Watling Street, Towcester, Northants, NN12 6GX
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8 Excellent shade tolerant plants

We love all garden spaces equally here at Bell Plantation, even your shady spots under trees or those areas shadowed by buildings, fencing and even other plants! We appreciate the struggles of bringing a shady spot to life in your garden, so our experts have picked some of the top plants that will thrive without the full sun…


This evergreen perennial is a great medium sized shrub that adds yearlong foliage into your garden, surviving even harsh winter. It’s compact and dense foliage shelters the soil beneath it creating great visually pleasing ‘ground cover’. Loved primarily for its lasting foliage, however the plant will produce lovely petite white flowers in the summertime.

Pachysandra likes full or partial shade so is a great choice for a very shady spot. Plant in the middle of your border surrounded by periwinkle for an attractive and colourful display.


A firm favourite for the avid gardener, the Hydrangea. This flowering shrub is a wonderfully vibrant addition to your garden. Choosing the right soil for your flowers will help them keep their colour – For blue flowering hydrangeas plant in acidic soil, mauve flowers in slightly acidic and pink in slightly acidic to neutral soil.

Best planted in containers or beds that will give your Hydrangea full sun in the mornings and shade in the afternoons. Make your Hydrangea the star of the show and pair with decorative grasses and small ferns to really make your blooms pop.


The greater periwinkle is a pretty little herbaceous ‘sub-shrub’ providing excellent groundcover with blue flowers blooming from early spring through to autumn. This hardy plant is very resilient and will survive harsh conditions, tolerating all lighting conditions including full and partial shade.

Plant at the front of borders to create a natural and wildlife friendly edge. Ground covering varieties also look wonderful trailing over a sleeper or basket and filling gaps in your displays or under shrubs.


More commonly known as St Johns Wort, the hypericum is a yellow flowering shrub with evergreen foliage offering garden interest all throughout the year. Great at attracting wildlife, bees will enjoy the bright yellow blooms throughout the summer into autumn.

You hypericum will enjoy some sun, so plant in the middle of a border where it can receive partial sun. Great for planting underneath tree canopies that will offer the shrub dappled sunlight.


Ilex (Holly) is an iconic bushy shrub characterised by their sharp leaves, balanced with soft white flowers and contrasting colourful berries. Typically suits woodland and wildlife gardens but will make a statement in any garden aesthetic. Great for planting in partial shade.

Display larger Ilex at the backs of borders to add vertical drama to your space.


If you are looking for impactful fabulous foliage, then the Hosta is for you. Hostas are unique and easy to grow, with the vast majority favouring light to medium shade. There are two exceptions, blue leafed varieties will prefer light shade and yellow leaf hostas will appreciate the morning sun with shade in the afternoon. Adjust your planting accordingly to get the best out of your Hosta.

Great border plants to add colourful foliage variety to the fronts of your beds and borders.


The Osmanthus is a hardy evergreen shrub featuring glossy leaves and highly scented pale flowers that attract wildlife into your garden. Perfect for brightening up a shady corner in the garden.

Plant in a shady display alongside other shade-loving plants such as fatsia japonicas, ferns and blooming Helleborus.


Euonymus plants are versatile, hardy and happy growing in shady conditions. Brighter leafed and heavily variegated varieties will appreciate more sun but will tolerate partial shade. Young plants should be situated in light to medium shade to avoid leaf scorch from the midday sun.

Euonymus makes great hedging or plant in your borders as decorative shrubs. Ideal for the back and/or sides of your displays.

Whatever you space – let’s get growing! For expert advice on everything you need to start and maintain your garden visit us instore and speak to our friendly team.