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Six Solid Shade Annuals

Don’t let shady spots stop you from successfully growing plants.

Do you have a wooded lot or a north-facing apartment balcony? Here are six reliable shade plants that love low-light.

  1. Hostas, both the miniature varieties and the large ones, placed with striking lilac flowers, are traditional shade plants. They also return each year, making them quite a bargain. Split hostas with a spade in the spring or late fall and double your impact. They make great plants to share with a friend, too!
  2. Hybrid Lenten Rose blooms from early spring until June. The foliage provides a contrasting lime-green color with a velvet textured leaf.
  3. Coleus have shade-loving varieties such as the popular Kong variety. Mix it with sweet potato vines to provide instant impact to an otherwise mundane setting.
  4. Begonias mixed with ferns and the polka dot plant translate into a fun, light-hearted and even Victorian motif. 
  5. Astilbe is a deer-resistant perennial with vibrant spires and contrasting dark green foliage. What makes astilbe so popular among gardeners is the variety of colors it comes in. Group different colors of astilbe together to brighten up a shady spot.
  6. Million Bells are prolific bloomers and fill in large spaces well. They are eaters, so feed them weekly with Natural Alternative® 5-5-5 All-Purpose Plant Food. Pair million bells with the work horse of shade plants, the towering Kong coleus.

Optimal growing conditions are essential to shade flower gardens. Be sure to read about each plant’s needs so you can ensure they receive the proper amount of sunlight and soil nutrients.

Use a time-released plant food like 5-5-5 All-Purpose Plant Food. Apply the fertilizer into the top several inches of soil before planting. Dip plant roots in Protilizer® Seed & Plant Activator before transplanting. Reapply both products monthly throughout the growing season for bigger blooms, robust roots and increased disease resistance.

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