This combination of easy, adaptable plants doesn't need full sun to thrive.

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Many sun-loving plants will still do well if they are shaded during part of the day, though they may not bloom as profusely as they would in full sun. This garden plan for partial shade uses a mix of these types of plants that can brighten areas under trees and along paths with their colorful flowers and foliage. The design features easy-care, summer-blooming perennials such as daylilies, phlox, and hostas. To keep the color show going all season long, an array of annuals such as coleus and petunias fills in the front of this beautiful border. Then, just add a bench and you'll have a pleasant spot to rest during the shadier times of day.

wooden garden bench amidst plants
Credit: Janet Mesic Mackie

Plants for Creating the Garden Plan for Partial Shade

  • 2 Petunia: Annual
  • 2 Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens): Annual
  • 1 Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas 'Blackie'): Zones 9-11; annual elsewhere
  • 4 Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides): Annual
  • 9 Hosta spp.: Zones 3-8
  • 1 Giant fleece flower (Persicaria polymorpha): Zones 3-8
  • 5 Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.): Zones 3-10
  • 3 Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata): Zones 3-8
  • 1 Smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens): Zones 4-9
  • 2 Shrub verbena (Lantana 'Samantha'): Zones 7-11
  • 2 Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus): Zones 9-11; annual elsewhere

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting.

garden plan for partial shade

Get the Free Garden Plan for Partial Shade

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

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