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Feb 8, 2019
Hardworking Shade Plants
Jeff Gibson Ball Seed Landscape Business Manager

Don’t let shady areas in your landscapes limit your WOW factor for clients. There are plenty of best-in-class performers you can select that offer bold, bright color. And don’t just think “flowers” ... foliage plants can have the same amount of impact that the big bloomers do.

Take a look at the combination of plants in the image below. Each of the components are stellar shade-loving varieties.

There’s no doubt about this combo’s appeal!

The big filler item here is the Kong Jr. Scarlet Coleus. Its huge burgundy and lime foliage plays nicely with the other components, like Big Bounce Interspecific Impatiens. The Bounce series have a high flower count, but are not true I. walleriana, so they are not susceptible to disease. The other trailing items are Dragon Wing Red Begonia and Goldilocks Lysimachia. They make large city planters look finished when they spill over the sides. To top it off, a ColorGrass Blue Arrows Juncus stands tall and stately.

Kong Jr.™ Coleus Goldilocks Lysimachia
Height: 18-24 in. Height: 2-4 in.
Spread: 20-35 in. Spread: 12 in.
Exposure: Shade, Partial Sun Exposure: Partial Sun, Sun
Big Bounce™ Interspecific Impatiens Dragon Wing® Red Begonia
Height: 20-30 in. Height: 12-15 in.
Spread: 20-36 in. Spread: 15-18 in.
Exposure: Sun and Shade Exposure: Partial Sun
ColorGrass® Juncus Blue Arrows
Height: 36 in.
Spread: 12 in.
Exposure: Sun and Shade

Changing up the colors among these series of shade-performers is easy: Dragon Wing Pink can play off the blooms of Big Bounce Cherry. Those hues can also pick up the red center of Kong Jr. Rose, or go for contrast with Kong Jr. Green Halo.

Shade landscape designs can be challenging – especially in urban centers where the buildings themselves create “canyons” of variable shade. We have other planting combination recommendations in our Thrive archives pages here. Be sure to check them out!

Reader Comments (2)
Juncus Blue Arrows, will tolerate some dappled shade but will perform much stronger in full sun. It will be much more dainty in the shade but still give you that upright cool texture.
Monday, February 11, 2019 | Melissa Scherb
Saturday, April 20, 2019 | juliet- Inkberry Designs
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