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Top 10 Shade-Loving Plants

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If you want to create full, lush plant coverage across all parts of your garden, you’ll need to contend with those shadier areas that don’t get as much sun.

Fortunately, there are plenty of plants that thrive in these conditions, just waiting to fill in those gaps under tree canopies, along fence lines and even indoors. Here are our top 10 shade-loving plants!


These woodland groundcovers offer delightfully fragrant flowers from late autumn through to spring. They prefer damp, full to part shaded spots, but will tolerate full sun in cooler areas. 


These winter-flowering woodland plants are popular for semi-shaded spots in the garden. They are long lived and drought tolerant once established, and can be divided and spread for more ground coverage. 


Ferns are most at home in the shaded, moist conditions, and among the best plants for full shade. This makes them popular as indoor house plants, as well as in beds and rockeries.

Japanese Windflower

Also known as Japanese Anemone, these beautiful, autumn-flowering perennials have tall, graceful stems topped with single pink or white flowers. They love a semi-shaded position. 

Oyster Plant

This fast growing, hardy evergreen features architectural leaves and tall spikes of white and purple flowers. Oyster plants will grow equally well in dry shade or full sun.

Gunnera Ornamental Rhubarb

Also known as Chilean Rhubarb, this spectacular, architectural plant features huge leaves of up to 2 metres across. It will grow in part shade, and loves a damp spot in the garden.

Liriope Summer Beauty

Liriopes are clumping, evergreen perennials with beautiful lilac purple coloured spikes in spring/summer. Almost indestructible, they grow equally well in full sun, part shade or full shade. 

Arthropodium Matapouri Bay

Also known as the Renga Renga Lily, this clumping perennial has waxy, blue-green foliage that looks great all year round. It is happy in either full sun or part shade, and tolerates dry conditions. 

Lily of the Valley

These tough little plants have pretty, bell-shaped spring flowers with a heavenly perfume. They’re great cool-climate full shade plants, preferring a cold, damp spot under a tree canopy.

Toad Lily

This easy-to-grow, hardy perennial bears striking, speckled flowers in white and dark purple. Happy in partial and full shade, they are great for naturalising in woodland garden borders.

Start planting today

Whether it’s a cool-climate woodland retreat or a backyard oasis in the tropics, every garden needs plants that love the shade. Garden Express has a huge selection available now, including some of the best plants for pots in the shade – indoor gardeners rejoice!


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