What is a colorful flower/plant that will grow in the shade in Zone 5?

Question by RO: What is a colorful flower/plant that will grow in the shade in Zone 5?
I have a shady area (less than 3 hours of sun per day) in front of my home, outside of Chicago. It needs some color but I am having trouble finding colorful flowers or plants that will grow in the shade. I prefer perennials but bulbs suit me also. Thanks.

Read answers:

Answer by jilllpilll
rule of thumb is, the darker the leaf, the more shade it needs. Clematis is really pretty, and likes the shade, but they are a bit pricey

What do you think? Answer below…

6 Responses to “What is a colorful flower/plant that will grow in the shade in Zone 5?”

  1. Bob says:

    Tuberous begonias do really well in the shade.

  2. sondo says:

    Morning glories bloom every morning (hence the name) and will grow just about anywhere. They prefer sun, but i’m sure they’ll be able to grow in the shade as long as it is warm enough

  3. mamado says:

    Azaleas do well in shade, there are evergreen and deciduous types
    Cyclamen, beautiful leaves and flowers
    impatiens – these are annuals and need to be planted every year, however, they are cheap and fill in rapidly – not the New Guinea type which needs sun
    Also, many types of rhododendron

  4. Claire de Lune says:

    astilbes(they also come in red, white, and lavender)

    bleeding hearts

  5. muttlover says:

    Lilly of the Valley, Huechera, Toad Lilies (my favorites), Bleeding Hearts, Pulmunaria, Huechera,
    Columbine, Solomon’s Seal, Jacob’s Ladder, Rhododendrons, Astilbe. I have them all in my very shady garden. I tuck in vining geraniums, coleus, impatients and begonias to add more color – but they basically are annuals here (zone 5 too). And you can get all kinds of different color combinations going with hostas – I went from thinking they were the most boring plant to being really entranced with them. I also love my Brunnera. I think I’m spelling a lot of these plants wrong but the spell checker is even more ignorant than I am. Also sometimes a plant that loves full sun will still do okay in shade. I plant tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths because when they come up early in the spring the leaves are not yet making it really shady so they do fine as well. Have fun. I also found out that light colored flowers (esp. white ones) and pale leafed varieties actually show up better in shade than some of the more colorful plants. I haven’t tried yet but think these should do okay too – Anemone and Ligularia.

  6. Mick St James says:

    Bleeding Hearts will bloom in the shade (its an perennial blooms early).

    Annuals for shade are impatiens or begonias.

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