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13 Flowers to Grow in the Shade (Australian Guide)

Many flowering plants prefer to grow in the sun. However, there are quite a few flowers that will grow happily in the shade.

If like me, you have shady spots in your garden that don’t get a lot of sunlight, you might be looking for ideas on which flowers you can plant.

Many flowering plants prefer to grow in the sun. However, there are quite a few flowers that will grow happily in the shade.

Here is just a small selection of flowers you can grow in a shady spot in your garden.

Begonias

Begonias in pot | Plant varieties

Begonias are the perfect plants to grow in the shade and they’re available in a huge range of varieties with many different floral colours. 

Begonias like a sheltered spot in the garden and appreciate a bit of warmth to thrive. They also like some humidity but can adapt to growing in a drier climate.

Camellias

Camellia sasanqua | Plant varieties

There are many varieties of camellias that will grow happily in a semi-shaded spot in your garden. And, there’s nothing better than watching a camellia come into bloom from early winter onwards.

Clivia Lily 

clivia lily | Plant varieties

Nothing brightens up a shady spot in your garden better than the bright orange blooms of the clivia lily.

These hardy plants with their strappy green leaves will fill your garden with flowers from spring and right through summer.

Thanks to modern breeding, you can also find these plants with flowers that range in colour from red to yellow.

Columbines

Columbine flower | Plant varieties

I just adore the delicate flowers of the many varieties of columbines.

These plants will happily grow in a semi-shaded position in the garden and are available in a wide range of different colours.

Also, these flowers have the ability to self-seed around your garden if you allow the flower heads to form seeds.

Gardenias

Gardenia Hedge 3 | Plant varieties

This might surprise you as gardenias are often seen as sunlovers. However, these delightfully fragrant plants will also thrive even in a heavily shaded spot.

You might not get quite as many flowers when you grow gardenias in the shade but if you feed once a year in spring with an organic fertiliser high in potassium, they still should put on a good display for you.

Hellebores

Hellebore flower | Plant varieties

Not only do these plants thrive in the shade but they can also delight you with their gorgeous flowers in winter.

They’re available in a whole range of different colours and their dark green foliage is attractive even when the plants aren’t in bloom.

Hydrangeas

hydrangeas 177317 1280 | Plant varieties

Hydrangeas are happiest in a semi-shaded spot or even one that just receives dappled sunlight. They tend to wilt in the heat if they’re grown in full sun. 

With a wide range of varieties and cultivars available, you can easily fill that shady spot in your garden with some gorgeous summer colour that will last well into autumn.

Japanese Anemones

Japanese Anemones | Plant varieties

There are various hybrid varieties of Japanese anemones that grow happily in semi-shaded spots in your garden. These are great for planting under trees in drifts for a brilliant floral display in autumn.

They’ll also multiply on their own and will grow in all soil types and most climatic regions around the country.

Mona Lavender (Plectranthus)

Mona Lavender Plectranthus | Plant varieties

This hardy perennial flower will delight you with pretty lavender-coloured blooms on tall spikes from late summer through to the end of autumn.

The leaves on this plant are also a feature. They have serrated edges and are green on top and purple underneath.

Native Violets

Viola hederacea | Plant varieties

I have lots of native violets growing in various spots in my garden and these hardy plants really do thrive in the shaded spots that they’re growing in.

What’s even better is that these native flowers will spread on their own and you can easily dig up a small section and replant it elsewhere in your garden.

New Guinea Impatiens

New Guinea Impatiens | Plant varieties

There are two different types of impatiens. Those that have been bred to grow in the sun and the New Guinea impatiens that love to grow in a shady spot. 

You can find these available in a whole range of different floral colours to brighten up that darker spot in your garden.

Ensure you keep them well-watered and protect them from frost if you live in the southern part of the country.

New Zealand Lily ‘Matapouri Bay’

New Zealand Lily ‘Matapouri Bay | Plant varieties

This stunning plant has strappy blue-green leaves and masses of white star-shaped flowers that grow in dense clumps.

It’s very easy to grow in almost all parts of the country and looks fantastic when planted en masse. 

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lily Spathiphyllum wallisii | Plant varieties

The peace lily is a hardy plant that will flower quite happily in the shade. However, it does best in a brightly lit spot and requires regular watering. 

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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