket Feature.

32. Canadian Wild Ginger

Botanical Name: Asarum Canadense

USDA Zones: 3-7

This perennial plant loves deep to light shade. With heart-shaped leaves in bright green, it can liven up any garden! Also, underneath the huge pretty leaves, it grows brown and purple flowers.

33. Toad Lily


Botanical Name: Tricyrtis hirta

USDA Zones: 4-9

If you want to add another pretty shade plant to your garden, add Toad Lily to your collection! The flowers open up from late summer until early fall and love part to full shade.

34. Brunnera

Botanical Name: Brunnera

USDA Zones: 3-8

This perennial plant is also often grown as a groundcover. It is most popular for its small flowers in blue that open up in the early spring.

35. Corydalis


Botanical Name: Corydalis

USDA Zones: 5-7

This ornamental shade plant flowers in shades of deep purple or bright pink. The blooms also have a light fragrance and are tubular in shape.

36. Elephant Ear

Botanical Name: Colocasia

USDA Zones: 3-8

Elephant Ear is also a fantastic choice for shaded areas in your garden. It brings a bold tropical feel to the yard with its large foliage that can measure up to 1-3 feet!

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