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The Best Flowers To Plant If Your Garden Gets Mostly Shade

You don't need full sun to have a full garden.

Everyone knows that plants need sun and water to grow. But some plants actually prefer to hang out in the shade, as they are prone to sunburn and freckling. Only kidding, but it really is possible to have a beautiful flower garden even if you don’t get a ton of southern exposure.

Here are some shade-loving flowering plants that you can stick in your garden, even if it doesn’t get as much sunshine as you’d like.

1. Bleeding Hearts

This stunning flower is a perennial, which means it should come back for at least three years. This means no replanting for you—score! Bleeding hearts have gorgeous, arc-shaped branches that drip with heart-shaped flowers. These plants like low-light conditions with rich and slightly moist soil. They sprout in early spring and will eventually grow to be between 2-4 feet tall. This plant is dormant in mid-to-late summer and will re-sprout in the spring.

bleeding heart flower photo
Flickr | Space Ritual

2. Fuschia

These incredible flowers look like they’re right out of a Doctor Seuss book. These can form shrubs in mild climates, but are often planted in hanging baskets so that the flowers can drip down over the sides. These plants like to stay in the shade and should be kept slightly moist at all times. Fertilize the plant twice a month with liquid plant food, and make sure the basket is protected from high winds that can cause the soil to dry out.

fuschia flower photo
Flickr | MICOLO J Thanx 4, 3.1m views

3. Astilbe

This is another fantastic-looking plant that enjoys being cooler in the shade. These long-lasting perennials will bloom all summer, and even when they aren’t bearing flowers, the fernlike leaves are still incredibly pretty. These can grow up to 2-3 feet tall, although heights vary. These flowers, which can be white, red, pink, orange or violet, typically begin to appear in late spring and early summer. Astilbe prefers rich, loose soil.

astilbe flower photo
Flickr | Jim, the Photographer

4. Jerusalem Sage

These tiny, trumpet-shaped flowers are a beautiful addition to any shade garden. The flowers can turn from pink to purple as the plant ages, and the speckled leaves are equally gorgeous. Jerusalem Sage likes to grow under taller trees or shrubs as a ground cover. This plant should not be allowed to dry out.

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5. New Guinea Impatiens

Impatiens are large, colorful flowers that come part and parcel with equally attractive leaves. Though they’re an annual, meaning you’ll have to replant, they are so pretty it’s absolutely worth it. These flowers grow better in containers than when planted directly in the garden, so use them to fill pots in a shady corner of your yard. The flowers come in pink, red, white, orange and lavender.

new guinea impatiens photo
Flickr | daryl_mitchell

6. Begonia

Begonias are a tropical plant, which means they thrive in warm, humid conditions. While some begonia plants can be perennials, most people plant them annually. The ideal conditions for these colorful beauties are filtered shade with moist but fast-draining soil.

begonia photo
Flickr | Jim, the Photographer

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Need ideas for ground cover or other greenery to fill out your shade garden? Check out this list of 15 shade-loving garden plants.