As spring starts warming the world from winter, it’s natural to look for ways to add a pop of colour to your yard. You may even consider choosing flowers that bloom at different times of the year so that your yard is always in bloom. If your garden space is shaded, you will have to be particular about what flowers you choose to fill it with. In this article we’ll review some flowering plants that don’t mind the shade.
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Perennial Flowers that Grow in Shade
While you contemplate what flowers to choose, consider planting perennials that will come back every year. Some are even hardy enough to pop through the snow to greet you in the early spring. Here are some of the more popular perennials to consider:
- Astilbe: Keep these flowers in full shade to keep their tall pink plumes from burning in the sun. They look lovely in clusters near other shade-loving plants like ferns or hostas. Astilbe blooms in mid-summer and likes consistent watering but can tolerate a measure of drought.
- Bleeding Heart: Also called Dicentra, these are early spring bloomers, with colourful white and pink heart-shaped flowers. You can add them to a border to add height, texture, and colour.
- Hydrangea: Offering large, luscious blooms that improve your curb appeal and might make the neighbours jealous, this shrub prefers morning sun and afternoon shade. They bloom from summer to fall.
- Foam Flowers: True to their name, these plants host a frothy cluster of white flowers. They bloom in spring to early summer and prefer partial to full shade.
- Forget-Me-Not: This cheery addition is non-fussy and offers a pop of blue to the landscape. They love wet or humid areas and would feel at home near a body of water. They will continue to bloom all season.
- Lily of the Valley: This is an early blooming shrub with tiny fragrant flowers. It likes partial to full shade and will flower in pink or white.
Keep in mind, these plants are extremely toxic for pets or small children to ingest. A mere two petals could be fatal. So, if you have pets or small children frequenting your yard, stay away from these plants:
- Primrose: Offering an array of vibrant colours, the primrose is a lovely flower to add to your garden or yard border. It blooms in early spring and prefers well-draining soil.
- Viola: These flowers offer vibrant colour. There are many varieties to pick from, but some require full sun while others like partial to full shade. Check the packaging on your variety to make sure it is suited for your space.
- Fairy Wings: Also known by the scientific name Epimedium, this flower sports unique petal shapes that win it the common name fairy wings. The flower likes partial to full shade and blooms mid- to late spring.
- Hellebores: Considering how fragile they look, these lovely flowers are remarkable for withstanding harsh temperatures. They bloom in late winter to early spring, and you may even see them poke through the snow. They have a beautiful range of colours, varying from white to pink, purple, and even close to black.
Annual Shade Lovers
Maybe you like to switch up your yard and the plants you keep in it, so you’re not concerned about the flowers lasting for the next few years. These annual flowers are a lovely choice but typically only last for one growing season.
- Pansy: Related to the viola, pansies will bud while it’s still cool out and will often be some of the first flowers you see as winter transitions to spring.
- Impatiens: A bright addition to any landscape, impatiens come in various colours and look cheery as ground cover, in window boxes, or patio containers. Keep the soil moist to prevent wilting flowers. They will continue to bloom until the first frost.
- Calendula: These flowers are known for their bright yellow or orange colour. They like partial shade and well-draining soil and will bloom in spring and fall. Calendulas do well with little care and are actually known to thrive with a bit of neglect.
- Snapdragon: This flower blooms spring, summer, or fall and pairs beautifully with violas and pansies. Snapdragons come in a variety of colours and are lovely to use for cut bouquets.
- Begonia: There are several varieties of begonias to choose from. They come in cheery orange, yellow, pink, and white. They are easy to care for and a lovely choice for window box flowers. Begonias like partial to full shade and will offer their cheerful blooms all season.
- Fuchsia: Perfectly eye-catching flowers that are stunning for a hanging basket, fuchsias need full shade to thrive and will continue to bloom throughout the season. Hummingbirds love these gorgeous purple, pink, or white flowers.
- Wishbone: Also called torenia, these flowers are beautiful for window boxes or hanging baskets. They are also great for drawing hummingbirds. And they love morning sun and afternoon shade for a longer blooming period.
- Lobelia: Although often recognized for its vibrant blue colour, lobelia has varieties in other colours: white, purple—or even red. These flowers are lovely in hanging baskets. It needs full shade to keep from wilting and can be trimmed back mid-summer if it looks a bit shaggy.
- Browallia Speciosa: This flower is also commonly called bush violet, and partial to full shade keeps the delicate petals from burning. Although technically a perennial, browallia speciosa is often grown as an annual because it can’t cope with the winter. You can plant it in a pot to pull inside before the first frost if you choose to keep it for a second season.
- Corydalis: This plant grows tubular flowers that range in colour from bright pink to deep purple. It blooms in spring. Depending on the variety, this flower could be perennial or annual.
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Planting Flowers that Like Shade
Decorating the yard with new flowers can be a joyful way to appreciate the new planting season. With this list, you have a handful of ideas for how to bring colour to the shaded spots of your yard. If you need a hand with mulch, garden and bed maintenance, or keeping your yard and lawn healthy and green, The Grounds Guys can help. To get started, call us or request a estimate online for gardening services you can trust.