Window shades are a great way to maximize your garden’s growth, regardless of whether it gets a lot of sunlight. Shades can be light filtering, blackout or room darkening and come in many styles, materials and colors to complement your decorating theme.
If you have a dark spot in your garden, it may be due to walls or fences that have cast shadows over the area for most of the day. Fortunately, you can transform this space into an asset by making it brighter with hardscaping elements like pavers and water features.
Plants That Thrive in Shade
Whether you’re gardening in a courtyard, garden enclave, or other shady spot, there are many gorgeous plants that thrive in these types of low light conditions. These hardy plants will help you optimize the growth of your garden and turn those dark areas into attractive features that add interest to your landscape.
Although the term “shade plant”, may conjure up images of ferns and hostas, there are many beautiful and vibrant plants that can thrive in low-light conditions. These perennials are durable and require little maintenance once they have been planted correctly.
If you’re looking for a plant that will brighten up a shaded corner of your yard, try a Japanese painted fern. Its multicolored foliage makes it a beautiful accent for flowering shade perennials such as astilbe, bleeding hearts, and deadnettle.
The Japanese forest grass is another fern that can thrive in low-light environments. Its clump-forming habit and lush foliage are useful for accents, foundation planting, groundcovers and borders. It’s also a popular choice for adding height and texture to shady gardens, as it combines nicely with hostas, ferns, coral bells and other woodland plants that grow in shade.
One of the best-known shade perennials, hosta is available in a huge variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. You’ll find miniatures that stay a few inches tall, as well as giants that sprawl 6 feet across or more. Many cultivars offer a wide variety of leaf shades, from green, blue, white, chartreuse, and gold.
If you are looking for a hosta to plant in your shady backyard, make sure you look at the leaves. They are often the main feature of this hardy perennial. The leaves can be solid or striped in a variety of colors, including yellow, white, gold, and gold. You should also consider how they will look when in bloom.
Astilbe, also known as a false goat’s hair, is another great option for shaded nooks in your garden. Its feathery-looking flowers come in a variety of colors, including red, pink and peach.
While astilbe will bloom throughout the summer, it’s best planted with other shade-tolerant perennials so you don’t have a bare spot. Its finely cut leaves look fernlike and its clusters pink or white flowers make a nice complement to the fronds other shade perennials.
Plants That Grow Well in Shade
Shade-loving plants can improve your garden’s productivity and provide much-needed relief from summer heat. You can also use them to create focal points in your garden.
Unlike sunny areas, shaded gardens are often cooler and moist for longer periods of time. These conditions can make the soil more difficult to maintain, so plantings need to be fertilized regularly and supplemental watering is recommended for many plants.
If you have a large shady area of your yard, consider planting a combination of perennials and annuals that will provide color and interest throughout the year. These types of plants will come back year after year, making them a wise investment for your garden.
Perennials such as bleeding heart, violet, lady’s mantle and trillium are reliable performers in partial shade. They are ideal for flowering beds, borders and containers as long as the soil is well-drained.
Bulbs such as crocus, snowdrops and daffodils are also dependable performers in shady areas of the garden. Their blooms are an important source of pollen for bees and butterflies.
Sweet potato vines are another perennial that can be grown in full or partial shade. These attractive vining plants come in a variety colors and can easily spill over containers or window boxes adding visual drama and texture.
Begonias are another popular choice for a shade garden. These robust bedding plants are a great choice because they are easy to propagate by splitting in early spring or fall.
Another option is to add color and texture in shady areas with the ligularia lily pad-like lily leaves. These perennials bloom in a range of shades, from white to pink and blue.
Ferns are an essential addition to a woodland or shade garden. Ferns are easy to grow and can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They can be used as a groundcover, a hedge or a specimen plant.
Wishbone flowers are an overlooked but very pretty perennial that grows to a height of two feet and features bi-color blooms. They are loved by butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. They can be easily grown in shady areas.
Sunlight is good for plants that grow well
Many garden plants need sunlight to thrive, which is why windows blinds cheapest are so important. Without enough light, your plants will grow stunted and may even die.
Window shades can improve the growth of your garden and make it easier for you to manage your soil, water, and fertilizing schedules. This is especially useful for those who have limited space or are on a tight budget.
Sunlight is vital for the health of plants, as it provides the energy needed to break down and transform food into plant-based energy. However, sunlight can be harsh and burn the leaves of plants if it is too intense or prolonged.
Plants that require less than six hours of direct sunlight per day in areas with full sun should be considered. This includes vegetables like carrots, radishes, and beets. It is also a good idea to select leafy greens such as arugula, chard and mustard greens that are tolerant of light shade.
A few herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, are also happy in shady conditions. You can also grow perennial vines such as Dutchman’s pipe and climbing hydrangeas. These perennials can add color and texture to shady areas.
Some perennial flowers that do well in the shady outdoors are marigolds, daisies and pelargoniums. These flowers are low-maintenance, easy to care for and come in an array of colors that will add a pop of color to your garden or patio container.
The lantana is another perennial that can thrive in the shade. This plant is a great addition to any garden or patio container that requires a little color, as it produces bright yellow blooms and mild fragrance.
You can also plant climbing vegetables in shady places. Cucumbers and pole beans climb up supports into the sun, so they are ideal for areas that receive morning sun but then turn to dappled shade in the afternoon.
These plants are best grown in well-drained soil. You can enrich the soil by adding compost and slow-release fertilizer, which is designed for low-light plants.
The right shade can be just as rewarding to your garden as the sun. To create the perfect shade garden, mix light and dark colors. This can be achieved by using a variety plants that have similar needs for moisture, drainage, and soil type.
Light Shades Grow Better for Plants
While many flowers prefer to be grown in the sun, there are plenty that can thrive in shade. Plants that love the dappled light of morning or afternoon can add interest to your garden without a lot of work.
Lily of the valley, columbine, and impatiens are excellent for filling in a spot that is lacking in color or adding light to a dark area in your garden. These easy-to-grow perennials also provide a nice touch of height and foliage to any shady corner in your garden.
Another versatile perennial is the Heuchera, also known as coral bells. They come in a variety of leaf colors, from silver to burgundy, and everything in between. They are a beautiful accent to any shady corner and look great when planted over the edges or windows of containers.
They also grow quickly. You can start them indoors in trays 8-10 weeks before the last frost, or sow directly into the ground. You can even let them self-seed to add more plants every year!
For those who live in shady areas, Hostas are the perfect low-maintenance perennial. They come in a range of sizes and shapes, from tiny minis that are just a few inches tall to huge ones that sprawl 6 feet across or more. They look their best in shady gardens when the leaves are in shades of green, blue, white, and chartreuse.
Serbian bellflower is another dependable, low-growing ground cover that looks its best in partial shade. Its heart-shaped, bluish purple leaves are deer-resistant and provide blooms that hummingbirds enjoy.
Spiderwort, also known as tradescantia is a clump-forming groundcover that thrives in partial shade. “It’s a great choice for a shady corner of the yard,” says Daryl Beyers, author of The New Gardener’s Handbook. It grows from about a foot-and-a-half to two feet high, and its unique leaf pattern is very attractive.
The sweet potato vine is a vining annual that works well in both full and part shade. It can grow to the top of containers and window boxes. The burgundy, purple or chartreuse leaves add interest to any area in your garden that requires a splash of bright color.