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Best Plants for Shady Landscapes

Posted By : | Date : 09-20-2016· Leave a Comment

Hosta Plants in a Shady Landscape

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Best Plants for Shady Landscapes
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Kansas City has been re-classified from Zone 5b to the warmer Zone 6a, and in the last few years, we’ve watched folks eagerly scoop up more tropical plants for their gardens and landscaping projects. Sometimes these tropical gardens turn out beautifully, but more often than not, poor planning produces a sad outcome. It’s really important to plan ahead and learn as much as possible before you take on your next landscaping adventure.

usda plant hardiness zone map

Before purchasing new plants and planning the perfect landscape, be sure to cover all the details … it’s important to be aware of the hardiness zone, the type of soil (and moisture) in your backyard, and the amount of sunlight that new plants and garden beds will receive. Plants labeled for “shade” don’t always thrive if the conditions aren’t right. Limited sunlight isn’t always enough to keep them healthy.

We picked five of our favorite shade-loving plants that will look spectacular in your yard, and more importantly, that will stand up to KC’s sizzling summers.

Coral Bells

Coral Bells are also known as Heucheras. You may recall a post we recently wrote about these beautiful perennial plants. They’re easy to grow, require very little maintenance, and for the most part, are insect and disease-resistant. In short, they’re perfect!


Hostas are well-known for their resiliency in shaded areas, but some varietals are more tolerant of sunshine and heat than others. The “fire and ice” variegated hosta has unique, twisted foliage with a green edge and white center that produces gorgeous light purple flowers throughout the summer. It is a true shade garden classic.


The “Ingwersen’s” variety of geraniums will produce delicate pink blossoms from spring until early summer and has fragrant leaves. This low-maintenance, drought resistant plant can thrive during hot and humid summers without needing to be cut back. It is a perfect addition to flower beds or for lining your sidewalk.



The “dragon wing red” hybrid is a versatile perennial that can be grown in full sun or full shade. Producing bright red drooping flowers and shiny green leaves, this begonia is perfect for edging in shade gardens or even in hanging baskets, and the blooms will continue throughout the summer.



Commonly known as “bishop’s hat” or “fairy wings,” this hardy flowering perennial is an excellent, reliable ground cover for barren areas in a shade garden. The heart-shaped leaves turn from pink in the spring, to green in the summer, and bronze-tipped in the fall. This plant will survive, and thrive, in any shady area where other plants may have failed.

Make sure that when choosing plants for your shady spots, you also keep in mind that even well-covered areas will be subjected to high heat. Plants that grow well in shaded areas and are heat tolerant will add long-lasting beauty to every corner of your yard.

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Best Plants for Shady Landscapes
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