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Perennials That Grow in Shade

Shady areas in your yard can be trickier if you don’t know what to plant. There are plenty of plants that thrive in shade. But what if you want plants that come back year after year for your shaded areas? You need perennials that grow in shade. These plants are shade lovers you’ll enjoy for years.

Perennials are plants that you don’t have to replant every year. Some last for a few years and some last for decades. And if you have shady areas, try a few of these perennial plants. Perennials that grow in shade include Shasta Daisies, Hostas, Primrose, Astilbe, and Hepaticas to name a few.

Some of these are partial shade, but believe it or not, there are a few plants that actually thrive in full shade. And oftentimes, it’s trial and error with what works best for you as far as maintenance, watering needs, and time.

Hopefully, there are a few that will work for you and your zone. (Find your Zone here)

And for more Shade Loving Plants – check out these gorgeous varieties! Or for great options for a shaded porch or patio, here are some amazing choices.

Perennials That Grow in Shade


Hosta - a perennial that grows in shade
  • Hostas are ideal for Zones 3-9
  • Partial shade, generally won’t survive in full sun. The darker vareities can handle more shade
  • Available in colors ranging from dark green to chartreuse to a bluish color. Mixed colors are also available
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to grow
  • Depending on the species, it can grow a few inches to several feet across
  • Plant them far enough apart to allow for their width
  • Not deer resistant (in fact, deer love to snack on Hostas)

Shasta Daisies

shasta daisies
  • Shasta Daisies are ideal for Zones 4-8
  • Light shade is preferred (more sunlight gives more flowers)
  • These make great cutting flowers (see more cutting flowers here)
  • They will grow up to 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall depending on the variety
  • You can divide these in early spring for even more plants
  • Available in white or yellow flowering species
  • To keep them more compact, pinch off the top 2-3 inches of the plant in early fall


primrose - a perennial that grows in shade
  • Primrose flowers are ideal for Zones 4-9
  • These compact flowers grow up to 18 inches wide and only 12 inches tall
  • Perfect for border gardens in front of taller plants or under trees
  • Flowers are available in a broad range of colors from white, purple, pink, yellow, and red
  • Can tolerate partial shade/filtered sun
  • Early spring bloomers
  • Can be toxic to pets
  • These can be grown from seeds or buy the mature plants at garden centers


  • Astilbe are ideal for Zones 3-8
  • Species vary in size height from 12 inches to over 4 feet tall
  • Available in shades of pink, purple, red, and white
  • Slow growing plants so you don’t have to worry with dividing them every year
  • Good for containers as well as planting in the ground
  • Keep them well watered but not soggy
  • Tall feathery blooms add visual interest for companion plants like Hostas
  • Deer Resistant


  • Hepaticas are ideal for Zones 4-8
  • Love partial to full shaded areas
  • These are compact plants that only grow up to 12″ wide and 10″ tall
  • Evergreen perennials
  • Flowers range in shades of white, pink, and purplish blue
  • Perfect for planting under trees or in shaded rock gardens
  • Keep them well watered but not soggy, especially in warmer temps without rain periods


  • Ferns are ideal for Zones 2-10 depending on the variety
  • Thrive in shaded areas
  • Perfect for wooded landscaping
  • Can be used for hanging baskets
  • Some varieites can survive in moist soils, others prefer well drained


  • Hellebore plants are ideal for Zones 3-9 though in colder areas they may need protection from the snow or winds
  • Prefer partial to full shade, but can tolerate some sun, particularly in winter
  • Deer resistant
  • Flowers come in shades of pink, yellow, white, dark blue, purple
  • Slow growing and may not bloom in the first year
  • Some species can be toxic so be sure to check what you’re getting
  • Easy to grow

Coral Bells

Coral bells
  • Coral Bells or Heuchera are ideal for Zones 4-9
  • The foliage is the star of the plant and varies in nearly every shade
  • Many are evergreen
  • Gorgeous ruffled leaves make these perfect for adding visual interest to your landscaping
  • Deer resistant
  • Hummingbirds love these flowers
  • Flowers can grow up to 3 feet tall and the plants can spread 3 feet wide

Japanese Anemones

Japanese anemone
  • Japanese Anemones are ideal for Zones 5-10
  • These bloom later in the summer and even into fall
  • Good choices for cutting flowers
  • Grow up to 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall
  • Flowers are available in shades of white and pink
  • Gorgeous cuplike flowers up to 3 inches across


I was hesitant to even include this one because all varieties of Aconitum are poisonous to humans and animals. They can cause heart and nerve toxicity when ingested and possibly even when handling the plants. So beware.

I personally wouldn’t plant these because I’d be a nervous nelly to have them in the yard. But, they are beautiful perennials that grow in shade.

  • Aconitum are ideal for Zones 3-7
  • Also known as Monkshood
  • *****POISONOUS*****
  • All parts of this plant including roots, seeds, flowers, leaves contain poisons including Aconitine
  • Beautiful bluish/purple flowers

Planting Perennials that Grow in Shade

Where to put these all depends on the type of plant you buy. Some of these plants have different species that will thrive in certain planting zones.

Most often you can find detailed planting instructions. Or as it sometimes happens, it’s trial and error depending on how shaded your areas can be during the day. But, there is something for every area and once you find it, there’s no limit to your landscaping skills!

Hopefully, you’ve found some options for perennials that love the shade that will work for your landscaping needs.

Image with text: Perennials that grow in shade

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