The Q&A Archives: Flowers for Shade

Question: What kind flowers can plant in the shade?

Answer: There are a number of plants suitable for shady beds and borders. Here are a few ideas: Annuals & Perennials

Ajuga (Ajuga reptans) -- 3-6",purple leaves, and blooms.
Aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior) -- Rightly called "Cast Iron Plant", grows slowly, evergreen.
Chamomile (Chamaemelum spp.) -- Annual herb, bloom used for tea.
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) - Part sun to shade, 15-18 inches. The yellow blooming Texas Gold and the red and yellow Aquilegia canadensis perform well here.
Coral Bells (Huechera sanguinea) -- green or purple leaves
Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum bungei) -- Deciduous perennial, 3-6 ft. Large, showy pink flowers in summer. Good hummingbird plant. Spreads aggressively by underground suckers.
Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta) -- Perennial bulb, dies back in winter, grows to 6 ft. with large, dramatic leaves. Mulch to protect from freezing.
Foxtail Fern - related to Asparagus fern, soft bushy stems.
Frog Fruit (Phyla nodiflora) -- Low growing ground cover 3'4".
Hoja Santa (Piper auritum) -- 4-6 ft., invasive, used for cooking
Hollyfern (Cytomium falcatum) -- evergreen, good for containers.
Horsetail Reed (Equisetum hyemale) -- Bogs, wet shade, invasive
Lamium (Lamium maculatum) -- many varieties, low growing with variegated foliage.
Liriope (Liriope muscari) -- blooms, cut to 4 inches in Spring to revive.
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) -- Blooms, needs good soil and drainage.
Oxalis, Wood Sorrel (Oxalis spp.) -- Blooms, cam be invasive.
Pigeonberry (Rivina humilis) -- Blooms, produces berries for wildlife.
Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala) -- Blooms, self-sows freely.
Ruellia, Mexican Petunia (Ruellia spp.) -- Best are Katie and Bonita dwarf forms and taller Chi-Chi pink.
Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana and J. tomentosa) - very hardy. Deer resistant.
Spiderlily (Hymenocallis spp.) -- Afternoon shade.
Spiderwort (Tradescantia andersoniana) -- Purple blooms.
Sweet violets (Viola odorata) -- Spring blooms edible.
Texas Aster (Aster texanus) -- Fall blooms, tall when blooming, cut blooms to control seeds.
Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea) -- part shade, coral blooms, one of my favorites
Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea) -- red, white, pink or coral, freely self-sows.
Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) -- 4-5 ft. Blooms, seeds for wildlife. Deciduous.
Umbrella Plant (Cyperus alternafolius) -- Bog or wet areas, tops may freeze.
Wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminensis) -- Colorful foliage, blooms.
Wood Fern (Dryopteris spp.) -- Deciduous.

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