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20 Fab Foliage Plants for Shady Spaces

Flowers may come and go, but fabulous foliage is hard at work every single day bringing beauty and color to shady garden spaces. Some plants with fun foliage act as a backdrop for flashier flowering plants while others steal the show all on their own. Here are twenty of our best shade tolerant annuals, perennials and shrubs that offer season-long color in containers and landscapes.

 

Contributors: Susan Martin

Click the pictures below to read all about each plant or series of plants.

FAB FOLIAGE ANNUALS FOR SHADE

Pegasus® Begonia 
Part shade to shade
12-18” tall x 16-18” spread


Toucan® Canna

5 colors in series
Sun to part shade 
30-48” tall x 18-24” spread


ColorBlaze® Coleus

16 colors in series
Sun or shade 
Size varies by cultivar


Graceful Grasses® Baby Tut®,
Prince Tut and King Tut® Cyperus
 
Sun to part shade
Size varies by cultivar


Hippo® Hypoestes

4 colors in series
Part shade to shade
16-22” tall x 8-14” spread


Charmed® Wine Oxalis

Sun or shade
6-16” tall x 10-12” spread


Lemon Coral® Sedum

Sun to part shade
3-10” tall x 10-14” spread


Rockin’® ‘Golden Delicious’ Salvia

Sun to part shade
3-4’ tall x 2-3’ spread

  

FAB FOLIAGE PERENNIALS FOR SHADE


Dolce® Heuchera
 
6 colors in series
Sun to shade (lighter colored
varieties require more shade)
8-14” foliage height x 16-22” spread
Zone 4-9 


Primo® Heuchera

5 colors in series
Sun to shade (lighter colored
varieties require more shade)
8-16” foliage height x 26-30” spread
Zone 4-9 


Fun and Games® Heucherella

3 colors in series
Part shade to shade
6-12” foliage height x 18-24” spread
Zone 4-9


‘Cutting Edge’ Tiarella

Part shade to shade
8-10” foliage height x 16-18” spread
Zone 4-9




Shadowland® Hostas
10 colors in series
Part shade to shade
Size varies by cultivar
Zone 3-9


‘Charlotte’s Web’ Tradescantia

Sun or shade
16-18” tall x 24-28” spread
Zone 3-9

 

FAB FOLIAGE SHRUBS FOR SHADE


Funshine® Abelia

Sun to part shade
2-3’ tall x 2-3’ spread
Zone 6-9


Cesky Gold® Betula

Sun to part shade
2-4’ tall x 1.5-3’ spread
Zone 2-7


Pucker Up!® Cornus

Sun to part shade
3-4’ tall x 3-4’ spread
Zone 3-8


Kodiak® Orange Diervilla

Sun or shade
3-4’ tall x 3-4’ spread
Zone 4-7


Double Play® Painted Lady® Spiraea

Sun to part shade
2-3’ tall x 2-3’ spread
Zone 4-9

 
Shiny Dancer® Viburnum

Sun to part shade
3-5’ tall x 3-5’ spread
Zone 6-8

 

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