These annual flowers for shade are perfect for a front-porch planter, hanging baskets under a tree, or to fill in empty spaces in the garden while perennials, shrubs, and trees grow in. Annuals provide a whole season of color and these beauties are so decorative that they will make you forget all about the sun!
Often when gardening season begins, we are eager to get the instant and long-lasting color of annuals. It can be disappointing if you have a shady garden because most of the annuals available require full sun to bloom and keep blooming.
In my first few years of gardening I often had some dark shady spots I wanted to add some brightness in the short term with annuals but I found them hard to find. Walking through the nursery was just flat after flat of sun-loving annuals, but none for shade! So I went on the hunt for those that would tolerate the shade and really add some color to those shady spots.
My efforts were rewarded and, over the years, I have found plenty of annuals for shade that thrive in the darkest corners of my garden while giving me a resplendent display of flowers and color.
The Best Annual Flowers for Shade
Begonias come in an array of colors. Their blooms can be frilly or flat, big or small, and they thrive in containers or shady garden beds. Begonias are deer-resistant so if you have an area that you can’t keep those pesky deer out of, consider planting begonias there. Grow them in well-amended soil with good drainage and deadhead regularly.
These sweet flowers are a garden staple for a reason. They are extremely hardy, come in a wide range of sizes and colors, and they are even edible. Pansies are low maintenance and just require regular watering and deadheading.
Impatiens grow as mounding shrubs covered with flowers in red, pink, purple, or white. They are a great choice for containers, hanging baskets, or border plants. Plant them in a shady spot after the danger of frost has passed for the season and water frequently.
These tiny spreading flowers are usually deep blue, but also come in pink, white, and red. Lobelia like partial shade and make an excellent ground cover. They also look stunning in hanging baskets as they will spill over the edges. Lobelia typically grow in full sun but will tolerate shade because they are so hardy and easy to grow. You will get fewer flowers, but they produce so many that you won’t miss them.
Snapdragons, so-called because their flowers resemble tiny mouths that snap open and closed, have tall flower spikes that come in practically every color of the rainbow. There are dwarf and tall varieties to fit different garden needs. Snapdragons make wonderful filler plants for garden beds or containers. Plant them in partial shade to lengthen their blooming season.
Fuchsia produce exotic-looking, frilly, dangling flowers in shades of pinks, purples, white, and reds, ranging from pastels to deep, bold hues. They are beautiful trailing down from hanging baskets and come in many different sizes, as well as bush and climbing varieties. There’s a fuchsia for every garden!
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