Best 3 shade-loving outdoor plants

DDenver August 30, 2023 6:11 PM

If your garden has a lot of shady spots, don't despair! There are plenty of plants that not only survive but thrive in the shade. Here are the best three shade-loving outdoor plants to add beauty and color to your garden's dark corners.


Hostas are top on the list of shade-loving perennials. They are known for their beautiful foliage and low maintenance requirements.

Requirements and care:

  • Light: Partial to full shade.
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Regular watering, but not waterlogged.
  • Size: Varies based on the variety, from small to very large.

Bonus tip: The leaves of Hostas are very attractive, but beware of slugs as they love them too! Use a natural slug deterrent to protect your plants.


Astilbe is another fantastic choice for your shade garden. Its feathery, plume-like flowers come in a variety of colors, adding not only greenery but also a splash of color to your shady spots.

Requirements and care:

  • Light: Partial to full shade.
  • Soil: Moist, fertile, well-draining soil.
  • Water: Keep soil constantly moist.
  • Size: Varies, but on average 2-4 feet tall.

Bonus tip: Astilbe is a great companion plant for Hostas and other shade lovers.


Our third pick is the Hydrangea, particularly the Bigleaf Hydrangea, which is well known for its large, vibrant flowers.

Requirements and care:

  • Light: Partial shade.
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining, fertile soil.
  • Water: Regular watering, don't let the soil dry out.
  • Size: 1-3 meters high, depending on variety.

Bonus tip: The color of Hydrangea flowers can change depending on the soil pH. Acidic soil produces blue flowers, while alkaline soil results in pink flowers.

Summary of our top 3 shade-loving outdoor plants

Plant name Light requirements Soil type Watering Size
Hostas Partial to full shade Moist, well-draining Regular, not waterlogged Varies
Astilbe Partial to full shade Moist, fertile, well-draining Constantly moist 2-4 feet
Hydrangea Partial shade Moist, well-draining, fertile Regular, don't dry out 1-3 meters

Remember, a shady garden doesn't mean a boring garden.

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