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Flowers for shade?

Does anyone have any suggestions of flowers that are beneficial to pollinators that don’t need full sun? It’s not deep shade but only gets sun in the evening

  • Hey Purdy, I don't know the answer to this one but I just wanted to say I'd be very interested in the answer too! I recently planted a bush that said it would be happy in 'part shade', but apparently even it can't deal with the darker depths of my garden :(
  • From my experience, it would need to also be plants that aren't attacked by slugs and snails too as they tend to be more troublesome in those areas of the garden. Hellebores is probably the obvious one. Try and avoid the double ones. Bumblebees visit the standard ones. Stinking hellebore is also a good option IMO. Sweet box Sarcococca confusa I am hoping is good. Bought mine last Autumn. I noticed a little bit of snail damage this morning, but is meant to be particularly good for bees because of how early it flowers. Foxgloves work in shade in our garden. As well as stinking hellebore, there are a few other natives worth considering. One option is wood anemone.
  • In reply to AnnaF-222099629:

    AnnaF-222099629 said:
    I recently planted a bush that said it would be happy in 'part shade', but apparently even it can't deal with the darker depths of my garden :(

    Out of interest, what was the bush you referred to?

  • Yes, dark/shaded often means damp/damper, and as Robbo says, will invite slugs etc.

    I too am also curious, not because of the slug and other creatures problem, but because I have yet to grow anything in a shaded part of the garden, though a single peach coloured poppy does seem to thrive irrespective, but nothing else has.

    I will also add, there is a sycamore tree that may be the cause, because of its water requirement, but I doubt that in view of the fact I did water the ground sufficiently, but not drenching the ground.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Ajuga is a great spreading perennial with purple flowers. It’s loved by bees and thrives in shade.
  • In reply to Snowymuckish:

    Got to admit, I'd not thought of ajuga as shade loving. Ours was planted in full sun by previous home owners years ago. Can get tatty/stressed in particularly hot/dry spells but still alive 9 years later. Will move a bit to the shade and see what happens. Will be interested to see if bees find it there. Species usually using it seem to prefer flowers in the open, sunny positions.
  • I have my chocolate ajuga in part shade where it does well compared to some I put in a brighter spot this year ... grows plantlets much like strawberries & must be treated in same way to propogate, ie not severed from parent plant til roots develop which is easy to tell as new leaves will grow in centre!
    Weather was too bad this year to notice if bees found the early flowers!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Our Helianthus 'Flying Saucers' is planted in shade. It is just about to flower now. The yellow flowers really brighten up a shady spot and is loved by bees. Also perennial geraniums can be planted in shade and are loved by pollinators. They are also long-flowering. We have geranium phaeum, macrorrhizum and 'Johnson's Blue' all in shade.
  • Foxgloves will brighten up a shady corner & poisonous to slugs & snails! Also Fuchsias will happily grow in fairly shady areas! Plus Clematis love their roots in shade & can climb up to brightness!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Spring flowering plant for shade - Anemone blanda - which can be planted in the autumn as a 'bulb/rhizome' its a woodland plant so can handle shade as would snowdrops. Pulmonaria, hellebores, primula and cowslips are also spring flowering shade tolerant plants and good early food for emerging queen bumblebees.

    Other plants that do well are foxgloves, campanula, perennial geraniums, aquilegia, heuchera & dicentra will also tolerate shade - I've avoided hostas as there is the 'slug' issue. Bees love the flowers and I let the slugs eat mine as I don't mind a lacey leaf - birds & frogs like the slugs too so I just live with them.