11 Perennials suitable for partial shade – great picks for your backyard

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Creating a beautiful backyard garden involves selecting plants that will thrive in various conditions. One often-overlooked category is part-shade perennials, which can add color and interest to your outdoor space.

We will explore 11 reliable part-shade perennials that can transform your backyard into a stunning retreat.

Understanding part-shade conditions

Part shade refers to an area that receives between three and six hours of sunlight each day. Plants that prefer partial shade typically enjoy morning sunlight over the more intense afternoon sun. These areas are often found under tree canopies or shaded by buildings and fences.

To create a well-structured, low-maintenance garden with long-lasting interest, consider using both perennials and evergreens in your part-shade areas.

Top 11 part-shade perennials for your garden

1/ Euphorbia amygdaloides:

Also known as wood spurge, this evergreen perennial thrives in most soil types, including dry conditions, as long as it has well-drained soil. Be aware that it can become invasive when left unchecked, so regular pruning may be necessary.

2/ Foam flower (Tiarella):

This hardy deciduous perennial produces frothy cream or pink flower cones in late spring and summer. Foam flowers prefer moist soils but do not tolerate waterlogged conditions. They require little maintenance and are resistant to mildew and slugs.

3/ Rodgersia:

Ideal for damp, boggy backyards, Rodgersia loves part shade and thrives near ponds. Its lush leaves provide foliage texture throughout the year, with delicate clusters of pale-pink flowers adding interest in summer. Keep an eye out for slugs, which are attracted to Rodgersia’s leaves.

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4/ Hydrangeas:

Well-known for their large flowerheads, hydrangeas are a fabulous choice for part-shade areas. Most soil types are tolerated, but moist, well-draining soils are preferred. Deadheading methods vary depending on the variety (mophead or lacecap), so research your specific plant before pruning.

5/ Lamprocapnos:

Also known as bleeding heart, these easy-to-grow perennials bloom from April to June and prefer partial shade. Neutral, moist soil conditions are ideal, and regular watering is necessary. Once the foliage begins to fade, give Lamprocapnos a good feed and mulch in spring.

6/ Clematis:

If you love climbing plants, clematis is a fantastic option for part-shade gardens. These perennials boast star-shaped flower heads and look stunning when trained up trellises, pergolas, or walls.

Additional part-shade perennial suggestions

Beyond our top six picks, consider these reliable options for your part-shade garden:

7/ Astilbe:

With feathery plumes of color ranging from white to pink and purple, Astilbe adds softness to your garden and attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies.

8/ Hosta:

Known for their striking foliage, hostas come in various sizes and colors, providing visual interest throughout the season. For added impact, look for varieties with fragrant blooms.

9/ Hellebore:

These early-spring bloomers produce delicate flowers in shades of white, green, pink, and purple. Hellebores are low-maintenance, evergreen plants that prefer well-drained soil.

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10/ Delphiniums :

Delphiniums, also known as larkspurs, are tall, slender flowering plants, often in shades of blue, purple, and white. They add a touch of grace and verticality to gardens, while pulmonarias, with their spotted leaves and tubular flowers, provide attractive ground cover in partially shaded areas.

11/ Pulmonaria:

Also known as lungwort, pulmonaria features spotted leaves and tubular flowers in shades of blue, pink, and white. This perennial is often used as a groundcover in part-shade areas.

Creating your stunning part-shade garden

By incorporating a mix of reliable part-shade perennials, such as the ones listed above, you can create an eye-catching garden that provides lasting beauty throughout the seasons.

With so many options available, there’s no reason your shaded backyard can’t be transformed into a gorgeous oasis!


Justin, an avid writer, is equally passionate about gardening, especially cultivating beautiful flowers and productive vegetable patches. His writing skillfully intertwines his gardening experiences with vivid descriptions and keen insights, inspiring readers to appreciate nature's beauty and consider their own gardening adventures.