There are many plants that allow for gardening in shade and shadow with great success.
They are great solutions for gardens or yards that are overshadowed by large trees or smaller courtyard gardens that are shaded by the house or surrounding walls.
In fact, these plants are ideal also in yards or gardens that are subject to high heat in summer but have shade or filtered light in the afternoons.
Don’t forget all plants including annuals and perennials thrive better in good rich friable soil that is also well mulched and has a balanced pH.
Additionally, if you are planting under trees remember that the tree will also be competing for moisture and nutrients. So supplemental watering and feeding on a regular basis will help keep your perennials and annuals thriving despite the competition from larger plantings.
I successfully grow Camellia japonicas and azaleas in full shade as well as dappled light. Azaleas with red flowers can also survive in full sun but will need careful watering in high heat. Camellia Sasanqua will grow in both light and shade.
Plant Suggestions For Shade And Dappled Light
Azaleas, rhododendrons, daphnes, camellias, fuchsias, abutilons (chinese lanterns), primroses, gloxinias and hydrangeas all thrive in these conditions.
Even petunias and vincas can thrive in dappled light although they are probably best displayed where they can get at least morning light. I have also grown salvias in dappled light.
Don’t forget lilies – they can survive high heat with good mulching and water but they are often best displayed in dappled light.
If you have a garden that can deliver 4 to 5 hours of morning sun you can even grow roses where shade or dappled light predominates in the afternoon. Normally, of course, roses do better with more sun.
However, if you love roses but have a shaded garden with that amount of morning light you can have reasonably good success. With roses you, of course, get perfume which is a great thing to have in a garden, especially one that is a courtyard garden.
Other perennials that offer colour and fragrance: gardenias, abelias, boronias, daphnes and luculias.
Another plant that loves dappled light and shade is the fern. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes.