You can find shade in every landscape. That simple fact brings up the question of which plants are the best shade-loving annuals for these partially shaded to fully shaded areas. Which plants are the best for adding a splash of texture and color to these darker spaces?
When you’re choosing the bedding plants for your shady beds, it is important that you consider color. You can use the color of the plants to smooth the visual effect of the shade and to set the mood of your landscape. Warm colors, like shades of red, orange, yellow and white can be used to enhance an area and accent it. Shades of blue, green, black and other cool colors and deep shades can be used to decrease the emphasis of an area.
Some suggestions for vibrant flowering plants that will flourish in your shaded areas and make your beds truly pop in your landscape are listed here.
- Astilbe hybrids: The flowers of this shade-loving plant are feathery and plume-like with a light, airy quality. You can choose plants that will bloom in shades of hot pink, sizzling salmon, lavender, bright red and brilliant white, all growing up above the fernlike foliage. They make a great border around shaded areas.
- Tuberous begonia: The colors of these begonia blooms sizzle, whether they are in pots, hanging baskets, or beds. The flowers can be found in every shade except blue. The larger flowers are found on the upright strains while the hanging types will bloom more heavily. These beauties love the filtered shade and a rich soil.
- Ajuga “Chocolate Chip’: Also called the Dwarf Bugleweed, this prolific groundcover is one plant that will grow heartily in the most difficult dry, shady areas, like those found under trees. The dark green tinged leaves with bronze or chocolate brown highlights are a stark contrast to the purple-blue flowers that bloom in the spring. The Ajuga Chip Flowers (no, not the person) usually rise slightly above the foliage to a height of about 4”.
- Flowering maple: With this flowering favorite, bell-shaped blooms of yellow, white, pink, orange or red jump out from the shady beds of your landscape. The maple-shaped green leaves may sometimes be variegated with white. This evergreen shrub can grow to about 8 feet tall, but if you prefer a shorter variety, there is a dwarf variety that works well in small beds or pots. There is also a medium variety that will grow between 18 to 36 inches tall, with a coral salmon flower. The white and yellow forms may flower almost continuously.
- Impatiens: This traditional favorite can be found in a vast array of color choices. Some of the most popular are the New Guinea hybrids because of the large leaves they produce and the 3-inch-wide flowers of such vivid colors as lavender, purple, red, and pink. There is an incredibly vibrant orange-flowered New Guinea variety that absolutely sizzles as a border edge for beds found in shaded areas. If you prefer a lower growing border, try the Busy Lizzie impatiens. Their wide, five-petaled flowers can be had in every color except blue.