Shade Tolerant Perennials and Ground Covers

Ajuga- Attractive ground cover in colorful foliage and spikes of blue flowers in spring. Popular varieties include Bronze Beauty, Chocolate Chip, Burgundy Glow and Catlin's Giant. Very hardy and easy to get established.
Astilbe - Native to the far east, these beautiful plants and their hybrids have revolutionized the perennial possibilities of moist, shaded gardens. From tiny dwarfs to the big and tall the combinations are endless. Popular varieties include the Color Flash & Vision series, Fanal, Granat, Deutschland and Rheinland.
Columbine - The flowers are sometimes compared to butterflies and are as beautiful in a vase as they are in the garden. Excellent for hummingbirds. There are lots of great hybrids available in a multitude of colors and combinations. Popular varieties include the Barlow, Songbird, Spring Magic, and Winky Series.
Euonymous Colorata - Also knowns as Purple Winter Creeper is one of the most aggressive and hardy ground cover varieties. Tolerating shade or sun Winter Creeper is an excellent choice for hillsides when erosion control is important. Beautiful deep purple fall color.
Heuchera - Also called Coral Bells have 100's of new hybrid varieties that have been developed over the last decade, almost too many. Shade loving heuchera is excellent partner for hosta or astilbe. Popular and hardy varieties for our area include Palace Purple, Amber Waves, Blessingham Mix, Ruby Bells and Splendens Firefly.

Hosta - Probably the easiest shade loving plant to get established. Available as bare root in early spring, hosta can also be the most economical for filling shade areas. Tiny dwarf varieties to mega-monsters can make excellent borders to dramatic displays. Available in shades of green, blue and variegated leaf combinations. Hosta is the #1 idiot proof shade perennial. Popular varieties include Patriot, Frances Williams, Regal Splendor and Big Daddy.

Lamium - Often under utilized, lamium is an excellent ground cover perennial for shady areas. Thrives in shade but will grow in some sun. Varieties offer a range of flower colors in white, purple and pink with silver-variegated leaves. Popular varieties include, White Nancy, Beacon Silver and Herman's Pride.
Lysimachia - One of many forms of lysimachia, the most popular is Creeping Jenny, also called moneywort. The golden varieties seem to be the rage, however there are green varieties too. These same varieties are popular for annual planters and hanging baskets as spiller plants around the sides.
Ivy - An aggressive ground cover, ivy can be very advantageous if you need something to spread quickly in shade. Extremely hardy, can be known to climb and sometimes hard to control. Available in dark green or variegated leaf, ground cover ivy continues to be one of the most common shade ground covers.

Vinca Minor - Also known as Vinca Myrtle, Creeping Myrtle and Old-Fashion Periwinkle. An excellent evergreen ground cover for part sun or shade areas, perennial vinca bloom in early spring. This is an old fashion classic and has been around since the Pilgrams. Vinca has a creeping habit and grows 4 to 6 inches off the ground, forming a thick mat of green. Excellent for erosion control.