Top 8 Shade Loving Plants for Your Garden

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Have you got a shady spot in your backyard that is a constant challenge to fill?

Most plants like a healthy 4+ hours of sun hitting their leaves to thrive. However, there is a good selection of decorative shade loving plants that will happily live in darker corners of your home or garden.


Ensure these plants are in part-shade to shady spots outdoors. Direct outdoor sunlight will burn and damage the leaves and at the least fade out their beautiful lush green colour.


It is important to not overwater plants growing in mostly shaded spots as the lack of sun exposure and heat from direct sun will mean water remains in the soil for longer. Over watering will lead to root and stem rot. A rule of thumb is to the check the soil before watering. If it is still damp, leave watering for another day or two.


There are a number of feeding options available for the following plants. A popular choice is a soluble or liquid all-purpose fertiliser or a good quality all-purpose slow release fertiliser.

Where to buy

Look for these plants at your local nursery or indoor plant shop.


One way to introduce green life into a darker corner of your outdoors is with a vertical GreenWall. This particular GreenWall features ferns, Bromeliads, Devils Ivy and Moses in a cradle (Rhoeo Dwarf). Explore our GreenWall range here.

Here are 8 tried and tested shade lovers:

ZZ Plant
#1: ZZ Plant

The ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamifolia) is arguably the easiest plant to grow. Thriving in dark environments and on very little water, you almost have to go out of your way to kill this plant. It is an excellent choice for beginners and gifts. The ZZ Plant is slow growing but develops wide root nodules that fill out the area it is planted in.

Rhapis Palm
#2: Rhapis Palm

This tough and hardy plant prefers part to full shade. The Rhapis palm can be planted outdoors and is a popular feature plant for tropical themed gardens. Rhapis palms do well in pots too, but be mindful to plant it in a large pot if you want it to grow into a large feature plant.

Birds Nest Fern
#3: Birds Nest Fern

These ferns are native to Australia and complement a tropical look garden. These grow well in pots and look fantastic in vertical GreenWalls.

#4: Bromeliad

The bromeliad family is very broad with many varieties available in Australian nurseries. Bromeliads prefer a shady spot in the garden and have a long lasting flower. They collect water in the stem so be mindful not to overwater these.

#5: Alocasia (Elephant Ears)

The Alocasia is a beautiful ornamental foliage plant, which has become increasingly popular indoors but is still a shade loving favourite outdoors. Alocasias like a warm and humid position that is protected from the wind, as the leaves can be prone to tearing in wind gusts.

#6: Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)

The Aspidistra is a very hardy and drought tolerant plant which is a popular choice for lush green borders in outdoor gardens. Equally impressive in decorative pots, the Aspidistra does not enjoy full sun exposure, which can bleach out the lush and dark foliage.

#7: Philodendron

Most philodendrons will love a shady spot in the garden. Philodendrons are typically fast growing plants with large impressive leaves. Some of our favourite varieties are the Philodendron bipinnatifidum, Red Congo and the smaller Xanadu.

Devil’s Ivy
#8: Epipremnum aureum (Devil’s Ivy)

Devil’s Ivy is a reliable and fast growing trailing plant. While it thrives in filtered light, it will grow happily in shaded spots, both indoors and out. Similarly to other shade dwelling plants, be mindful not to overwater the Devil’s Ivy.

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