My Top10 Selection – Plants for shady conditions.

15 Jun

It’s a well worn theory that it’s better to use fewer varieties in larger groups, but it’s a theory that really does work. By choosing the few varieties that will cope with the exact growing conditions, they will thrive and multiply much faster than slightly fussier plants that will always struggle.

So here are my current top 10 plants for shady areas.

1. Helleborus orientalis – an evergreen perennial with large glossy leaves, and long lasting flowers in late winter in shades of lime green through to dark pink.


2. Polystitchum setiferum – shield fern – an evergreen fern with glossy fronds emerging every spring.


3. Tellima grandiflora – a semi evergreen small perennial with a mound of bright green leaves and spikes of tiny green bells in early summer


4. Hellebores argutifolius – large evergreen perennial with large glossy leaves and bright lime large flowers in late winter


5. Sarcococca confusa – small evergreen shrub with small glossy leaves and tiny but highly scented flowers mid winter


6. Pulmonaria officinalis – semi evergreen small perennial with spotted leaves and blue AND pink flowers on the same plant !


7. Arum italicum ‘Marmoratum‘ – herbaceous perennial with marbled foliage, elegant hooded flowers and orange berries.


8.Geranium phaeum – herbaceous perennial with leaves splashed with purple and dark purple flowers early summer.


9. Geranium macrorrhizum – semi evergreen herbaceous perennial with delicate pink flowers early summer.


10. Hydrangea ‘Annabelle‘ – medium deciduous shrub with new lime green leaves followed by huge white flower heads.


The important thing to remember with shady conditions is to improve the soil as much as you can – add garden compost, well rotted manure or mushroom compost. And then once planted, do remember to water regularly for the first year to get everything established.

Add further colour with spring bulbs and you’ll have colour and soft structure all year round. And you’ll wonder why that shady dry spot was ever a problem !

All photos courtesy of

One Response to “My Top10 Selection – Plants for shady conditions.”

  1. Allotmental June 15, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    Thanks for the list! @@

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