Shaded Area Help What to Plant ???

This shaded area in needs some tlc. I am wanting to plant something in this area that is low maintenance can be some flowers and green plants and want some of it to not die in the winter and come back yearly, so any suggestions will be great. This is on the West side of our home (back lawn) and right behind me taking this photo is a large oak tree.
q shaded area help what to plant, flowers, gardening
  72 answers
  • Kimberly Kimberly on Jun 03, 2013
    Hostas, ferns, bleeding hearts will all come back year after year. For year around color maybe some Red Twigged Dogwoods, rhododendrons, azaleas or Leucothoe?

  • Jeanine Witherell Eaves Jeanine Witherell Eaves on Jun 03, 2013
    I'm in deep South Texas and I've had lots of luck with a plant called Yesterday, Today and is an evergreen bush that blooms small blue flowers (kind of like small Morning Glory) then the flower fades to purple and then to white over a couple of days. It has a scent much like a Morning Glory that is strong in the morning & evening; does well in our Texas heat when it's shaded and is a pretty fast grower. Doesn't get much taller than about 3-4 ft but fills in well for a nice low hedge. Mine is on the North side of our house but I had moved 2 of them from our West side.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 03, 2013
    Looking all these plants up thanks ladies

  • Margaret Welker Margaret Welker on Jun 03, 2013
    elephant ears cover a large area with one bulb. You could use those as a backdrop and plant other flowers in front. Also, I like to use Cannas sometimes in that kind of situation. I've done that at a couple houses I've lived in here in TX.

  • Kimberly Barney Kimberly Barney on Jun 03, 2013
    Coral bells work well for me as they come in a variety of colors and sizes, they expand, and they stay year round. They bloom in the Summer, too. As for elephant ears (unless you are talking about the black variety), I have found that they prefer at least some sun. The same is true with canna.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 03, 2013
    i wish i had some way to draw out some plants on the photo to see what to do. i have been looking up all these ideas and wow some real pretty flowers and plants you all are sending thanks hope to still get more ideas

  • Donna C Donna C on Jun 03, 2013
    Hostas would plant along concrete, Bleeding Hearts along siding not many though. Lily of the Valley thrive and spread in shade areas and that could all go along siding ....

  • Joyce Carpentier Joyce Carpentier on Jun 03, 2013
    Try a rock garden with a walkway of sorts thru it...Hosta and some of the other perennial plants mentioned above are good ideas and if you put either mulch or decorative rock with a border it would be pretty.

  • Meg Meg on Jun 03, 2013
    Call or visit your County's Extension office. Usually volunteer Master Gardeners are there to assist you.

  • Nancy J Goldwire Nancy J Goldwire on Jun 03, 2013
    1st, we need to know where you live. Many plants that thrive up north will not survive in the south. Same with water, are you dry, or wet? Best advice you can get is to contact your local county horticulture agent, they have ALL the info you could ever want. Good luck.

  • Maxine B Maxine B on Jun 03, 2013
    Hostas are perennial, hardy, and come in a huge number of varieties, including some that blossom. You could try knockout roses which are smaller, with lots of colors and very fragrant. There is always daylillies and tulips of all colors. Good luck.

  • Candy Boydston-Horton Candy Boydston-Horton on Jun 03, 2013
    I have Vinca Minor that grows like crazy even under snow I think in the shade of house and trees

  • Ellen Elizabeth Mae Ellen Elizabeth Mae on Jun 03, 2013
    Hostas (several varieties for interest), cyclamen, lily of the valley, ferns....

  • Christine Templet Christine Templet on Jun 03, 2013
    I would suggest hostas are really nice, especially the variegated variety. Iris is really hardy and thrive especially if it stays sort of wet. The hanging ferns are especially beautiful and are also hardy. The photo with the terra cotta wall feature is nice, except I would not use lattice, instead I would use bamboo or rattan screen. Good Luck!!

  • Judith F Judith F on Jun 03, 2013
    Day lilies, elephant ears,hostess, miniature banana trees,Perennial hibiscus.. My Sis lives in Algeirs and all these grow well for her.

  • Lisa Noland Lisa Noland on Jun 03, 2013
    Hostas are available in so many varieties, smaller or larger, blue, green, striped leaves....the list goes on and on. They LOVE shade and are so hardy! Also astillbe....add some color and they have a delicate leaf for an added contrast. also available in many colors and sizes. You could add a few shade loving annuals in between, like impatience to add tons of color for the summer.

  • Katey Katey on Jun 03, 2013
    laurels do well too.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 03, 2013
    Trent-Tonya, how much shade does that area get? Do you know what zone you are in? (If not, put your Zip Code in in this link and let us know.)

  • HotK9Mama HotK9Mama on Jun 03, 2013
    I would think inpatients and coleus would work here. Making it a patio with pots of flowers and plants might be another options.

  • Vickie Goss Vickie Goss on Jun 03, 2013
    You say shady, but is this facing the sun in the evenings? If so, that's the hottest sun, so start with tall canna lilies, spaced equally, day lilies, stick some hasta in, a few mums and then save a little room for zinnias who will sprout, with every color. Turn your swing around and enjoy the view!

  • Darlene Wilson Darlene Wilson on Jun 03, 2013
    Mammoth Elephant Ears, Caladiums, Hosta's...

  • Tirana Bertrand Tirana Bertrand on Jun 03, 2013
    Knock Out roses will bloom all summer and stay green all year. They do not need to be sprayed for bugs, very easy to grow, little to no care, occasional trimming. There is also a low growing variety, Landscape roses. Hydrangeas are a lovely southern flower but need shade. Little Gem magnolia is a winner and of course Azaleas are a southern favorite. Sasanqua and camillias have lovely green leaves and give some winter color. These plants grow well in our Louisiana climate and they say "southern living"! I also enjoy my crepe myrtles that bloom all summer and my variety does not need to be sprayed

  • Gwenyth Mumford Gwenyth Mumford on Jun 03, 2013
    Red twigged dogwood, (branches stay red in winter), giant variegated hosta and low emerald green or yellow variegated hosta. (Three heights.)

  • Andy Carignano Andy Carignano on Jun 03, 2013
    Cherry Laurel, perennial Begonias,Potentilla fruticosa,Astilbe,Nandina,Ferns,reblooming Azaleas I'm a designer in Maryland

  • Christine P Christine P on Jun 03, 2013
    How about a small water feature surrounded by Hosta, ornamental shade grasses and some New Guinea impatients and bleeding heart for some color.

  • Nanci Burroughs Nanci Burroughs on Jun 03, 2013
    It doesn't look like deep shade to me. If the tree shades the area most of the day, especially late afternoon, I would use hydrangeas and camellias along the back wall. Maybe a small red Japanese maple at the corner (I love weeping varieties). Then use hostas and heuchera along the patio...many varieties and colors to choose from.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 03, 2013
    thanks for all the help any more advice keep sending...i have been busy today looking up all the plants thanks so so much

  • Dianawright55 Dianawright55 on Jun 03, 2013
    I would go to your local nursery and talk with them what would be best to plant for your area.

  • Janice Carnley Janice Carnley on Jun 03, 2013
    I would plant some Dwarf Walter's Viburnum against the house. In front if them I would plant some low growing junipers. Both are drought tolerant once established. It doesn't look like you have irrigation in that area. I would add a paver patio in front of them with come color pots. You can put your BBQ grill on the patio and it gives you a larger entertaining area.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 03, 2013
    we live in Franklinton Louisiana which is the northshore from New Orleans and this is the back of one end of my home which is the west side where the sun sets. when i took the photo it was early this morning and the sun was facing me and i have a big oak tree that is right behind where i was standing. the grass use to grow in this spot really good but when we put our new home here no sun really gets to it so the grass that you see is it in that area the grass that was around the tree in no more... thanks for all the help i hope i get something planted and it lives we are in Zone 8

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 03, 2013
    i should add that by looking at photo to the right of me is our big porch and to left is my drive way

  • Karen Ambrose Karen Ambrose on Jun 03, 2013
    it depends in the area you live, in, it would be really pretty off of you porch, to do a small pond with rock garden, using shrubs and pre-anuals flower plants. so on your pouch you can enjoy the sounds of the really pretends were you live, for your plants, check out the nursery around you, stores that carry, plants, don't want trees up by house because of there roots,, zone is very important, for you shaded per annual hanging baskets on porch, with large pots of flowers annal and pre annal would look nice.

  • Joan Joan on Jun 04, 2013
    Hosta are great plants for shady and partially shady areas, and they come in different varieties to add color and texture to your garden. Lilies are attractive, also. To add a blast of color for the summer, include a few impatiens which really thrive in the shade. A hanging fern, or two, can be very attractive, also. Keep us posted. We'd love to see the final results!

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 04, 2013
    Trent-Tonya, before making any plant decisions you should do a soil test to find out what your pH is. You can probably get one for little money through your local extension office. If your soil is at least moderately acidic, you probably have a great spot for camellias and azaleas, which will give you evergreen foliage and gorgeous blooms. Also a good spot for anise, Illicium floridanum, and sweet spire, Itea virginica. Tea olive, Osmanthus fragrans, willl give you wonderful fragrance while you're sitting outside. You'll find many more suggestions, as well as good planting and cultural advice, in this publication from Louisiana State:

  • Mindy Middleswart Ondera Mindy Middleswart Ondera on Jun 04, 2013
    two levels of a flower bed would look nice here, lined with flat stones. one the top/raised layer, traditional cannas in the back with some hakone grass and purple coral bells alternated in front of the cannas. also you could get away with tucking a few asiatic lilies and sprinkling zinnia seeds here and there between the cannas and coral bells. on the bottom layer, dwarf cannas would be a nice contrast to the taller from the other(they come in all colors of flower and leaf now just like the big ones) in front of the dwarf cannas, some sweet william(dianthus) which also comes in a wonderful rainbow of color, spaced evenly on the bottom row in front with some verigated leaf geraniums in between those pockets would give you a season full of eye interest, along with almost no maintenance to any of these plants. In the very most shady corners, some colorful caladiums would fill in any holes. , and a pink pampas grass in front of the a/c unit would look great. All of these plants mentioned should be perennial in your area, except for the zinnias. :)

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 04, 2013
    Thanks Douglas Hunt I totally forgot about checking the soil this is great advice will do today ... thanks to everyone for all the advice you all are a lot of help.

  • Lawn Pro Lawn Pro on Jun 04, 2013
    hostas in front,Mexican petunias,in rear both come back every year

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jun 04, 2013
    Be careful about putting shade plants if you get late afternoon sun. I put shade plants in what I thought was a very shady area of my yard only to find out that the afternoon sun they do get is very strong and some of them died and some wilted every afternoon. I would take the time to measure just exactly how many hours of shade the spot gets. Plus some shade plants need the canopy of a tree for dappled shade.

  • Keri Keri on Jun 04, 2013
    Bleeding heart always fill in nicely every year add Caladium and Coleus for color all year long.

  • Michelle Sloan Michelle Sloan on Jun 04, 2013
    you could also do a cool project like adding a paver and ground cover checkerboard pattern patio (if you wanted more patio space) Alternate pavers and plants/ground cover. Use moss, etc. Lots of examples/patterns on pinterest, etc.

  • Brenda Barton Brenda Barton on Jun 04, 2013
    There are a number of the Hosta plants that will grow wonderfully in the shaded areas and they come in beautiful colors. Not a high maintaince plant either.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 04, 2013
    thanks everyone

  • Glenna Kennedy Glenna Kennedy on Jun 04, 2013
    Ohh water feature for sure..what a great place right beside your patio. Hosta, some grasses, there are numerous shade perennials, ferns, water plants..your choices are limitless!

  • Dianawright55 Dianawright55 on Jun 04, 2013
    Best of Luck with your new endeavor of making your yard beautiful. Do post a photo after you are done with your yard. Would love to see what you came up with..

  • D Nielsen D Nielsen on Jun 04, 2013
    Hosta;s are a favorite of mine, many choices - bloom in August; Stella Dior Lilies -- yellow bloom all summer long and are also good in sun are my favorites

  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Jun 04, 2013
    @Trent-Tonya Sharp after testing the soil as suggested by @Douglas Hunt figure out how you want the area set up - do you need to maintain a barbeque area? if so you will need a path to that area, perhaps with pavers. Next decide on the colours you would like. Hostas are very easy and come back every year and do come in various shades of green and varigated varieties. Euonymus bushes are interesting and keep their leaves through the winter, comes in a nice yellow/green shading. If you want some red, the barberry bush comes in various varieties. You could also mix in some herbs, chives have a nice purple flower in the spring. Coreopsis is a nice perennieal with a yellow flower. Echinacea also comes in a variety of colours and comes back every year. You can also search for perennials that grow in your time zone. I would advice you to do a bit each year and extend as you feel the need. After you have put in a patch of garden, use a fine mulch to cover the earth so that you deter weeds. Good luck, thanks for posting and do update us with pics.

  • Linda Dann Linda Dann on Jun 04, 2013
    I love a white shade garden- evergreens, white impatience- begonias- white caladiums! If the roses will grow-- go for them too! Good luck.

  • Margie King Margie King on Jun 05, 2013
    You don`t say where you are.If you live in the south you can plant a peace lily or ferns.

  • Linda Linda on Jun 05, 2013
    Ferns (try the dark Japanese red maple colored ones); multiple types of hostas for a nice color/texture balance. Both spread, although the ferns might take a little longer. Depends on your climate ..

  • Bonnie Lewenza Bonnie Lewenza on Jun 05, 2013
    Ferns like cool shade areas, I have a Japanese painted fern that is just beautiful. Also impatience will do well in shade they don't really like the hot afternoon sun, again hostas like shade as to part sun.

  • Lauren of Mom Home Guide Lauren of Mom Home Guide on Jun 05, 2013
    I recently planted a shade flower garden (that I posted on Hometalk) in NJ -- so far, I have lilyturf and boxwoods, and the garden is faring well.

  • Shala Cripps Shala Cripps on Jun 05, 2013
    I would say Hostas, and what my mother in law calls Monkey Grass, both of which require very little to no work at all cept the once a year in the spring trim on the grass and water both every now and then

  • Stacey Altavilla Stacey Altavilla on Jun 05, 2013
    Hydrangeas would really love that shady area!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 05, 2013
    Hostas do best in shade. There are so many different colors. And variegated border grass will give you another green.

  • Paula Goyette Herr Paula Goyette Herr on Jun 05, 2013
    inpatients are great and they come in a few different colors. they fill on very nice and thrive until winter.

  • Susan LaRock Susan LaRock on Jun 05, 2013
    Hostas are the best darn plants. You can alternate with solid green leaves and variegated leaves. Grow in sun or shade.

  • Jackie Woody Jackie Woody on Jun 05, 2013
    My whole back yard is shaded and we have trees and landscaping stones. Then we planted a little each year, such as Hostas in different colors, Annabelle Hydrangeas, Impatients, Begonias, and ferns. We also have Oak Leaf Hydrangea.

  • UrbanFig UrbanFig on Jun 06, 2013
    Impatiens do well in the shade

  • Lynn Lawson Lynn Lawson on Jun 06, 2013
    I agree with Shala, hostas and monkey grass. When they get big, they are so gorgeous.

  • VL. Morris VL. Morris on Jun 09, 2013
    If you are interested in roses try Darlow's Enigma. It is a climber and can get quite tall if not kept in check but will grow in shade, clusters of blooms all summer and has a wonderful scent.

  • Nancy Hatcher Nancy Hatcher on Jun 09, 2013
    I would put in raised beds that can be extended around the edge of your patio. You can find lists of shade plants at the various plant and seed companies on the internet. One of my favs is Bluestone Perennial - - that's a great resource. You can also check out Both are great for ideas that will be more specific to your area.

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jun 09, 2013
    Hostas hostas hostas hostas...of course I am partial...did you know there are like 3000 varieties? What fun. Search for hosta growers, and you will be amazed, then there is heuchera..but check out some of my posts on my hostas. they are getting bigger and bigger, and when they have white on their leaves, add light to the garden when in the shade. I also have a yellow one now, and a blue one...ha . Mine are flowering now..i am so anxious when I wait in the spring to see their little pippy heads start popping up! Excited! Be sure to post what you are going to do, or have done. oh I also had planted new guinea impatiens, and begonias..gorgeous peeks of color in the shade. but mostly hostas!

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jun 09, 2013
    @Trent-Tonya Sharp go to Susan @ myplace to yours Hometalk post..see what a hosta garden can look like. Also check my pictures out too.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 10, 2013
    will the hosta stay alive in the winter we live in louisiana in zone 8 or do they die and you have nothing in winter i love the look of the hosta i have been looking and i am ready to get started

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jun 10, 2013
    Yes, we also have very cold winters here, and not enough snow to really insulate them from icy wind etc. But they are underground until you see the pips coming up in the spring, then you do a HAPPY DANCE, SPRING IS HERE!Go to a hosta site, like the HOsta etc. Prepare to be blown away. Then you will start looking at peoples yards all the time, and if you see one you don't have , trust me, I have done this, You go up and ask for a little start of something you don't have and ask if they will trade, sell , what ever. you will get bigger plants from people's yards than ordering or buying. And hosta lovers generally love to share, bring a little spade/shovel, plastic bag, bucket.. with you! Hostas will need to be separated every so often, which in spite of all the hype, is very easy! I have dug them up and just used s shovel and halved them. OTHER times when I can bend, I will dig them up , dip them in a bucket and hand separate into sizes I want. they are very cooperative plants and love to shine for you! If you were closer I would share piles of them with you. Have fun! Did you check out my pictures, I have several postings.As do others! Happy Hosta-ing! Oh, some are slug resistant , others tolerate sun better than some. slugs and snails:use beer if you see them.Evidently mine don't attract slugs snails, very rarely do I see evidence of their meal.

  • Brena Hadjian Brena Hadjian on Jun 10, 2013
    Hostas ... lots of them. Different varieties.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 10, 2013
    will the hosta stay green in the winter

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jun 11, 2013
    Noooo they hide underground..keep warm. They pop up in spring! I don't totally cut mine down when they die down. I usually leave a few inches of leaves so that I can IDENTIFY what is sleeping there, plus maybe a few leaves help to insulate a little. and maybe a little mulch to protect from icy wind etc.not much tho , they are pretty hardy.

  • Lesa D Lesa D on Jun 27, 2014
    hostas, Sweet woodruff, spider wort, rex begonia (take inside for cold areas)

  • Julie Metzger Julie Metzger on Jun 29, 2014
    I think Columbines are a good idea, bleeding hearts, astilbe. My favorite is still Columbines as they have some beautiful colors, will flower twice a year, often reseed themselves and come back every year,

  • Susan Susan on Jun 07, 2015
    Under a shade tree plant outdoor fern and then plant the hostas (these two will come back every year and the ferns will spread). Then I planted begonias. I'm real happy the way mind turn out.

  • Trent-Tonya Sharp Trent-Tonya Sharp on Jun 11, 2015
    so we planted some hostas here and they did not live they all died..we think we planted them to close to the house maybe because when it rains here it has an indent from the rain and holds the water so we think it rotted them.. now we are looking at gutters and retrying with hostas...