Shade Loving Plants – 4 Great Perennials That Thrive Without Sunlight

Although the lack of adequate sunlight can be an issue for many perennials, there are plenty of shade loving plants that can flourish without having direct sunlight. In fact, the four below actually thrive in the shade!

shade loving plants
Coral Belle after a light rain

Too many times, folks struggle with landscaping shady areas of their house. Shady areas can be difficult to get many common plant varieties established, or even to get grass to grow. These spots usually end up as either a muddy mess, or a large plot of mulch that can be a nightmare to maintain.

But by choosing a few shade loving plants to fill these light-starved areas, you can add lasting interest, beauty and color to your landscape. Not only do they look better than the mud or mulch options, but the birds and bees will thank you as well!

Let’s take a look now at four of the best perennials when it comes to shade loving plants.

4 Shade Loving Plants


The Hosta is the king of the road when it comes to shade loving plants. In fact, most varieties thrive in low sunlight. Hostas come in all shades of beautiful greens, blues, and even whites. And many varieties are variegated, adding even more interest to their leafy foliage.

Their lush leaf structure can spread out over a large area, making them a perfect choice for planting under shade trees or close to the house.

One word of caution when it comes to hosta, deer love them! They are certainly not the best choice if Bambi and her friends frequent your yard.

Coral Bells

Coral Bells, also known as alum root, are another terrific option when searching for shade loving plants. Their unique and dramatic foliage provides a variety of colors to spruce up any flower bed. The low-growing leaves can range from green to dark purple in color with all types of variegation.

This plant is the perfect choice to be used as a ground cover. Coral Bells produce delicate flower spikes on wiry stems above, that are long-lasting and beautiful to look at but won’t obscure the plants behind them. This makes them the ideal choice for placement in the front of your landscape border


shade loving plants
The beautiful blooms of Astilbe

Astilbe have become a favorite shade loving plant for gardeners over the past several years. These plants produce colorful plume flowers that shoot above dark and glossy fern-like foliage.

But no worries, these gorgeous flowers do not require staking as they grow on stiff stems that hold their color for months.

They are versatile in size ranging from tiny dwarfs to big draping hybrids. Astilbe thrive in moist and shady areas, making them the perfect choice for hard to grow shaded flower beds.


Liriope is a great choice for both shade and semi-shady areas. It is extremely shade tolerant and makes an excellent ground cover or border plant.

Liriope forms small clumps that grow 6 to 12″ high. It will spread slowly to fill areas and is extremely hardy. It grows in much the same way as an ornamental grass, and flowers in the fall with a spiked shoot of blue or white, depending on the variety. Late in the fall, they also will produce small berries that can help feed wildlife through the winter months.

They can also be divided and transplanted easily in the early spring to help fill large areas while not breaking the bank!

So if you have a few shady areas of your yard that have been neglected, how about trying some great shade-loving perennials to add a little color and interest.

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