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Science-based gardening information for Colorado communities from CSU Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Green Industries of Colorado.

1108 – Shade Garden Perennials   arrow

Can plants grow in shade?

Shade, whether cast by trees, buildings or structures, presents a different environment than a typical Colorado landscape. Often homeowners believe plants won’t grow in these areas. However, many shade-loving plants will thrive there and can create a shady haven to visit often.

Are there many varieties of shade plants?

Most shade plants are grown for their varying forms and color. Foliage plants that have stripes or speckles, such as lungwort, hosta and dead nettle, tend to grow well in the shade and provide a striking interplay between light and dark. The key to a successful shade garden is to combine and contrast the forms, textures and colors of the leaves.

What are shade perennial plants that do well in Colorado?

Some shade-tolerant perennials especially well suited for Colorado’s semi-arid environment are lady’s mantle, sweet woodruff and coralbells, and shrubs like mahonia, golden currant and thimbleberry. For more moist conditions, plant astilbe, Japanese anemone, foxglove, hostas, and ferns.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

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