12 Plants That Thrive in the Shade

Sometimes called "leopard plant," Ligularia is an excellent choice for any shade garden—and not just because deer don't enjoy eating it.

Ligularia

Hostas is a go-to plant for shady areas with moist soil. Primarily a foliage plant, the broad-leafed beauty can actually be very small or very large.

Hostas

Spiderwort or Tradescantia, also called widow's tears, is a part shade—not deep shade—plant. It features a beautiful flower and can grow anywhere from a foot-and-a-half to two feet tall.

Spiderwort

While some sedums can tolerate a bit of shade, one that thrives in it is Sedum ternatum, or woodland stonecrop.

Sedum ternatum

These spring bloomers tolerate some sun, but they prefer part to full shade, especially in the heat of summer. Some types are fragrant, too.

Viola

Asarum canadense—Canadian wild ginger—is an interesting native plant to choose for your shade garden.

Asarum canadense

Lacey, toothed leaves and feathery plumes of pink, white, red, or purple flowers bloom in profusion in early to midsummer.

Astilbe

These little plants are also known as fairy wings or bishop’s cap due to the adorable shape of their flowers, which appear in early spring.

Epimedium

Frothy-looking ferns are sturdier than they appear, popping up again after even the toughest winters.

Ferns

These evergreen plants produce unusual, long-lasting blooms in late winter or very early spring.

Hellebore

Silvery, variegated foliage and yellow, pink, or purple blooms make this a great addition to the shade landscape. It’s not super fussy and does well in dry areas.

Lamium

Lobed foliage with red or purple veins make this plant interesting. Floaty little flowers arise on long stems in late spring to early summer.

Tiarella