Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

This member-only article is part of our All Access subscription.

Member only

Surprising Plants for Shade

If your idea of something interesting is a variegated hosta, these 8 beauties may change your thinking

Fine Gardening – Issue 176

I recently designed my third shade garden on as many properties. As my fascination with shade plants grows, I continually look for more variety beyond the plants commonly available in local nurseries. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dismiss or ignore the ordinary. The foundation of all my gardens is built on established tried-and-true plants. They are considered “common” because, over time, they’ve proven themselves in durability and reliability. My beds all start with a structure built on these old reliables, but then I sprinkle in novel and exotic options that excite my inner, unabashed plant geek. The following are plants that you might not be familiar with but that I’ve found are perfect for adding something out of the ordinary to your shady spots.


Exotic-Looking Stems and Flowers

‘Night Heron’ fairy bells (Disporum longistylum ‘Night Heron’ )

This article is only available to All Access members

This article is available online for the first time ever exclusively for All Access members. Sign up for a free trial to access our entire collection of articles, videos, and plant records.

Start Free Trial

View Comments


Log in or become a member to post a comment on this article.

Related Articles

The Latest

Magazine Cover

Take your passion for plants to the next level

Subscribe today and save up to 44%

"As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack."


View All