Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants

By dave
January 20, 2016

We're putting together a list of the ATP members' favorite shade plants! Come on in and read how to nominate your favorites! We will later publish a final article on the top picks.

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Jan 24, 2016 9:20 AM CST
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Replace your lawn with a garden!
Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Sedums Garden Procrastinator Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Region: Minnesota Hostas Heucheras Butterflies Cat Lover Daylilies
My yard is almost all in some degree of shade. Fortunately I love shade plants; in fact it was difficult for me to choose one to nominate over any other. For the reason that the blossoms are exotic, complex and unlike almost anything else, I nominate toad lilies. I have a real fascination with them and have some that bloom in June and others that bloom in September.

(This link is to the generic toad lilies database item because I have more than one type)

Toad Lilies (Tricyrtis)

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Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Last edited by foraygardengirl Jan 24, 2016 9:22 AM Icon for preview
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Jan 24, 2016 9:38 PM CST
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Snakes Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hostas Region: New Jersey Ferns
I do like them a lot but they never overwinter for me.
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Jan 25, 2016 9:45 PM CST
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Jeanie, I also love the Toad Lillies. Mine come back every year now that I know to put slug bait our starting in January.
This is one of mine.


I have one that has variegated leaves that even without blooms is pretty in the shade garden. I lost the name of it.
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Jan 26, 2016 7:23 AM CST
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Virginia Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Deer Ponds
Foliage Fan Ferns Hellebores Irises Peonies Amaryllis
Hi Jeanie, too funny because toad lilies are another one of my favorites Smiling . I'm not nominating any shade plants myself because I just can't pick a single favorite LOL, but I'm having lots of fun joining in the discussions on the nominations of the ones that I like the most. So far I have managed to collect 11 different toad lily cultivars and am always on the lookout for more. Years ago when my only exposure to them was pictures in catalogs, they really didn't seem appealing to me, but once I actually saw one I immediately changed my mind. Really nice foliage and the exotic flowers were much smaller and daintier than what I thought from just seeing the pictures. They look great in woodland shade and bloom in the fall to extend the gardening season interest. I can't figure out the deer pattern though - they eat some of the cultivars and leave other cultivars alone, and there doesn't seem to be any unifying characteristics between them Sighing! I'm trying to pair them with Japanese anemones because they both bloom in the fall.
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Jan 26, 2016 3:47 PM CST
Name: Betsy
Texas (Zone 9a)
In the beginning GOD created ...
Amaryllis Region: Florida Hummingbirder Irises Lilies Master Gardener: Texas
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Texas Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies Cottage Gardener Container Gardener
I don't have much shade but do love my toad lily - I've had this one for over 15 years and they continue to flower and multiply. Wow, aspenhill, 11 different ones! I would love to get my hands on more cultivars...
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Feb 2, 2016 9:37 PM CST
Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Bulbs Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover Region: Texas
I love Toad lilies too. Here is a picture of mine. I have no idea what variety it is. I think they look like orchids.
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Feb 3, 2016 11:19 AM CST
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Replace your lawn with a garden!
Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Sedums Garden Procrastinator Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Region: Minnesota Hostas Heucheras Butterflies Cat Lover Daylilies
Terri, I would love to get more varieties.
Sondra, that is a nice picture. I agree that they look like orchids.
:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
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