These feathery flowering shade plants add pink, lavender, white, and red flowers to your shade garden. Astilbe loves partially shaded, moist spots, although it will grow in deep shade — just don’t expect as many blooms. It looks great along borders or as an accent plant that gives your garden a punch of color. Butterflies love them; deer don’t. They have a lovely fragrance, so cut a few for an indoor display.
Image: Joe Marrone
These Flowering Shade Plants Pack Curb AppealColeus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)
Coleus is a color-packed annual that thrives in partial shade. The plant, perfect for small spaces, is prized for its loud, garish foliage — magenta and yellow; hot pink and green; red and orange. Pick a few varieties, and plant them in large clusters. The first frost will kill your coleus, so before the weather turns, root a few clippings in potting soil and place in a sunny window throughout winter; then replant in spring.
These Flowering Shade Plants Pack Curb AppealCreeping Jenny (Lysimachia aurea)
Creeping is a misnomer for this fast-growing ground cover that’s made for the shade. Small, gold leaves lighten up the sun-challenged garden. In summer, bright yellow flowers virtually glow. Jenny makes a lovely carpet beneath other shade-loving plants, such as hostas and ferns. Just make sure the creeper has room to spread — because spread it will.
We know, roses love full sun. But many types of these flowering perennials will grow in partial shade too, pumping up curb appeal in a hurry. If you’ve got a spot that gets 3 to 4 hours of dappled sun daily, you can grow English, shrub, and hybrid musk roses there. Knockout Roses adore partial shade; so do New Dawn climbers and the glorious Graham Thomas deep yellow beauties.
These Flowering Shade Plants Pack Curb AppealHosta
Every shade garden should host a hosta or two. Plant them for their diverse foliage — big, small, green, variegated — and enjoy their spiky blooms. After flowering, let seed heads mature, split open in fall, and plant the seeds for more spring hostas. Deer and rabbits love hostas as much as you, so spray plants with repellent, cover with netting, or erect an electric fence around garden beds.
These Flowering Shade Plants Pack Curb AppealBigroot Geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum)
This easy-care ground cover will reward you with violet, pink, and white blooms in late spring and early summer. Bigroot loves the shade, but it can take some sun, and tolerates drought. It will self seed, so if you don’t want it spreading throughout your garden, deadhead after blooms die.
These Flowering Shade Plants Pack Curb AppealBleeding Heart (Dicentra spectablis)
This delicate, arching plant will steal your heart each spring when its pink-and-white blossoms hang from slender stalks. Plant outside a window so you can watch the show, or add to your vase of cut flowers. This perennial prefers partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It’s among the first to bloom in spring, and its green foliage will last throughout summer if kept well-watered.
These Flowering Shade Plants Pack Curb AppealHellebore (Helleborus)
This stout beauty is a shade garden must. It blooms (pink, white, yellow, and maroon) in late winter and early spring, giving your garden a punch of color when everything else still sleeps. Hellebore petals dim, but they don’t fall off, providing interest and color throughout the year. It’s a great accent plant that’s drought-tolerant and deer-resistant. However, hellebore is poisonous, so don’t plant if your pets like to forage in your garden.