The Best Perennials for Shade

Have you wanted to brighten up those sheltered spots in your landscape? Here are 4 great, easy-to-grow shade plants that will spice up those not-so-sunny areas. Plus, they will come back year after year.


Hostas are among the showiest and easy-to-grow perennial plants that grow in shade. Hostas offer the most variety of any of the multiple shade plants. Choose from miniatures that stay only a couple of inches wide or giants that sprawl 6 feet across or more. Look for leaves in shades of green, blue, white, chartreuse, and gold, with many cultivars being variegated. Some hosta flowers are very fragrant.

hosta plant

Bigroot Geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum)

One of the toughest plants that grow in the shade garden, bigroot geranium doesn’t mind heat or drought. Plus, deer and rabbits typically pass it by in search of tastier treats. This shade plant puts on a spring show with pink or white flowers and some varieties also offer outstanding fall coloration in their woodsy-scented foliage.


This topnotch groundcover is grown mainly for its foliage, but also has pretty flowers. Ajuga produces glossy, dark green leaves and springtime spikes of blue flowers. Varieties of this shade plant offer dark purple or variegated foliage, or pink or white flowers.

Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

It’s no wonder why old-fashioned bleeding heart is a favorite of plants that grow in shade. In late spring and early summer, it produces pink or white heart-shaped flowers that hang from elegant, arching stems.

Visit The Family Tree Garden Center and speak with our garden specialists to find out about more perennials that will thrive in those shady parts of your garden!