Good Day Gardening: Shade loving plants

Most plants love summer sun, but what plants should you plant in areas of your garden that don’t get a lot of sun? Brooke Umberger, Horticulture Coordinator for Hershey Gardens, appeared on Good Day PA to talk about shade loving plants for your garden.

Foliage plants that like shade



  • Shade loving; add texture and green color to your garden.
  • Vary in size and shape; some grow in a circular shape while others create a clumping formation.
  • Solid green and variegated. For example: green with red hues, or green with white.
  • Taller varieties are good for the backline of your garden. Ferns also look great in large swales.
    • Ostrich Fern
    • Christmas Fern
    • Cinnamon Fern
  • Ground covering varieties are good for the front of your garden and borders.
    • Japanese Painted Fern
    • Ghost Fern


  • Shade loving plant chosen for its foliage.
  • Leaves can be solid green, green and yellow, or green and white.
  • Leaves vary in shapes and sizes.
  • Although hostas are chosen for their foliage, they do flower (purple or white).
  • Varieties
    • Victory – 2015 Hosta of the Year
    • Striptease
    • Fried Bananas
    • Sum and Substance


Flowering plants that like shade


  • Astilbe is a shade-loving perennial with colorful “feathery” spikes and fern-like foliage.
  • Flowers can be red, pink, or white.
  • Great for bouquets
  • When flowers are spent, cut them off and the foliage will still look great until early fall.
  • Depending on the cultivar, astilbe can grow anywhere from 2 to 5 feet.
    • Rheinland
    • Sprite


  • Low-growing plant with different types of foliage.
  • Can give off the appearance of a groundcover.
  • Lungwort flowers in late spring and gets small blue and pink flowers.
  • Great for borders and fronts of gardens
    • Raspberry Ice


For events happening at Hershey Gardens during the month of July, visit:

Hershey Gardens
170 Hotel Road
Hershey, PA 17033
(717) 534-3492

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