Ever feel like all the best plants are sun-loving annuals? We get it! Bright, bold colors tend to thrive beneath the sun’s rays, but there are plenty of stunning shade plants that will come back year after year and supply your garden with beauty even in its darkest corners. 

Below we included a list of colorful perennial plants that can tolerate full or partial shade. Make your goal for this spring to get something growing in every spot in the yard, not just the sunniest ones.

Dead Nettle

This beautiful shade-loving groundcover features pretty silvery leaves and pink, purple or white flowers that show up in the spring and then again in the fall and winter. You might even have flowers through December depending on the snowfall!


Hostas are easy to grow and come in many stunning varieties. The large leaves can be solid or variegated, and they produce tall stalks with flowers during the summer for about three weeks. But they look beautiful without the flowers, and easily thrive in the shade.


This lacy, frilly filler comes in all kinds of colors, from vibrant blue to pastel yellow and pinks. The plant grows about a foot tall and wide, and will bloom during the spring and summer months even in low sun.


If you’re looking for height, the bold aconitum blooms are a perfect accent to your shade garden — plus they’re deer-resistant (unlike hostas…). Do keep in mind that they are poisonous when ingested, so keep children and pets away from them. 


These feathery beauties come in a whole host of color choices, and add a soft texture to the shady parts of your garden. They’ll bloom in early summer, and the leaves are as visually soft as the flowers themselves.


Also known as “johnny jump ups,” these petite blooms often come in deep shades of pinks and purple and most varieties prefer the shade. Best of all, in a shady spot they will bloom most of the summer and again in the fall. They’re even resistant to frost! 


Not only are the blooms of these hardy plants perennial, the foliage is evergreen, offering color all year long. They can be one of the first flowers to pop up in the spring, but do keep in mind they are toxic to both pets and people. 

Toad Lily

The flower is named for its signature spots and can come in all manner of colors including pink, white and yellow. It can grow up to three feet tall in partial shade and will bloom in the fall, or possibly late summer depending on the variety. 


This native plant grows all over the country, and is commonly known as “coral bells” — named after the tall bunches of flowers that pop out in late spring. While the pink or purple flowers are pretty, most people grow heuchera for its stunning foliage that comes in bronze, purple, variegated varieties and more. 


A hardy perennial, bergenia looks lovely with it’s glossy heart-shaped leaves, and offers a show of color with clumps of pink flowers that bloom on a red stalk in the spring. It’s native to Siberia, so it’s ready for anything New England winters can throw at it!

Which of these blooming perennials are you going to pick for your shade garden?  Our Garden Center has many additional choices that may also make your wish list! Stop in and we can help you find the best varieties for your yard.