Zone 8 Shade Gardening: How To Choose Plants For Zone 8 Shade

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By Mary Ellen Ellis

Zone 8 shade gardening can be tricky, since plants need at least some sunlight to live and thrive. But, if you know which plants live in your climate and can tolerate only partial sun, you can easily create a beautiful garden.

Growing Plants for Zone 8 Shade

While growing plants in the shade can be tricky, zone 8 is a temperate climate that gives you a lot of options. Stretching from parts of the Pacific Northwest, down to Texas and through the middle of the southeast up to North Carolina, this zone covers a large area of the U.S.

Make sure you know the specific needs of each plant you choose and give them the appropriate soil and watering level to help them thrive, even in the shade. Some of the common zone 8 shade plants will merely tolerate partial shade, while others will thrive with less sun. Know the difference so you can find the perfect place in your garden for each plant.

Common Zone 8 Shade Plants

This is not an exhaustive list, but here are a few of the more common examples of plants that will grow well both in the shade and in a zone 8 climate:

Ferns. Ferns are classic shade plants. They thrive in the forest with only dappled sunlight filtered through the trees. Some of the varieties that can grow in zone 8 include royal fern, ostrich fern, and cinnamon fern.

Hostas. This is one of the most popular shade plants for zone 8 as well as colder zones, and let’s face it – nothing quite beats a stand of hostas in the garden. These low-growing perennials come in a variety of sizes, shades and patterns of green, and are highly tolerant of shade.

Dogwood. For a shade-friendly shrub, consider dogwood. These compact, shrub-like trees produce beautiful spring flowers and several varieties thrive in zone 8. These include red dogwood, pink dogwood, and gray dogwood.

Foxglove. A pretty perennial flower, foxglove grows up to four feet tall (1.2 m.) and produces, bell-shaped blooms in pink and white. They thrive in partial shade.

Ground covers. These are popular shade plants because they cover large areas of ground that are too shady for grass. Varieties that will grow in the zone 8 climate include:

Zone 8 shade gardening doesn’t have to be a challenge. You just need to know what to plant in partial shade, and this list should help you get started.

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