Full Shade Perennials Zone 6 (slideshow)

This slide show I’ve put together is named Full Shade Perennials Zone 6.  My reason for selecting this topic is somewhat self-serving. I live in Zone 6 and needed to find some perennials that would do well for me in shaded areas.  Since I have done a lot of research for plants that will grow well in shade, are hardy enough to grow in the Midwest United States, and offer some variation in color and foliage interest, I thought it might be helpful to share the results of my research with you.  Hopefully you can benefit from the work I’ve done on Full Shade Perennials Zone 6.

Here are the top eleven plants that were my favorites.  I was going to do a top ten, but I couldn’t leave out any one of the eleven, so you got the top eleven.   Do you have any favorites plants that are Full Shade Perennials Zone 6 friendly?  Do you have any comments regarding the plants I’ve listed? If so, please add them in the comments area.   Feel free to add any additional comments you may choose as well.  Here we go! Enjoy!

Astilbe 'Fanal'

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

The Astible Fanal grows well in part sun to full shade. The feathery foliage of this Astible emerges red in the spring and fades to green and has plumes of red flowers in June and July. It grows as tall as it does wide, 18” to 24” and it loves moist soils. It is a deer and rabbit resistant plant.

Saxifraga london-pride

A Full Shade Perrennial Zone 6

The Saxifraga ‘London Pride’ grows in full sun to full shade. It has large rosettes of spoon shaped scalloped leaves that are flecked with yellow spots. In spring pretty pink flowers float above the foliage. It prefers average moisture and well drained soil but will tolerate dry shade. It grows 12” tall and 12” wide. It also attracts bees and butterflies.

Peach Flambe Heuchera

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

The Heuchera ‘Peach Flambe” is a variety of the Coral Bell. It grows well in full sun or full shade. Its crinkled lobed leaves emerge scarlet in spring, turning peach in color with curious crimson undersides and tinges of scarlet. The foliage turns a plum purple in the fall. Red spikes open to creamy white bell-shaped flowers rising above the foliage from late spring to early summer. It tolerates a wide variety of soil and watering conditions but prefers average to moist conditions. It grows 8” tall and an additional 8” for when it flowers. It grows 16” wide.

Helleborus Orientalis Hybrids - Lenten Rose

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

The orientalis hybrids grow in partial to full shade. Their large, evergreen leaves can be cut off at bloom time to accentuate the flowers. The orientalis hybrids offer a huge range of flower diversity such picotee edge, double bloom, exquisite spotting in the flowers and upward facing flowers. They prefer moist, well-drained soil but are fairly drought tolerant. They grow 18” tall and 30” wide. Parts of the plants are poisonous if ingested.

Epimedium Barrenwort

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

The several varieties of epimedium grow in partial to full shade. Many of the varieties are evergreen, such as E. warleyenese, and others have bronze leaves. Epimedium has airy sprays of early spring flowers that come in shades of yellow, orange, white, pink or lavender. It can tolerate difficult conditions, even dry shade. It grows 6” to 12” tall and spreads.

Disporum Cantoniese 'Night Heron'

A Full Shade Perrenial Zone 6

Disporum cantoniese grows in partial to full shade. It has rich black stems, reminiscent of bamboo, and shiny ebony foliage. In June droplets of creamy bell-shaped flowers emerge from the branches. It likes moist but well drained soil. It grows 5’ to 6’ tall and 3’ wide. It makes a good background planting because of its tall, stately appearance.

Cimicifuga racemosa 'Brunette' (Actea) – Bugbane

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

The Cimicufuga racemosa bugbane will grow either in full sun or in full shade. Its attractive deeply cut compound leaves emerge burgundy in spring, turning dark green in color throughout the season. The leaves will be darker if the plant has some direct sun exposure. Its feathery, pink buds explode into white fragrant flower spikes stalks in fall. It prefers moist, well-drained soil. It grows 3’ to 4’ tall and 3’ wide. Since it is a leggy plant, you might want to underplant it with low-growing perennials.

Brunnera 'Emerald Mist' - Bulgloss

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

The Brunnera Bulgloss grows best in partial shade. It has large heart-shaped leaves with irregular white spots. The foliage is complimented by baby blue forget-me-not flowers March through May. It grows 14” tall and 24” wide. It needs constantly moist soil, grows slowly and is deer resistant.

Bleeding Heart

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

Bleeding heart grows best in partial to full shade. The green foliage has a delicate, fringe-like texture. The plant’s flowers, which are red, pink or white, appear in April or May. The plant is named for its familiar heart-shaped flower with what appears like a drop at the bottom of the flower. It prefers a well-drained soil that has plenty of humus. It grows 2’ to 3’ tall and has a similar spread. It requires a lot of watering after flowering to retard its dying back. It's also a good idea to surround bleeding hearts with hosta plants and other shade-loving perennial plants that will fill in those vacant spots during the summer.

Beesia Deltophylla

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

The Beesia deltophylla grows well in partial shade to full shade. Its leaves are shiny and evergreen. Tiny clusters of white fringe flowers, which emerge in late summer and early fall, contrast nicely with the large leaves. It grows 18” to 24” tall and wide and likes moist, well-drained soils. It is also a slow grower.

Cyclamen Coum

A Full Shade Perennial Zone 6

Cyclamen coum grows in full to part shade and blooms late winter into spring. It has rounded heart-shaped, silver-tinged leaves and small pink or white flowers. It likes well drained soil and grows 6” tall and 12” wide. It will slowly create a ground cover. It is a hardy plant but is susceptible to attack from mice and squirrels. Part of the plant is also poisonous if ingested.

Astilbe 'Fanal' thumbnail
Saxifraga london-pride thumbnail
Peach Flambe Heuchera thumbnail
Helleborus Orientalis Hybrids - Lenten Rose thumbnail
Epimedium Barrenwort thumbnail
Disporum Cantoniese 'Night Heron' thumbnail
Cimicifuga racemosa 'Brunette' (Actea) – Bugbane thumbnail
Brunnera 'Emerald Mist' - Bulgloss thumbnail
Bleeding Heart thumbnail
Beesia Deltophylla thumbnail
Cyclamen Coum thumbnail

I hope you enjoyed Full Shade Perennials Zone 6.  I enjoyed making it for you. Below are links that will take you to places where you can purchase the plants listed in my top eleven.  There is also a great encyclopedia of shade perennials and a brief kindle book that might be helpful in your gardening adventures in shaded areas.  Just click on the images below.


6 Responses to “Full Shade Perennials Zone 6 (slideshow)”

  1. Marilyngrace says:

    Thanks so much for your beautiful slide show as well as descriptions of the shade perennials. I’m off to shop the local nurseries and will look for some of the ones you mentioned. Thanks so much.

  2. Michelle says:

    Thank you! It is so hard to find shade perennials especially for zone 6. I love the options of flowering plants as I have been told by so many people the only options I had for shade were foliage only perennials. Beautiful!

  3. Diane Jeffery says:

    A wonderful collection – thank you so much for sharing all your hard work! In addition to the usual shade gardening problems in zone 6, we have a voracious deer population. Is the Brunnera the only plant in your collection which is deer resistant? Do you know of other deer resistant plants that didn’t make your top 11?
    Thanks very much.

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