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15 Outdoor Plants That Grow Without Sunlight

Perhaps you have some space in your garden, a place where you feel is too dull and in desperate need of some beautification. Are you worried that the space is shady and may not have enough sunlight required to grow plants? Well, worry no more.

In this article, we would give you a list of outdoor plants that grow without sunlight. These are plants you can plant in that shade and they would grow perfectly, without sunlight.

Let’s look at these plants!

Outdoor Plants That Grow Without Sunlight

1. Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum)

Dead Nettle Plant

This is an outdoor plant from the family of mints. It originated from Western Asia, Europe, and North Africa. It is called a dead nettle because the leaves of the plant look like stinging nettles and since it does not actually sting, the term ‘dead’ was added.

Dead nettle is one of the plants that grow quite comfortably under shade. It prefers to be in a properly drained and moist humus soil.

The dead nettle does not understand the concept of personal space so it will keep growing until it runs out of available soil. The foliage comes in silver and blooms of pink, white, red, purple during the summer.


2. Heuchera (The Coral Bell)

heuchera plant

Heuchera is one of those perennials that are versatile. It is not selective with the amount of sunlight. It can bloom happily in any sunlight amount so far you give it enough water.

The plant takes some time to grow when you plant them under a shade with clayey soil. The coral bed should be planted in moist but not overly wet soil.

The coral bell is such an exciting plant to cultivate. The leaves come in varying colors: salmon, rusty orange, chartreuse, and purple-black. When buying or getting coral bells, it is vital you select one that is well-suited for your climate.

If you stay in a temperate region, get coral bells of slender sizes but if you stay in humid areas, it is best you get the bells with big leaves.


3. Pulmonaria (Lungwort)

pulmonaria plant

This is a flowering plant indigenous to Western Asia and Europe. The foliage of the pulmonaria is silvery and beautiful. The leaves are slender and long.

They come in varying forms. Some leaves are totally silvery in color, some have a splash of silver while some have silver dots all over them.

The plant’s flowers bloom in spring. They are quite colorful and showy. The colors of the pulmonaria flower range from blue, pink, and white. These different flower colors can be seen on the same plant. For pulmonaria, shade is the best place to be.


4. Digitalis (Foxglove)

Digitalis plant

Here is another outdoor plant that can thrive with or without the sun. it is a flowering plant from the family of plantains. This plant is not just for the beautification of your garden, it is also a source of a drug for heart disease.

The drug is knowns as digoxin. This plant is native to the cold parts of Europe and North America. Digitalis is a biannual plant which means it dies in two years. But this should not bother you.

The seeds of the plant germinate and grow again after some time. This means that you have an endless supply of beautiful flowers, year in, year out.


5. Astilbe plant

Astilbe plant

Astilbe is beautiful and it knows so. It is best known for the production of colorful and bright flowers. The colors of these flowers, especially ones from modern varieties are dark green, wine red, pale green, or bronze. Most people choose a variety that has a combination of colors to brighten up their garden.

The astilbe is a perennial plant and it can thrive without the sunlight. The best place to plant the astilbe is in a shade. If you place them in a position where they get hit on by sunlight, they will burn.

When you want to grow an astilbe plant, it is best you start with any of its vegetative parts instead of the seeds because they do not germinate easily.


6. Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

Foamflower plant

The foamflower is related to coral bells. It is another plant that can grow quite well without sunlight. The foliage of the foamflower is not as pretty as that of the coral bell, but they are numerous.

What it lacks in quality, it makes up for in quantity. During the spring, the plant produces a lot of white flowers that just sits right with your garden.

It is a perennial plant that can be used as a cover crop. As the foamflower grows, it sends long-running roots under the soil which prevents your garden from being overrun by weeds.

Recently, scientists shave started cross-breeding coral bells with foam-flowers. The result is a hybrid with abundant colorful flowers.


7. Primula (Primrose)

Primula plant

The primrose is one plant that is hard to grow if you leave it at the full glare of the sun. For the plant to grow, it has to be taken away from the sunlight and then kept under shade.

The plant loves moist soil. It is best planted by the waterside, where it would get constant water supply.


8. Euphorbia (Spurge)

Euphorbia plant

The genera euphorbia is among the biggest flowering plants. It contains over two thousand species. Many species of these genera are quite useful to man.

Some can be used for decorations, some are weeds, some are drug sources. A species of euphorbia called lathyrism was once used as a laxative.

The spurge is not a difficult plant to grow. It behaves like a weed; the seeds fall and sprout. The plant is also a creeping herb. It is best planted in places where the heat of the sun cannot reach.


9. Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla)

Lady’s Mantle plant

One fascinating thing about this plant is how it looks like when rain falls on it. The leaves of the lady’s mantle are pleated, so water forms jewel-like beads on top of the leaves.

The flowers of this plant show in June and their color is yellowish-green. It is an easy plant to cultivate and it lives quite long. This is one of the plants that prefer to grow in shade rather than sunlight.


10. Japanese ‘Hakonechloa’ Forest Grass

Japanese ‘Hakonechloa’ Forest Grass

Another plant that loves the shade as that is where it grows and functions the best.  When you expose it to the sun, the leaves begin to turn brown. The plant is short and forms clumps on the ground. The leaves are slender and lime green in color majorly.

The rest are either golden green or variegated. In the fall, the leaves change color to either red, purple, or orange. The plant takes some time to grow and would require extra maintenance even when it is established.


11. Spiderwort

Spiderwort plant

This is a versatile plant. It can grow in any condition you place it. It is however best if you cultivate it in shady areas where the sun does not get to it much. The flowers of the spiderwort come in purple, pink, and white and they bloom throughout summer.

The flowers that bloom in the summer are super strong. They can withstand drought for a long time. the flowers of the spiderwort plant open up at dawn and then close in the evening. The spiderwort is not difficult to cultivate.


12. Hardy Fuchsia

Hardy Fuchsia plant

The most popular type of hardy fuchsia is the Fuchsia magellanica. It is in love with shades. It is a perennial plant that has a lot of tubular blooms. This makes it a tourist attraction for hummingbirds.

This plant is a tough one. During the harshest of winters, it dies off but makes a resurgence when spring comes. The colors of the flowers of the plant come in peach, white, purple, and pink. Once the plant starts growing, extra care is not required to keep it going.


13. Campanula (Bellflower)

Campanula plant

There are many types of campanula flowers. The colors of this plant are white or blue. The plant loves the shade and moist soil. The bloom period of the flower is from June.

The best-known type of bellflower is the Siberian bellflower.  It is blue in color but dotted with white eyes. The plant is a perennial plant.

The plant thrives well in areas where there are cool nights and moderately warm afternoons. In places with harsh winters, the bellflower can survive.


14. Corydalis Lutea

Corydalis Lutea plant

This plant is also known as yellow corydalis or yellow fumitory. It is a perennial plant that prefers the shade to the sun. it grows quite tall and has short-spurred, bright yellow flows. The plant grows like a weed and is common in the British Isles.

The plant does not do well in hot areas and would die off if the soil is wet during winter. In optimal weather conditions, the plant self-seeds aggressively to fill any soil space available.


15. Impatiens

Impatiens plant

The impatiens are an annual plant. It blooms all through the summer and dies off when winter comes. The plant is so allergic to the full glare of the sun. It performs optimally in shaded corners. This plant needs a lot of moisture or else it will die.

It is tender and beautiful. The flowers come in varying colors: pastels, neon, and white. In some countries, you can find apricot or red impatiens.


Further Readings:


Having ample space to grow different plant is usually a challenge to a lot of plant owners; however, these plants need no sunlight to grow them.

This means that these outdoor plants that grow without sunlight can be literally grown anywhere in your home and still come out beautiful and useful to your home.