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The 20 Best Annuals For Shady Gardens


If you want to add some color to your shady garden, these annuals are perfect. They’re easy to grow, they’ll bloom quickly, and they’ll add a splash of color no matter where you place them.

Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum is a low-growing annual with clusters of tiny, four-petaled flowers in shades of white, pink, purple, and blue. It’s easy to grow and will tolerate heat, cold, and drought.


This is a great shade annual, and it’s also drought tolerant. It blooms all summer long, so you can enjoy its beautiful flowers all day long. The lobelia has a flower that looks like a puffball with pink or white petals surrounding the center of the flower. It makes an excellent companion plant for other annuals, such as petunias or geraniums.

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Impatiens are a great choice for shady gardens since they’re easy to grow and hardy. They can be grown in containers as well, which makes them ideal if you don’t have much sun where your yard is located.

They’re also good for hanging baskets or other small areas where the plant needs some height but doesn’t need full sun exposure all day long (or even at all).


Begonias are a genus of perennial flowering plants belonging to the family Begoniaceae. They are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, and America. Begonias are popular as houseplants and bedding plants in temperate regions.

Begonias have small flowers that bloom from summer through fall but can be grown indoors all year round if you want them to bloom indoors all winter long!

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Coleus is a perennial plant, but it is often grown as an annual. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade and will tolerate most soil conditions. For the best results, sow seeds after all danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature reaches at least 60 degrees F (16 degrees C). Coleus plants can also be grown indoors during warm weather if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing for several months each year.

Coleus makes a great border or ground cover for shady gardens because its foliage turns green with age during the summer months when temperatures are warm enough outside to warrant this change in color from their brownish-green coloration characteristic of most perennials like this one


Plant height: Up to 10 feet

Flower color: White, pink or purple (sometimes all three)

Flower shape: Single or double with a trumpet-shaped flower. The single flowers are smaller than the doubles, but they tend to bloom at the same time and look great in arrangements. This bulb is considered an annual because it blooms for just one season before dying back to ground level for winter storage. It’s also easy to grow from seed indoors or outdoors (the preferred method). To keep your wands looking fresh year after year, cut them back after flowering every spring so that new growth appears from below rather than above ground level.

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Cabbage And kale

Cabbage and kale are both members of the Brassica family, but they’re not exactly the same. Kale is a member of the cabbage family and it’s considered an annual plant. Cabbage, on the other hand, can be grown as an annual or perennial plant (depending on how you want to grow it).

Both have similar benefits: they’re easy to grow and have long seasons during which they’ll produce lots of leaves. They also require little care once planted in your garden—you’ll need to water them regularly throughout the summer but otherwise only give them fertilizer every few weeks so that their leaves don’t get too thick or unruly looking for your liking!

Licorice Plant

  • Licorice plant
  • Flower color: yellow, orange, and red
  • Flower size: 1 inch to 3 inches wide
  • Plant height: 10 inches to 12 inches tall
  • Plant width: 20 inches to 30 inches wide (depending on the cultivar) (some are more compact while others are quite sprawling)
  • Plant type: evergreen perennial shrub with pale green leaves that turn red in fall; bears fragrant flowers from spring through summe

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Browallia is a tender perennial that grows to only about 2 feet tall. It’s easy to grow and can be grown in containers, making it a good choice for shady areas. Browallias are great for adding color and texture to your garden beds or planters, but they also make excellent houseplants!

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller is a perfect choice for shady gardens. It is also a good choice for full sun to partial shade locations, with an average height of 12–18 inches. The flowers are pink, red, or white and bloom in spring and fall.

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Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny is a perennial that can grow in partial shade, but it needs to be kept moist. Creeping jenny is an excellent ground cover and can be planted directly into your shady garden without any additional care.

Wax Begonia

Wax begonias are a great choice for shady gardens. They’re easy to grow, tolerate a wide range of soil and light conditions, and have beautiful blooms that last through summer.

Wax begonias are also popular because they do well in hanging baskets or pots that don’t get too much sun exposure. In fact, if you have an area where your home can get some afternoon shade (or if it’s just shady enough), then wax begonias could be right up your alley!

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Million Bells (Calibrachoa)

The Million Bells annual is a cool-season plant that grows to about 3–4 feet tall, making it perfect for shady gardens. This variety of calycanthus comes in a wide range of colors and has amazing flowering capabilities. It’s also easy to care for, requiring little water and minimal fertilizer during the growing season (spring through fall). The flowers will bloom from May through July depending on your climate zone and weather conditions. However, they can be maintained throughout the year with regular watering once established as well as occasional fertilizing every few weeks during dry spells or times of extreme heat or cold temperatures.

These pretty annuals will add some color to your shady garden

Annuals are the most popular type of flower and for good reason. They’re easy to grow and maintain, which makes them an ideal choice for shady gardens. Annuals come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, making it easy to find something that fits your space perfectly.

If you’re looking for some colorful blooms this spring but don’t have much room on your property or budget (or both), annuals are the best option!


There are so many beautiful annuals to choose from, but we hope that these 20 will inspire you to get started with your own shady garden. We know how hard it is to find time for gardening, but with these plants, you can enjoy fresh veggies all year long!

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