Success in the Shade


Shade gardening

Lush garden path winding through dense foliage of various plants and trees.

Gardening in shady areas can be such a buzzkill, a down-right challenging task. But despair not because with the right plants, you’re well on your way to success. Here are some cool ideas for shade garden plants that grow beautifully in three different types of shade. 

Filtered shade 

This occurs under large, open-branched trees, which allow dappled sunlight to shine through, creating forest-like conditions beneath the trees. 

Best plants for this type of shade include:

  • coleus 
  • ferns
  • impatiens 
  • begonias 
  • hydrangeas 
  • liriope 
  • foxgloves 
  • philodendron 
  • cordyline 
  • cineraria 
  • fairy primrose
  • torenias


This refers to areas that receive up to five hours of direct sunlight a day and filtered or dense shade for the remainder of the day. This type of shade often occurs next to garden walls. 

In areas of semi-shade, you can successfully grow:

  • agapanthus 
  • gardenia 
  • abelia 
  • plectranthus

Dense shade 

This is the most challenging type of shade to grow plants in, especially for new gardeners. Shaded gardens normally lack water and light, and it’s even worse with dense shade.

Try growing: 

  • peace lily 
  • aspidistra 
  • fuchsias
  • hydrangeas
  • Ivy
  • azaleas 

Alternatively, try lightening the shade by removing lower tree branches and thinning out higher branches. You can also encourage plants to grow in very dense shade by adding plenty of compost to the soil and spraying plant leaves with a diluted solution of liquid fertiliser.

For more shade garden plants and tips, read these blogs:

Shop online