Experts and BHG readers answer.
What annuals will grow in the shade?
Unfortunately, there aren't as many annuals that do well in shade as there are that do well in sun. Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) is by far the most common – the plants bloom continuously through the summer in sparkling shades of nearly every color except blue and black. I'm also a big fan of browallia (Browallia speciosa), an underused annual that blooms in shades of blue and white. Wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri) is another fine choice; it produces interesting flowers in shades of pink, purple, white, and blue. Wax begonia (Begonia semperflorens-cultorum) bears red, pink, or white flowers on plants with waxy green or bronze foliage. A number of tropical plants with colorful foliage do well in shade too. Among these is Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus). It bears metallic purple leaves marked with silver. Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) and caladium (Caladium bicolor) produce colorful foliage in the shade. Many houseplants, such as spotted dumb cane (Dieffenbachia), can also spend the summer outdoors in a shady spot.