Annual Plants For Shade

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Bonfire begonia, coleus and perilla magilla in containerShade-loving annual bedding plants are useful to add vibrant splashes of color and beauty in the shady to partially shaded areas of your landscape. Gardening with shade-loving annuals is a joy because they provide so many interesting textures and beautiful flowers.

Every landscape has some shade - even if your home is out in the middle of a field and there isn't a tree in site. Go to the east side of your home (the side the sun rises on) and you'll find shade - maybe not not all-day shade, but afternoon shade. Many shade-loving annuals will tolerate a good deal of morning sun as long as there is shade in the afternoon.

Shade-loving annuals, such as impatiens, are perfect for adding vibrant splashes of season-long flower color in both your perennial and/or shrub shade gardens. Shade-loving perennial plants aren't known to be the most prolific bloomers and that's where shade-loving flowering annuals come in to add the "wow factor" to shade gardens.

Other shade-loving annuals, such as caladiums and coleus, are known for their outstanding foliage color and texture. Whether grown in beds or pots, these foliage plants are very useful to brighten up shady areas or bring a tropical look and feel to the garden.

Before we take a look at some varieties of annuals that will grow in shade, let's first take a look at another important factor to consider when choosing annuals to plant throughout your landscape: color.

Since annual bedding plants are most useful to provide color throughout the landscape, color selection can be very important. Color can be used to visually change distance perspective and to set a certain mood:

  • Warm colors and light tints - Shades of red, orange, yellow and white are warm colors that can be used to effectively advance an object or area toward the observer. For example, these colors and tints placed near the foundation of a house would make the house appear closer to the street.
  • Cool colors and deep shades - Shades of blue, green and black recede and can be used to make a house or other structure appear farther from the street.

Cool colors are restful while warm colors express action and are best used in filtered light or against a green or dark background.

Shade-loving Annual Listing

Below you will find a current listing of shade-loving annual bedding plants - some of which are useful for planting in flower beds, others that are more useful and happy when growing in containers, and others that will perform well in beds or containers. Click on any link or thumbnail image to see an expanded Plant File that contains a detailed plant description and instructions for care.

Alternanthera 'Party Time' - Joseph's Coat
Alternanthera 'Party Time' - Joseph...

Alternanthera 'Party Time', also referred to as 'Joseph...
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Caladium 'Candidum' (White)
Caladium 'Candidum' (White)

Candidum Caladium features outstanding, white elephant ...
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Caladium 'Pink Beauty' (Pink)
Caladium 'Pink Beauty' (Pink)

Pink Beauty Caladium features outstanding, pink elephan...
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Caladium 'Postman Joyner' (Red)
Caladium 'Postman Joyner' (Red)

Postman Joyner Caladium features outstanding, brilliant...
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Coleus - Shade Mix
Coleus - Shade Mix

Common Shade Coleus features striking foliage in an assortment of colors includi...
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Double Impatiens (Group)
Double Impatiens (Group)

Double Impatiens feature a profusion of double flowers ...
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Annual Plants for Morning Sun w/Afternoon Shade

Annuals that prefer only the morning sun can be planted in beds or containers situated in areas of the landscape that provide such conditions. Many annuals, such as impatiens, caladiums, torenias and the others listed below are also very useful as fillers to provide season-long color among hosta lilies, ferns and other shade loving plants that have been grouped together in the perennial or shrub shade garden.

Below you will find a listing of annual bedding plants that grow well in morning sun with shade in the afternoon. Click on any link or thumbnail image to see an expanded Plant File that contains a detailed plant description and instructions for care.

Acalypha 'Bourbon Street'
Acalypha 'Bourbon Street'

Acalypha 'Bourbon Street' features striking multi-color...
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African Daisy - Cape Marigold
African Daisy - Cape Marigold

African Daisy is a prolific bloomer, producing lots of ...
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Alternanthera 'Party Time' - Joseph's Coat
Alternanthera 'Party Time' - Joseph...

Alternanthera 'Party Time', also referred to as 'Joseph...
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Asparagus Fern
Asparagus Fern

Asparagus Fern 'Sprengeri' is an attractive plant with trailing branches covered...
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Bacopa Plant
Bacopa Plant

Bacopas produce masses of small, white, pink or blue flowers that cover long ste...
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Bonfire Begonia
Bonfire Begonia

Bonfire Begonia features outstanding, bright red-orange flowers produced profuse...
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Annual Plants for Afternoon Sun w/Morning Shade

When it comes to plant selection, designers often find this sun exposure requirement one of the most difficult. Some plants require sunshine in the morning to dry dew from foliage in order to avoid the onset of damaging fungus. But not to worry, there are many plants that will tolerate or thrive in morning shade with afternoon sun exposure.

Below you will find a listing of annual bedding plants that grow well in morning shade with sun in the afternoon. Click on any link or thumbnail image to see an expanded Plant File that contains a detailed plant description and instructions for care.

Bonfire Begonia
Bonfire Begonia

Bonfire Begonia features outstanding, bright red-orange flowers produced profuse...
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Bronze Leaf Wax Begonia 'Cocktail Mix'
Bronze Leaf Wax Begonia 'Cocktail Mix'

Bronze Leaf Wax Begonias feature bronze leaves, early f...
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Dragon Wing Begonia
Dragon Wing Begonia

Dragon Wing Begonias feature large, shiny leaves and an abundance of red, pink o...
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Flowering Cabbage Plants
Flowering Cabbage Plants

Flowering cabbage plants are great for adding color to ...
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Flowering Kale Plants
Flowering Kale Plants

Flowering kale plants are great for adding color to the...
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Geranium - (Zonal Group - Annual)
Geranium - (Zonal Group - Annual)

Zonal Geraniums are among the Top 5 most popular annual...
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