Looking for something to plant in that shadiest Parts of Your Yard? Lets Add some color to your landscaping & prevent erosion with these Perennials for Shade that Bloom All Summer. The blue, purple, or white flowers provide a colorful accent to the shiny, green foliage.
If you’re just a beginner when it comes to gardening, you might think that perennial plants or flowers constantly need sunlight to thrive.
What if you have a big yard with a shady spot? Does it mean that you can’t have a colorful garden?
Worry not since there are also Shade-Loving Perennial Flowers! This list contains perennials for shade the bloom all summer long even with little or no direct exposure to the sun.
But before we dive in, what exactly does a shade mean? Shade is simply an area with no or little sunlight. Recognizing what type of shade that your plant prefers to ensure a more vibrant bloom.
There are different shade conditions but in this case, we're just going to quickly define two.
Some perennials flourish successfully in areas where they don’t receive any direct sunlight. In gardening terms, it sometimes means that these plants only need less than 2 hours of sunlight or even just heavily filtered or reflected light. Usually, they are under big structures or trees.
Plants that need partial shade means that they prosper in areas where the sun is dappled. Sometimes it means that these plants only need 3-6 hours of sunlight a day when the sun isn’t at its strongest.
They need a slight shield from the sun so they’ll do just fine under a small shade of tree.
The 17 Best Perennial Plants for Shade That Bloom All Summer
1: Endless Summer Hydrangea: Shade Loving Perennials that come back every year and bloom all summer
These beautiful perennials have endless color. These plants re-bloom in the course of spring up to the summer months which will definitely bring color to your area or garden. Endless Summer also blooms ten to twelve weeks longer compared to other Hydrangeas. Endless Summer Hydrangeas prefer partial shade.
2: Coral Bells: purple perennials that bloom all summer
These bell-shaped flowers bloom from early until mid-summer. They are also really versatile since they can grow from full sun to full shade. However, they really prefer partial shade. Usually, some varieties are in burgundy or deep purple color.
3: Indian Pink
The blossoms of this perennial appear over the stems during late spring or early summer. It has a red tubular flower with a yellow star-like bit on the mouth. You can place them in the sun or in partial shade. This plant can grow from 12-18 inches.
4: Hostas: perennial flowers that bloom from spring to fall
Almost all Hostas prefer shade and are really easy to grow. They are known for having really lush and gorgeous foliages with different leaf color ranges. Gardens aren’t complete without these undemanding beauties that bloom in summer and fall.
5: Russian Sage
Another low-maintenance perennial that prefers partial shade to prosper. This woody subshrub blooms from late spring up until fall. Mid until late summer, it blooms into a thin blue-lavender haze.
6: Toad Lily: perennial flowers that bloom from spring to fall
These head-turners are always compared to orchids that have blooms ranging from white, blue, to lavender with intricate spots. Toad Lillies bloom from mid to late summer in full shade. Its stems can grow two to three feet tall.
7: Celandine poppy
Also known as Wood Poppy, this perennial plant is native in North America. The gorgeous orange and yellow flowers of this plant make it famous for gardeners. Celandine poppies begin to bloom on the last weeks of winter and at the start of spring, then it flowers regularly all summer!
These babies might be tough but they certainly can’t handle drought. It blooms into glossy, colorful and long spikes on top of the divided foliage from late spring and throughout summer. Meadowsweet or Astilbe can bloom again when you trim them back after it blooms.
9: Leopard plant: zone 5 perennials that bloom all summer
These herbaceous perennials have really big heart-shaped leaves with vibrant yellow flowers that come in out mid to late summer. They prosper in either full or partial shade. In colder winter areas like Zone 5, it can start blooming at the start of August.
10: Spiderwort: Drought Tolerant Perennial Flowers
These drought-resistant perennials can grow in any condition but prosper well in partial shade. Its purple-blue flowers have three petals that only open for a day. Usually, it blooms in the morning then closes up during the night. However, clusters of flowers can keep on blooming for 4-6 weeks in the summer.
11: Siberian Bugloss: short perennials that bloom all summer
Known for its gorgeous foliage, this low-maintenance plant has leaves that are shaped like a heart and coated in tiny silver hairs. It blooms tiny blue flowers during mid-spring that can last throughout the summer. It thrives in full or partial shade.
12: Hardy Fuchsias: Perennial Flowers for hanging baskets in shade
They may look fragile but in reality, these Fuchsias can survive even -10 degrees F or in Zone 6. The gorgeous blooms vary from pinks, reds, purples, and whites that dangle like precious jewels. They usually bloom in the late spring up to the start of winter. These fuchsias prefer partial shade.
13: Bear’s Breeches
Often sold as architectural plants, this eye-candy perennial has glossy green leaves with thorned stems can grow from 3-5 feet. They are usually grown because of their foliage but sometimes for their tall flowers too that blooms from late spring to mid-summer. Bear’s Breeches thrive in partial shade.
14: Siberian Campanula
Native in the Northern Balkans, this plant is the perfect choice if you’re planning to start rock gardens since it forms a beautiful ground cover that tumbles and spreads on rocks and walls. It blooms clusters of lilac-blue flowers that are like stars in spring or early summer. They thrive in some afternoon partial shade.
15: Yellow Fumitory: Yellow Flowering Perennials for shade
Corydalis lutea is perfect for shade or partial shade gardens. It blooms yellow tubular flowers for a long period of time that usually starts from May up until October. They are self-seeding too which means they produce new ones after they shed their old blooms.
16: Georgia Blue: blue perennial flowers that bloom all summer
This type of Creeping Veronica is a low-maintenance groundcover that thrives in shade. Its bright blue flowers with white eyes usually bloom at the start of spring and intermittently all summer long. It can grow from 4-6 inches high and 18-24 inches wide.
17: Garden phlox: Partial Shade Perennials That Bloom All Summer
Another long-blooming perennial that is popular for its colorful blooms that almost take every hue imaginable. The gorgeous clusters of billowy blooms start to show in July and can last all throughout September! Thriving in partial shade, this is definitely a must-have for your garden.
18: Green and Gold: ground cover perennials flower for shade
Chrysogonum virginianum or Green and Gold is a showy and fast-spreading plant without being invasive. It has hairy oval leaves, hairy stems, and blooms star-shaped yellow flowers that look like daisies. If thickly planted, they could also work as a groundcover. It prospers in partial shade and peaks in May that sometimes last until October.
19: Stella de Oro
These compact daylilies are overrated for some since they are really popular. It has vibrant yellow blooms that start in late spring, peaks in mid-summer up until autumn! These beauties are great re-bloomers that thrive in partial shade.
20: Mourning Widow
Last but certainly not the least, is the Mourning Widow or Geranium phaeum. It thrives in shade better than most of perennials. The attractive clusters of dark-maroon and slightly purple flowers pop out of the dark green foliages from early spring to late summer. This perennial grows up to 24-in tall and 12-in wide. In some areas, Mourning Widow is also called Dusky Cranesbill and Black Widow.
Shade Perennials in Different Hardiness Zones
To ensure that your perennials bloom brighter and longer, you also have to take note of their Hardiness Zones.
But first, what are these zones? It is a guide for growers or gardeners to help them know which plants are suitable to grow on the specific area. Below are some of shade-loving plants in some zones.
zone 3 perennials for shade that bloom all summer
If you live in this Zone, punishing cold temperatures are expected. It ranges from -35 degrees F to -30 degrees F.
- Northern maidenhair fern
- Carpathian bellflower
- Lily of the valley
- Solomon’s seal
- Ladies Mantle
zone 4 Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer
The northern zone is not much different to Zone 3 but a little less cold. It ranges from -30 degrees F to -20 degrees F.
- Bleeding Heart
- Siberian Bugloss
If your plants is in Zones 5 to 8, it means that they can prosper in any of these zones. They are not suitable for the cold temperatures in Zone 4 or lower as well as the dry and hot temperatures in Zone 9 and higher.
Zone 5 Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer
The temperature in this zone ranges from -20 degrees F to -10 degrees F.
- Lily of the Valley
- Red Trillium
- Cardinal Flower
- Bleeding Heart
- Lady’s Mantle
- Asian Lily
Zone 6 Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer
The temperature in this zone ranges from -10 degrees F to 0 degrees F.
- Bigroot Geranium
- Bleeding Heart
summer flowering perennials for Zone 7
The temperature in this zone ranges from 0 degrees F to 10 degrees F
- Cast Iron Plant
- Royal fern
- Grey’s sedge
- Japanese Anemone
- Lenten Rose
- Lily of the Valley
- Solomon’s Plume
Shade loving Zone 8 Perennials flowers that bloom from spring to fall
The temperature in this zone ranges from 10 degrees F to 20 degrees F.
- Bigroot geranium
- Pineapple lily
- Toad lily
- Japanese yew
- Oakleaf hydrangea
- Bleeding heart
- Chinese mahonia
- Heartleaf brunnera
- Japanese fatsia
Caring for your Perennials
Although most of the plants in the list are low-maintenance, they have different watering and soil needs.
They might also be “stressed” if your perennials aren’t blooming the way as you expected them to be. You can follow these simple tips to make sure that your perennials can prosper.
1: Compared to sunny gardens, shade garden plants dry out slower so generally, these plants need less regular watering.
2: It is a must to water your perennials after you plant or replant them. But how about during summer?
Always remember that your perennials only need water when the a few inches of the surface soil dries out. However, don’t wait until they wilt and have brown edges on their leaves.
3: Perennials that are native from dry places are fine without regular watering while the ones from wet places need water even before the soil dries out completely.
4: Avoid watering on the hottest part of the day since the water can dry out even before your plants can absorb it. Water them in the morning or evening instead.
Deadheading and Dividing
- Make a habit of deadheading your plants or cutting off the faded flowers. Almost all perennials respond positively to deadheading. In turn, they produce more blooms, especially the rebloomers.
- Every year, perennials grow bigger and sometimes they get too big and crowded. It is best to dig the crowded ones and split them into smaller clusters.
You should feed your perennials too especially if you know that you have poor soil quality. You can also just add compost regularly if you already have a rich soil.
Most of the time, a general garden fertilizer can do the trick. However, be careful in putting too much fertilizer because it can also lead to root injury or less flowers as it blooms.
Since we’re talking about summer, heat wave is inevitable. Just remember, do not fertilize on a heat wave!
It’s time to break that belief that if you have shady areas you cannot have beautiful and vibrant plants. By understanding the needs of your colorful, shade-loving perennial flowers that bloom from spring to fall, you don’t need to worry about having an empty shaded landscape ever again.
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has supplemented her formal education by working on various organic farms, including spending a semester abroad in India.
Growing and/or raising just about anything gets her excited. She is especially passionate about environmental justice and low-tech, sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms and homesteads. Lindsey started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics.
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