Today, I am going to talk about perennials that will not only thrive in a shady garden area but will make your home look spectacular. There are many types of shade loving perennials available to landscape your garden so that it looks spectacular. Some of the shade loving perennials are prized for their spectacular blooms and some are prized for the stunning foliage. It you have an area in your yard that receives limited sunlight, there is no need to sacrifice style or design. Your shade garden can be just as spectacular as your sun drenched garden.
We’ve listed some shade loving perennials that can provide great garden style to your home. Some of these shade thriving perennial selections are deer resistant. Since we have a year around problem with local deer, we are always on the lookout for deer resistant plants. Take a look and let us know what you think.
The Anemone x Hybrida ‘Robustissima’ is a Japanese anemone that blooms between August and September. The Robustissima with its beautiful soft pink blooms can reach up to 4 feet tall and is deer resistant. You can’t go wrong with this beauty!
The Veronica ‘Very Van Gogh’, a deer resistant perennial, blooms between July and August with vivid purple spikes. The Veronica, also known as Speedwell, can grow between 18 to 20 inches tall and thrives in a sunny to partial shade garden.
The Helleborus Winter Magic ‘Snow Love’, commonly known as a Lenten Rose, thrives in a partial shade to shade garden area. The fresh green blooms appear in March and April and reach a height of 12 to 15 inches tall. The Snow Love Helleborus is deer resistant and looks stunning in a shade garden.
The Astilbe Chinensis ‘Vision in Red’ blooms in July and grows between 15 to 18 inches tall. Astilbes tend to be tough, pest free, and provides great spectacular color to a shady garden.
The Hemerocallis Daylily ‘Apricot Sparkles’ Reblooming produces 3 inch apricot flowers from June to September. The Daylily reaches about 18 inches tall and thrives in a sunny or part shade garden.
The Dicentra Spectabilis or Bleeding Heart perennial thrives in a part shade garden with blooms appearing in May and June. The Bleeding Heart with heart-shaped pink flowers reaches 30 to 36 inches tall and is deer resistant.
The Sisyrinchium Angustifolium Lucerne or Blue-eyed Grass thrives in a sunny or part shade garden producing lavender blue flowers with yellow centers from May to July. The hardy Lucerne has blue-green leaves 12 inches tall and is deer resistant.
The Geum Chiloense ‘Red Dragon’ is a scarlet double bloom of red with a gold center that blooms from June until August. The Red Dragon reaches between 16 to 20 inches tall and does well in a sunny or part shade garden.
The Pulmonaria Blue Ensign, a Lungwort has solid dark green foliage with blue flowers in April through May. The Pulmonaria reaches 12 to 14 inches tall and does well in a part shade to shade garden. The Blue Ensign is deer resistant.
The Primula ‘Wanda Lilac Colors’ thrives in part shade and blooms from April until May. The hardy Primula or Primrose flowers appear in rosettes and is deer resistant.
The Chrysogonum Pierre or Golden Star is a groundcover that has clump forming foliage with long blooming, star shaped, golden yellow flowers from late Spring to early Fall. The evergreen 5 inch tall Golden Star grows in zones 5 to 9 and likes full Sun to mostly shady garden locations. The Chrysogonum Pierre can be used as an edger, blooms for 4 weeks or more, is shade tolerant, and dry shade tolerant.
*** UPDATED (22-Jul-2018) ***
Thanks to Lynn from SE Michigan for catching our goof including the below Cosmos which is actually an annual and NOT a perennial in most growing zones. We’ll leave it in the list since people are always looking for bright orange for their gardens and this is one of the few Cosmos that will tolerate shade.
Cosmos Sulphureus ‘Cosmic Orange’ (Annual)
The Cosmos Sulphureus ‘Cosmic Orange’ is a Cosmos variety but please note it is an annual in most growing zones. Cosmos produces 2 inch orange blossoms all summer long. The Cosmos grows up to 12 inches tall and loves a sunny or shady garden area. We love this new bright orange variety and the fact that it will tolerate shade.
The Iris Sibirica ‘Dance Ballerina Dance’ is a Siberian Iris that thrives in a sunny or partial shade garden and is deer resistant. The ‘Dance Ballerina Dance’ blooms in June and reaches a height of 20 to 30 inches tall.
The Saxifraga x Arendsii Touran White blooms in March through April with white flowers and pale green centers. The ground cover does well in sunny or part shade garden.
14. Lilium Graceland
The Lilium Graceland is an Oriental Lily that has striking yellow stars with a rosy pink ruffled petals. The fragrant Graceland grows 3 to 4 feet tall, blooms in July and August. The Lilium Graceland can be planted in a sunny or part shade garden.
The Athyrium Niponicum Pictum or Japanese Painted Fern have 12 to 18 inch gray green fronds that fade to silver at the edges. The Japanese Painted Fern thrives in a partial shade garden and is deer resistant.
The Athyrium Filix-Femina Lady Fern grows between 30 to 36 inches tall and is deer resistant. The Lady Fern thrives in a sunny or shady garden.
The Matteuccia Struthiopteris Ostrich Fern thrives in a part shady garden. The Ostrich Fern can reach between 4 to 6 feet tall! It is deer resistant and great for a woodland garden or damp areas surrounding a pond. The fronds are large, light green that resemble showy ostrich plumes.
The Hakonechloa Macra ‘All Gold’ or Japanese Forest Grass thrives in a part shady garden and is deer resistant. The Japanese Forest Grass has bright golden foliage that cascades, reaches between 1 to 2 feet tall and makes a great accent along a garden path or shaded garden area.
The Adiantum Pedatum Maidenhair Fern thrives in shade, reaches 12 to 20 inches tall, and is deer resistant. The elegant fronds are bright green on shiny, blue-black stems.
The Dryopteris Erythrosora Brilliance Autumn Fern, also called the Japanese Shield Fern thrives in a shady to part shady garden reaching 24 inches tall. The Autumn Fern is deer resistant and has orange-red fronds with red spores on the undersides. An easy to grow fern and drought tolerant once established in your garden.
The Heuchera Shanghai or Coral Bells loves a part shade garden. The Shanghai blooms in June to July and reaches up to 10 inches tall. The Heuchera has spectacular silvery, purple foliage and is deer resistant.
The Osmunda Cinnamomea Cinnamon Fern can reach between 3 to 5 feet tall and is deer resistant. The Cinnamon Fern does well in a sunny to part shady garden. The fern has pale green foliage that darkens over Summer then turns a rich brown in the Fall.
The Athyrium Filix-Femina ‘Dre’s Dagger’ or Crested Lady Fern loves a part shade to shade garden area. The Crested Lady will reach up to 18 inches tall and is deer resistant! The Crested Lady Fern is a dwarf form of the Lady Fern and has deep-green fronds with an intricate leaf structure.
The Liriope Muscari ‘Variegata’ is a Lilyturf that does well in either a sun or shade garden. The deer resistant Variegata blooms in August and September reaching 20 inches tall. The Liriope is an evergreen perennial that forms deep carpets of grass-like leaves.
These 24 Spectacular Shade Garden Perennials can make your yard look fabulous. Many of these are deer resistant shade loving perennials that can help you maintain your garden style. If you try any of these 24 Spectacular Shade Garden Perennials let us know how you make out.
For additional information on deer resistant perennials read our post Deer Resistant Perennials: Stop Planting All-You-Can-Eat Garden Buffets and for growing perennials from seeds post 21 Gorgeous Garden Plants to Grow from Seeds. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us in the comments below. We always are ready to help you out.