Shade plants are an invaluable addition to many gardens and backyards. While sun-loving plants sometimes seem innumerable, plants that thrive in the shade are special, and they’re necessary for almost every gardener who has at least some dappled or even dense shade to work with. Keep reading to learn more about growing shady zone 9 plants and shrubs and picking out the most common zone 9 plants for shade gardens.
Plants and Shrubs That Grow in Zone 9 Gardens
Here are some of the most common shade-loving zone 9 plants: Ferns – Millions of years old, ferns are the definition of an old standby. Usually native to forest floors, they thrive in shady spots. While ferns come in a huge range of species and varieties, some good ones for zone 9 include:
Spiderwort – Happiest in partial shade, spiderwort is a good border plant with small attractive flowers that are usually blue but can also come in white, red, and pink. Camellia – Camellias love deep shade and will flower prolifically in it. They grow into small trees and shrubs with flowers in white, red, and pink. Some good zone 9 varieties include:
- Jury’s Pearl camellia
- Long Island Pink camellia
- Winter’s Star camellia
Periwinkle – A crawling groundcover that prefers partial shade, periwinkle produces flowers very similar to violets. It can get aggressive if not kept in check, however. Astilbe – A bright perennial that thrives in light to moderate shade, astilbe produces big, spiky clusters of tiny flowers that range from white to pink to red. Hydrangea – While they don’t like deep shade, hydrangeas do very well in dappled or afternoon shade. Some varieties that do very well in zone 9 shade include:
- Orb hydrangea
- Star hydrangea
- Beni Gaku hydrangea
- Bluebird lacecap hydrangea
- Bigleaf hydrangea
- Oakleaf hydrangea
- Climbing hydrangea
Bleeding Heart – like many ferns, bleeding heart plants can be the stars (or hearts) of the show when included in the zone 9 shade garden. They are especially suited to woodland garden areas.
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The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.