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10 shade-loving plants

10 shade-loving plants

Sheltered from the sun’s rays, shady gardens can be beautiful, cool, mysterious spaces – the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. Plenty of plants will grow happily in these conditions, bringing light, colour and life into even the dimmest space. Please take a look at our top 10 plants for low light.

Top 10 plants for low light

  1. Hostas love the shade, and their bold architectural foliage makes a significant impact in any garden. There’s a huge variety available, from tiny mouse-ear hostas with small rounded leaves to impressively large hostas like Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ that spreads over a metre wide. They also produce spires of pale lavender flowers in summer. Just watch out for slugs and snails – they love hostas too!

  2. Heucheras often need sunshine to produce their best leaf colour. Still, shade-loving Heuchera ‘Lime Ricky’ and ‘Lime Marmalade’ have fabulous lime-green foliage that sings with colour in a shady garden.

  3. Hellebores are a must for any shady spot. Their big palmate leaves add interest and texture to planting all year round, and their beautiful bell-like flowers appear in winter just when the garden is desperate for some colour.

  4. Hart’s tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) is a very tough, reliable evergreen fern that will grow even in dry shade. Its long, wavy-edged fronds make a beautiful backdrop for other flowering perennials.

  5. Geranium macrorrhizum is a tough evergreen geranium that forms low, spreading mounds of aromatic foliage covered in a profusion of pink or white flowers in late spring. It will grow happily even in full shade and makes an excellent groundcover plant.

  6. Begonias are fantastic for adding colour to pots in shady spots. They flower for months from summer to autumn and come in a wide range of spectacular colours. Wax begonias (Begonia semperflorens) have smaller flowers than the big trailing begonias but are excellent for shade.

  7. Impatiens (busy lizzies) are very easy to grow, and the New Guinea range (Impatiens hawkeri) are very resistant to the mildew problems that sometimes plague these popular plants. Their bright pink, red, purple and white flowers look great in pots and windowboxes.

  8. Fuchsias are well-known for their elegant pendant flowers in various colours. They’re great for brightening up a shady spot and look lovely trailing from pots or hanging baskets.

  9. Aucuba japonica ‘Crotonifolia’ (Japanese laurel) is a large evergreen shrub that will cope with practically any condition, even full shade, and its glossy yellow-spotted green leaves will bring light and colour into the darkest spots.

  10. Sarcococca confusa (Christmas box) is another evergreen shrub great for shady gardens, providing structure all year round. In the middle of winter, it produces sprays of tiny, almost invisible creamy-white flowers with the most incredibly sweet fragrance.

We love shady gardens, and you’ll find a massive range of shade-loving plants in our centres. Visit us today to find the plants that are just right for you!

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