Minnesota Valley Companies



Plants for Shade Gardens


Gardening in the shade can be challenging, but if you follow a few simple suggestions and use the right plants, it doesn't need to be.  The simplest of shade gardens simply follows Mother Natures Design - look for the plants marked native to create a natural woodland garden.

There are more plants available for the shade garden than you may realize.  Some of the best are listed in Table 1.
Table 1 - Plants for Shady Locations (Minnesota Native Plants are marked with *)

Perennials & Groundcover


Small Trees & Evergreens

Ajuga Arborvitae, Hetz Midget Arborvitae, Holmstrup
Anemone Azalea Arborvitae, Pyramidal
Aruncus (Goatsbeard) Clethra Arborvitae, Techny
Astilbe Currant, Alpine Dogwood, Gray
Bergenia Dogwoods Dogwood, Pagoda
Brunnera Euonymous Ironwood
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart) Honeysuckle Redbud (Cercis)
Ferns* Rhododendron Serviceberry*
Geranium Serviceberry, Regent
Hostas Snowberry
Pulmonaria Viburnums


When planting, there are a number of things to consider with shade gardens just as with any garden.  These include; soil, exposure or microclimates, and moisture & drainage.

The remainder of this article will be completed shortly.


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