7 Shade Loving Plants

Shade Loving Plants

Not everyone has access to a bright and sunny spot to grow plants. Plus, those who do might be looking for some plants that can be grown in shady areas of a garden or in a darker spot indoors. The good news is that there are lots of plants that can be grown in the shade. 

From tropical ferns to bushes with dainty flowers, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to choosing plants for shady areas. If you’re looking for grasses that can be grown in shady spots, check out our article on shade-tolerant lawns.

Have you been wondering what are the best plants to plant in shade? In this blog post, we take a look at a selection of 7 shade loving plants. Scroll down to see some examples!

Please note: begonia, winter daphne, hydrangea, and peace lilies can be toxic to pets, so keep them away from curious cats and dogs. 

Hardy Begonia

Many varieties of begonia enjoy growing in shady spots, and some types can even tolerate full shade. One such type is the begonia grandis, also sometimes called the “hardy begonia”. Fitting to its name, this is one of the plants that grow in full shade on our list. These plants can handle either full or partial shade, but do not enjoy waterlogged soil, so be sure to plant them in a spot with plenty of drainage. They have rich green, heart-shaped leaves with red accents on the undersides, and dainty white or pink flowers.

Winter Daphne

Also sometimes called the Daphne odora, this plant has pretty white flowers that bloom with a gorgeous fragrance during the winter months. Daphne odora like to be planted in a spot that receives partial or dappled shade, and require good drainage. Winter Daphne can also be planted in pots to add a splash of colour to your shaded balcony or alcove. With stunning clusters of pastel pink flowers, this unique shade-loving plant is sure to intrigue guests and liven up shady spaces. Keep in mind, winter Daphne plants are poisonous to humans, and their sap can cause dermatitis in some people.


A popular choice of plant for shaded spaces is the hydrangea. These bushes can be found in many gardens across Australia. Hydrangeas have dark green leaves and flowers that grow in clumps. Their flowers can be white, pink, purple, or blue, often changing colours depending on the soil’s pH level. While hydrangeas like dappled or partial shade, this isn’t a plant that can grow well in full shade. For best results, plant your hydrangeas in soil with good drainage, and make sure they are watered regularly. This plant is poisonous to humans. 

Bird’s Nest Fern

Those after a shade loving plant that doesn’t flower might like to consider the bird’s nest fern. These ferns can help to give a great tropical vibe to a space, and are popular as both an indoor and an outdoor plant. These interesting plants can also be grown directly on trees, if you are looking to add a little greenery to a trunk. Bird’s nest ferns can grow in either partial or full shade, so if you are looking for plants that grow in full shade, the bird’s nest fern may be well-suited to your situation. 


Another popular choice on our list of shade loving plants are impatiens. These bright and beautiful plants grow well in shady spots, making them a great flower to grow in areas that receive a lot of shadow from overhead trees or buildings. Impatiens flowers have wide petals that come in a wide range of colours, including shades of pink, purple, orange, and classic white. Impatiens aren’t very resilient in drought conditions and require frequent watering for best results. They also should be kept away from frosts. Otherwise, these shade-loving plants are relatively simple to grow, making them a great choice for beginners… just make sure you plant them in well-drained soil.

Peace Lily

The peace lily can be grown in lower-light indoor spaces, or in shady spots outdoors. These plants have elegant white flowers that grow straight up, above their dark green leaves. Peace lilies grow best in partial or full shade, and can be placed in a pot under a shaded patio, or directly in the ground in a shadowy space. They love fertile, well-drained soil, and should be watered frequently with their soil kept moist, not soggy. Sadly, peace lilies are poisonous to humans and as such may not be suitable for all yards.

Mondo grass

Sometimes called monkey grass, mondo grass is a plant that requires very little maintenance to grow well. Its hardy nature makes it a good choice for those looking for a ground or garden cover that doesn’t require too much attention. There are lots of options when it comes to varieties of mondo grass, from dwarf varieties through to tall mondo grass or “ophiopogon japonicus” that grows much larger. Mondo grass is versatile, and can be grown in full sun, part sun, or full shade. This plant has long leaves that resemble blades of grass, and comes in colours such as green and white, dark green, and black. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some of the shade loving plants that are available. From colourful flowers through to tropical ferns, there are many options to choose from when it comes to filling those shady spots in your garden!

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