When the garden catalogs come out and the nurseries start stocking plants, gardeners start thinking about how to get the most bloom for their buck. That can be a really tough job when you have a shaded garden that needs some color. You don’t have to have an all foliage garden just because your garden is shaded, and you don’t have to settle for just a few weeks of bloom. Check out these summer blooming shade perennials.

Shade plants that bloom all summer

 

 

Our Top Picks of Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer!

Geranium

This is not your typical annual geranium that fills window boxes everywhere… in truth, those are Pelargoniums. True geraniums are a perennial that does well in partial shade, and blooms pink or blue all summer. In addition, many varieties’ foliage turns bronze or red in the fall. We love Geranium “Rozanne”. Its blooms are big and blue, and the plant grows to 20 inches. The common name for this plant is “Cranesbill”.

Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer

 

Astilbe

One of our favorite summer blooming shade perennials is Astilbe. Astilbe have foliage that is glossy and attractive, and bloom from late spring into summer. If you cut them back after blooming, they can bloom again. In pinks, purples and whites, they are a fluffy spire that can brighten any shady spot. They grow 18 inches wide and 18-24 inches tall, and are hardy to zone 4. Common name “Meadowsweet”. These plants are tough, but cannot handle drought. Keep soil moist and fertilize yearly for best bloom.

Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer

 

Spiderwort

Known for growing in almost any conditions, Spiderwort has strap like foliage and interesting flowers of white, pink or purple all summer. These summer bloomers are drought resistant and deer resistant. Because their blossoms are small in size, plant in groups for best effect. Hardy to zone 4.

Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer

 

This variety has bright green leaves and is called “Sweet Kate”. Great for brightening up a shady garden!

Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer

 

Hardy Fushcias

There are several cultivars of hardy Fuchsias, which are just as beautiful as the basket variety, but usually larger and more up right. The most common variety grown in the Pacific NW is Fuchsia Magellanica. This Fuchsia is a shrub like plant covered with tubular blooms that hummingbirds LOVE, and blooms spring to first frost. Growing 6-10 feet high and as wide, it’s winter hardy down to zone 6, though it might die back during the coldest months. It will come alive again in spring!

Shade plants that bloom all summer

 

Campanula (bellflower)

Campanula has many different varieties, and are blue or white belled flowers in sizes from dwarf to several feet tall. They love partial shade and moderately moist soil, and will bloom June through frost. Our fav is Siberian Campanula. It has a wonderful deep blue color with a white eye, and is very floriferous. Hardy to zone 3.

Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer

 

Corydalis lutea

If you love bleeding heart in your spring garden, try “Yellow Fumitory”. This ferny plant has little yellow flowers from April through frost! Perfect for a woodland or cottage garden, this shade perennial is hardy to zone 3, and prefers a cool spot on your garden away from afternoon sun. It is deer resistant and grows 8-18 inches tall. Photo by ‘Rotary Botanical Gardens‘.

 

Impatiens

No conversation about long blooming shade plants would be complete without talking about Impatiens. If you are looking for shade plants that bloom all summer, look no farther. While these are annuals and die back each winter, they perform better than any other flowering shade plant. So we just had to include them! Of course if you live in zone 9 or above, these can be grown as perennials.

There are two types, the one we are talking about is the bedding Impatiens, which are the kind you find in every nursery in six packs and lots of colors. They are tender, so be sure not to plant them too early…Wait until the soil starts to warm. Planting them when it’s still cold can stunt them. Also, they need moisture and are heavy feeders. Cut them back by a third if they start to get leggy, and give them a dose of liquid fertilizer. My favorite are white Impatiens, but they come in many colors, from neon brights to pastels. They, much like petunias and marigolds, have gotten a bad wrap by gardening snobs as being cliche, and boring. Any plant can be boring if you don’t use it properly. So use them the way they shine…in large drifts of all one color..and watch those snobs eat their words!

Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer

So don’t use your shady garden as an excuse not to have flowers in bloom all summer long. Pick one, two or all of these and create a shade garden that blooms all summer!

Image Credits: Rotary Botanical Garden




15 Comments

  1. Annique May 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    My “Sweet Kate” spiderwort grows big and hearty in my full (very full) sun front yard.
    I’m in northeastern pa (zone 6).

    Reply
    1. Lea September 28, 2016 at 7:27 am

      I have them too, dug them up from my daughters yard one year and now I have them everywhere. Didn’t know the name of them and really thought I pulled up some weeds. Now that I know they are a flower, I will be more gentle with them. I live in Central Florida ?
      They are very bright and a pretty color purple.

      Reply
  2. Cindy Reynlds June 27, 2015 at 12:34 am

    My spiderwort and geraniums both only bloom in the spring….in fact the spiderwort dies back down to the ground after it is done blooming….doesn’t last but only 2-3 weeks….

    Reply
  3. Jay burnett June 1, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    To me, selling spiderworts is a criminal act. They are like cuckoo birds, infiltrating the roots of everything in the garden, and almost impossible to ericate.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard June 21, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Never heard that before, perhaps its a problem only in some parts of the country… Thx for the opinion!

      Reply
    2. Amber H. July 24, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Same thing with Lily of the Valley and Snow on the Mountain!! ????

      Reply
    3. Amy L Riggles July 29, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      I couldn’t agree more! They are so invasive. I live in WI zone 4

      Reply
    4. Angela Michels September 29, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      That’s funny! I’m in zone 6 and can’t get my spiderwort to spread at all.

      Reply
  4. Shirley Ross June 29, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I have many clematis plants that bloom in spring and early summer. Some are 20 yrs old and others are new. I lose a lot of flowers because I seem to have to reattach the vines to their trellises each spring and as a result break off parts of the vines. Does anyone have some tips for me on how to train or attach them to a trellis so this doesn’t happen? Several of my plants have very long vines even after trimming them to the ground several yrs ago.

    Reply
  5. Heidi Webb July 4, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I agree with Jay. Spiderweb is insidious!!! My neighbors had it in their garden and it has infiltrated my yard now. Between the cracks in my sidewalk, in my roses, along my back fence… you can’t just pull them either you have to get the roots. Not only that, if you rub up against the flowers, they stain purple anything they touch. Maybe if you put them in a 5-gallon bucket and bury that in your garden you can stop the encroachment if you really really want them… I would never advise anyone to plant them in their garden.

    Reply
    1. Kathy Woodard September 8, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      I’d be interested in what part of the country you live in, it is definitely true what is a delight in some parts can be a devil plant in others!

      Reply
    2. Laura April 24, 2017 at 4:37 am

      I’ve read spiderwort is aggressive if you spoil it with rich soil, fertilizer and supplemental water. Like many natives, it is best as a low care plant. I’ve planted spiderwort with other tough natives, hoping they fill out some. Time will tell.

      Reply
  6. Cynthia Bell July 18, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    For several years I have had problems with impatiens. They would do well for several months, then mid to late July they started to get very thin and absolutely die back completely. I was told there was some kind of Midwest problem with them, so I have resorted to other plantings for my shade garden, using more begonias and caladium root plants.

    Reply
  7. Bonita Loidolt August 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    These are lovely plants but I’ve already looked up many of these plants in other resources and their light requirements were listed as partial shade– between 2 and 4 hours of sunlight. I think one would have to sacrifice bloom and vigor in a full shade area so I hesitate to use them on the north side of my potting house.

    Reply
  8. Cara September 22, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Spiderwort is a weed along all the roadsides here in northwest Indiana. My husband brought some home and I made him get rid of it lol.

    Reply

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