Plants for Shade

At Thompson's, we often get asked the question "What can I plant in a shaded area of my garden?" In answer to that question, there are lots of plants that are suited to shaded conditions, and we have an area dedicated to shade-loving plants in all of our garden centres. To see a full range of plants for shaded area please visit your local branch of Thompson's and have a chat with a member of our plant team. Here in our webshop, we have selected a few of our recommended, more popular plants for shaded areas in your garden.

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How a Shade Garden Can Be Colourful

Creating a colourful shade garden involves a thoughtful combination of plants with varying foliage colours, textures, and bloom times. Here are some tips to achieve a vibrant and lively shade garden:

  • Varied Foliage: Choose shade-loving plants with different foliage colours, such as various shades of green, silver, burgundy, or variegated patterns. The contrast in leaf colours adds visual interest to the garden.
  • Seasonal Blooms: Incorporate plants that bloom at different times throughout the growing season. This way, you'll have a continuous display of flowers and colours, even in the shade.
  • Shade-Tolerant Flowers: Select shade-loving plants with colourful blooms to brighten up the shaded areas. Flowers in shades of pink, purple, and white can add pops of colour to the garden.
  • Container Gardening: Use decorative containers filled with shade-loving annuals to add splashes of colour to shaded corners and patios.

Top 3 Shade-Loving Plants

  1. Astilbe: With its feathery plumes in shades of pink, white, and red, Astilbe thrives in partial to full shade. These elegant perennials add a touch of sophistication and grace to any shade garden.
  2. Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis): Bleeding Heart boasts heart-shaped flowers in soft pink or white, suspended from arching stems. They prefer light to moderate shade and lend a touch of romance to shaded areas.
  3. Hostas: Known for their striking foliage, Hostas are available in a wide range of leaf colours and patterns. They thrive in shady spots, providing texture and interest to your shade garden.

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Caring for Shade-Loving Plants

Proper care is essential to ensure the health and vitality of shade-loving plants. Here are some general care tips:

  1. Watering: Shade gardens tend to retain moisture, but it's crucial to water consistently to keep the soil evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
  2. Soil: Ensure the soil in your shade garden is well-draining, as some shade-loving plants are susceptible to root diseases in waterlogged soil.
  3. Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around plants to conserve moisture, regulate temperature, and suppress weed growth.
  4. Fertilizing: Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to provide essential nutrients to shade-loving plants. Follow the recommended application rates for each specific plant.
  5. Pruning: Regularly remove spent blooms and dead foliage to encourage continuous flowering and maintain plant health.

Need Some Help Planting Your Shade-Loving Plants?

Whether you're planting your Pieris Forest FlameMahonia x media Charity or Asplenium scolopendrium, by following a few simple steps, you'll be giving your plants the best possible start to life in your garden.

  • Dig the hole a little deeper than the size of the container and twice as wide.

  • Loosen the soil in the hole so that it is crumbly.

  • Mix a small amount of good-quality multipurpose compost into the hole.

  • Remove the plant from the pot and gently tease out a few of the roots.

  • Place your plant in the hole making sure you don't bury the stem.

  • Refill the hole with a mixture of soil and multipurpose compost.

  • Firm the soil around the plant, making sure you don't press down on the root ball.

  • Water well, and keep well watered in the first season whilst it establishes itself.

Planting Step-By-Step Guides



If you need any other assistance with your garden plants, then please get in touch. Our experts are always on hand to answer your questions. Mail us at [email protected].