Top Seasonal Blooms to Grow in Shade

Overview about seasonal blooms 

When planning a garden it is important to realize that not all gardens are or even can be in full sun.  Full sun is six hours a day or more of sunshine.  But buildings, trees, bushes, other structures and taller plants create areas in our yards and gardens where there are only shade conditions.  When we plant our gardens we also want to mix in flowers that will bloom at differing seasons and times of the season so that we get beautifully colored flowers throughout the growing season.  In this article we will help you find some flowering plants that grow in shade.  Some of these will be flowers that grow in partial shade which means less that four hours and more than one and a half hours of sun daily.  While some will be the best plants that grow in full shade, meaning less than one and a half hours of sunshine.  

How you can plan a Shade flowerbed

The first thing to do when planning your shade flowerbed is to determine which areas receive partial shade (1.5 to 4 hours sun) and which receive full shade (1.5 hours or less).  As the leaves fill out on the trees and bushes and as the days grow longer and the sun soars higher in the sky, this will likely change.  So keep these things in mind.  Most garden planning layers plants, meaning taller flowers will be planted in the back while medium height and shorter flowers will be planted toward the front.  This is done so that all the flowers can be seen and enjoyed.  Another gardening favorite is to plant clusters of flowers together.  Unlike the rows in your vegetable patch, flowers look better in clumps and in layers.  If you need help with your planning don’t hesitate to visit Olmsted’s nursery and ask lots of questions!

Top Seasonal Blooms to Grow in Shade 

In order to help you get started I want to recommend some beautiful and hearty favorites.  


These beautiful flowers look like colorful small daisies.  Also known as Grecian windflowers they like some shade and light dry soil.  Anemones are about six inches tall and come in blue, white, pink, magenta and lavender.  


Deciduous shrubs with truly stunning  flowers in shades of pinks, blues, white and in between. They bloom in spring and summer. Fairly easy to grow. They come in many sizes and colors, and some types of hydrangeas can actually tolerate lots of sun!


Beautiful heart-shaped glossy green leaves are complimented by miniature light blue flowers in this fabulous shade loving ground cover plant.  


This early blooming ground hugging flower likes shade and can be found in a wide variety of colors.  As the long lasting blooms diminish, the beautiful green foliage becomes a lovely cover.


Astilbes are a favorite in shade gardens everywhere. These fern like plants produce beautiful tall plumes of flowers in a wide variety of colors.  Their sizes vary from a few inches tall to a few feet tall and although most blooms are pastel in color they range from white to purple. 


Amazing evergreen shrubs. Several varieties available, they all produce powerfully scented creamy white flowers in late winter/early spring.

A must have for your shade garden.

Other plants for the shade garden:

Ferns, heucheras, fatsia, dicentra, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, aucubas, pieris, skimmias, hostas and many more! 






If you want to learn more about these and other fantastic flowering shade plants come and visit your friendly staff at Olmsted’s nursery. They will provide you with many examples and answer questions.  Visit our nursery at 19700 Viking Avenue in Poulsbo, WA or visit our website at olmstedsnursery.com.

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