Gardening with Shade Tolerant Plants - Best practices

What are shade tolerant plants?

When it comes to gardening, you know you need to balance giving your plants sunshine without drying them out. Or worse, accidentally letting the leaves burn. But what you might not know is that there is an entire line of plants that actually prefer less sunlight than most.

As we all learned in science class, plants need sunshine to convert to chlorophyll for energy. However, some plants don’t actually need as much sunlight as most others. Scientists call these plants shade tolerant plants

What is shade gardening?

Some plants really thrive receiving less sunlight, but other plants have actually adapted to their environment. Some examples we see in plants that are naturally found in dense forests is that they leaf out much earlier than their surrounding trees. This gives them more time to grow as they will get more sunshine before the trees around them are fully shading the area. They will also flower earlier than a similar variety of plant that doesn’t have limited light.

Some varieties of plants such as ferns and Japanese maples are great in the shade. But they don’t really flower or grow very tall. If you have a particularly shady spot in your garden, consider using one of these plants for their simple beauty.

Plants such as hydrangeas and begonias are actually considered “shade loving” plants as they truly do require much less sunlight than their counterparts. However, other plants have adapted over time to fit their surroundings. If you are looking for some examples, there are some listed below.

Examples of shade tolerant plants

There are variety of plants that prefer less sunshine. These shade tolerant plants include:

  • Silver and Gold Yellowtwig Dogwood
  • Bowles Golden Sedge
  • A variety of ferns
  • Samaritan Kousa Dogwood
  • Forest Pansy Eastern Redbud

Benefits of shade plants in a garden

There are many benefits to having a shade garden. For example, while it can be fun and relaxing to work out in the garden, sometimes we don’t want to be in the sun all day. To help you enjoy gardening, while also avoiding direct sunlight all day, consider starting a small shade garden.

Use natural foliage, or a shade canopy, to provide the much-needed shade these plants above need. One of our Decorative Brown Knitted Shade cloths can be a great addition to any garden.

In conclusion, we have learned that not all plants need as much direct sunlight as others. While it is true what we learned in science class that all plants must have sun to convert to chlorophyll for energy, some plants only need small doses of indirect light to thrive.

Starting a shade garden is a fun addition to any garden. Adding in some begonias or petunias will bring in a pop of color to a corner of your garden that might not get as much light due to a wall or stand of trees. If you don’t naturally have a shaded area, you can create one with natural foliage or a shade canopy.