Selecting perennials for shade is no easy task, but choices are plentiful for gardeners in moderate climates such as USDA plant hardiness zone 8. Read on for a list of zone 8 shade perennials and learn more about growing zone 8 perennials in shade.
Zone 8 Shade Perennials
When looking for zone 8 shade tolerant plants, you must first consider the type of shade your garden has. Some plants only require a little shade while others need more.
Partial or Dappled Shade Perennials
If you can provide shade for part of the day, or if you have a planting location in dappled shade under a deciduous tree, selecting shade tolerant perennials for zone 8 is relatively easy. Here is a partial list:
- Bigroot geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum) – Colorful foliage; white, pink, or blue flowers
- Toad lily (Tricyrtis spp.) – Colorful foliage; white or blue, orchid-like flowers
- Japanese yew (Taxus) – Evergreen shrub
- Beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.) – Berries in fall
- Chinese mahonia (Mahonia fortunei) – Fern-like foliage
- Ajuga (Ajuga spp.) – Burgundy-purple foliage; white, pink, or blue flowers
- Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) – White, pink, or yellow blooms
- Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) – Late spring blooms, attractive foliage
- Sweetspire (Itea virginica) – Fragrant flowers, fall color
- Pineapple lily (Eucomis spp.) – Tropical-looking leaves, pineapple-like blooms
- Ferns – Available in a range of varieties and sun-tolerance, including some for full shade
Perennials for Deep Shade
If you’re planting an area in deep shade, selecting zone 8 shade perennials is challenging and the list is shorter, as most plants require at least minimal sunlight. Here are a few suggestions for plants that grow in deep shade:
- Hosta (Hosta spp.) – Attractive foliage in a range of colors, sizes, and forms
- Lungwort (Pulmonaria) – Pink, white, or blue flowers
- Corydalis (Corydalis) – Colorful foliage; white, pink, or blue flowers
- Heuchera (Heuchera spp.) – Colorful foliage
- Japanese fatsia (Fatsia japonica) – Attractive foliage, red berries
- Deadnettle (Lamium) – Colorful foliage; white or pink blooms
- Barrenwort (Epimedium) – Colorful foliage; red, white, or pink blooms
- Heartleaf brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla) – Heart-shaped leaves; blue flowers
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A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.