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Low Light Plants

Hardy, shade-loving plants and flowers can deliver magnificent blooms and eye-catching foliage to even the shadiest of spots in the garden. If you have a lot of tall trees in your yard or have a side of the house that receives very little sunlight, there is no need to give up on the idea of having a beautiful garden.

Low light plants are more plentiful than you might think. They may not require much sunlight, but they sure reward gardeners who take a chance on adding them to their landscape. Check out our robust list of low light plants that are proven to bring vibrancy to your garden beds.

Pink Heuchera coral bells flowers cluster in the garden.

13 Low Light Plants to Add to Your Garden

Coral Bells

Coral Bells do not need a lot of sunlight to perform well in the garden. In fact, their foliage can burn out if planted in an area that is too sunny. These low light plants produce lovely colored leaves that range from green to purple and boasts billows of delicate bell-shaped flowers throughout the spring and summer months. The plant can be grown in most planting zones and retains its lovely foliage all year long, adding cheer and visual interest to even the bleakest of winter landscapes.

Vinca Minor-Periwinkle

If you are looking for a ground cover around the bases of trees or in a shady patch of the garden, try Vinca Minor. These lovely low light plants produce glossy green foliage and adoring periwinkle blooms and spread to fill in any bare landscape. This appealing plant enjoys acidic soil and very little sunlight, adding unexpected color patches to the garden.

Peace Lily

Peace Lilies grow well in containers, both indoors and outdoors. They purify the air and add a pleasant and alluring beauty to the landscape. The plant’s dark green foliage and glowing white blooms do best in low light areas of the garden.

Growing Hydrangeas in the Shade along a walkway.


Add the beauty and elegance of hydrangea blooms to your garden. Plant these perennial beauties in an area of the garden that receives a few short hours of sunlight per day. The flowers are vibrant and fragrant, and they vary in color from pink, blue, and purple, to white. In some cultivars, the color of the flowers is dependent on the acidity level in the soil and can change as the soil changes.

Bleeding Heart

One of the more rewarding low light plants to add to your garden is the bleeding heart. It is one of the first plants to look for in the early spring and produces strings of bright pink or white heart-shaped blooms.

These lovely plants tend to spread, and they pop up in other areas of the garden, which is pleasing to many gardeners. If the extra plants are not what you are looking for in your garden, you can easily dig them up and spread the love of this plant by sharing with friends and neighbors.


Enjoy the versatility of the annual plant, impatiens. This shade-loving plant rewards gardeners with endless blooms from early spring through the fall. Impatiens can add huge mounds of color to shady areas of the garden. Plant them in containers, hanging baskets, or tuck them into gaps or along borders. It is not a cold-hardy plant and will fade away at the first sign of frost.

Shaded patio filled with plants.


If you are looking for a low light plant with eye-catching texture and vibrant color, try adding annual coleus to your landscape garden. They are great additions to container gardens and can brighten up stark areas of any shade garden. The plant produces velvety foliage in rich reds, purples, yellows, and greens.

Lady Fern

Add texture to the shade garden with the low light treasure of the lady fern. These plants produce magnificent plumes of foliage with a texture unlike any other plant in the shade garden. Lady ferns can grow extremely well with hardly any sunlight but require well-watered moist soil. The plant can reach two feet in width and height, so it should be spaced accordingly when planting.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley adds tremendous beauty as a ground cover in shady spots in the garden. It spreads readily throughout the area and produces delicate bell-shaped white blooms.


Begonias are versatile plants that require only a couple of hours of light per day to thrive. Plant them in the ground, in hanging baskets, or containers for showy blooms. These annual plants require very little maintenance. They are drought tolerant and bask in the shadiest areas of the garden landscape.

Close shot of flowering blue and pink Pulmonaria


Much like the bleeding heart, pulmonaria is one of the first perennial plants to bloom in very early spring. Also known by the name of ‘lungwort,’ this plant is an excellent accent to the shade garden as it thrives in low light conditions, and is easy to grow. The midsized plant produces bell-shaped flowers in various hues, and much like the hydrangea plant, its colorful blooms can change based on the pH of the soil where it is planted.

Caladium – Elephant Ear

Plant caladium bulbs for a variegated selection of rich billowing foliage that resembles the shape of elephant ears. This plant requires little care and thrives in low light conditions. If the bulb is left to winter over, it may come back in the spring, or you may choose to dig up the bulb in the fall months and store in a cool dark place for spring replanting.


Add variegated or traditional hosta plants along the house’s foundation or in any shady spots in the garden. This plant is easy to grow and care for and thrives in shaded areas. However, deer love to eat their leaves just as much as gardeners love to grow them.

Share The Garden Love

Close shot of flowering blue and pink Pulmonaria with text, "13 Shade Loving Plants"
Lady fern unrolling its leaves with text, "Low light gardens, the best plants"


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