Most plants need sun to grow well. But, some of them love shades, especially in hot summer days.
We give you 15 plants that grow well in the shady parts of your garden.
1. Parsley (Petroselinum neapolitanum/crispum)
It’s a Mediterranean herb that’s widely used in cooking. Parsley is a biennial plant that grows a rosette of leaves at the beginning, and then sends up a flower stalks. But, most people cultivate it as an annual plant, and the leaves are harvested in year one.
Parsley is added to stews, soups, and salads. Parsley leaves freshen breath, and poultices soothe bruises and bites.
There are two varieties of parsley – flat-leavened Italian parsley (Petroselinum neapolitanum) and curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum). Italian parsley is full of flavor, and curly leaves are used for garnishing dishes.
Parsley likes moist soil and organic matter.
It loves sun, but grows well in light shade. You can grow it from seeds, but germinates for too long. Parsley grows well in USDA zones 5-9, and thrives in temperatures between 70 and 85. Sometimes it remains green in freezing conditions.
2. Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
It’s also known as Chinese parsley. Some love its flavor, while others hate it. Cilantro is an annual plant. Its leaves have fresh, slightly citrusy flavor and the seeds are spicy-sweet.
Cilantro is part of the same family as Italian parsley. it can be grown from seeds, and likes rich, moist soil with humus.
Old leaves should be harvested regularly, and the plant develops tender leaves in the center of its rosette.
This herb grows in USDA zones 4-10. Grow it in shady areas to preserve the taste and the flavor of the herb.
3. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
It’s a perennial, clump-forming herb that belongs to the onion family. Yes, we only use the leaves in cooking. The leaves have a mild, onion-like taste, and can be added to soups, potato and egg dishes. Its purple flowers can be used as garnish.
Chives enhance digestion and relieve flatulence. This herb deter garden pest.
Chives can be cultivated in USDA zones 3-10. You can start it from seeds or division of clumps. They grow year after year, and the clumps enlarge in the growing process.
This herb grows in well-drained soil, but it can survive in less ideal conditions. Keep the soil moist, and avoid waterlogging.
Grow chives in light shade, especially in the afternoon. It may not develop flowerheads, but that’s good, because you will avoid self-seeding. Snip off any lower leaves and flowers.
4. Mint (Mentha spp.)
Mint has bright green, quilted leaves and fresh flavor. Plant it near the house or along walkways to enjoy its aroma. But, some people plant it in containers since it spreads easily.
Grow it from seeds and cuttings. Use well-drained, moist soil. Mint grows in any USDA zone.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) is ideal for USDA zones 3-8. Spearmint (M.spicata) grows in zone 5-9. Mint likes light shade and warm areas. Prune it frequently to keep it bushy. Use the herb to make tea and garnish food.
5. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
English thyme is the most commonly cultivated variety. It branches and spreads easily, throwing tiny leaves and purple flowers. Thyme has spicy flavor and makes for a nice addition to meat dishes. Use it with cabbage or other veggies with strong taste.
Use it as bouquet garni, or just pick the leaves.
Thyme grows in every part, and it’s cultivated as perennial herb up to USDA zone 9.
It survives drought and light freezes, but you do need to protect it in winter. Thyme likes sun and shade, and grows especially at the base of the trees.
Start thyme in spring, and it will soon create a carpet. Froze or dry the leaves for winter use. Prune the herb to keep it healthy and green.
6. Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
We often use French Tarragon as it’s highly aromatic. It has long, narrow leaves with anise-like flavor. tarragons belong to the daisy family, but French Tarragon rarely grows flowers. They are sterile, and the herb grows from stem cuttings or root divisions.
Tarragon grows in rich, well-draining soil.
However, poor soil makes its flavor intense. Water it once or twice a week, and keep in mind that rhizomatous roots rot in wet and waterlogged conditions. Tarragon thrives in warm conditions, but hates hot weather.
Plant it in spots that get full morning sun, but remain in shades in the afternoon. Harvest young stems or fresh/dry them.
7. Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
It’s a tall herb with celery-like flavor. use it instead of celery in dishes. You’ve probably used candied Angelica stems as cake decoration. Angelica has healing benefits, and candied stems relieve digestive problems and cough in children.
Angelica grows in USDA zones 4-9. It’s a sweet-flavored biennial herb that likes woodland conditions, ample shade and soil moisture.
Grow Angelica from fresh seeds, as they lose their viability quickly. You will notice that the plant will grow just leaves in its first year. The large leaves split into leaflets, and give them a lacy look.
The plant will grow tall flower stalks with fewer leaves in the second year. You will also notice tiny, nectar-filled flowers.
Plant Angelica in shades of shrubs and trees. It enjoys dappled shade and slightly acidic soil. Give it plenty of space, preferably in a remote part of the garden. Harvest leaves and stems when needed.
8. Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)
It’s likes the same conditions as Angelica. This ground-hugging perennial plant can be planted closer to the home as it freshens air and releases pure white, starry flowers. That’s a nice way to brighten the dark corners of your garden, right?
Grow it from seeds or divisions in USDA zones 4-8, and protect it in winder.
Choose shady spot with rich, well-draining soil. The entire area will soon be covered with sweet-smelling cover.
Add small amounts to soups, syrups and wine, or just make yourself a nice cup of tea. Use the poultice of its leaves to treat sprains, hemorrhoids, and joint swelling to relieve pain.
9. Shiso/Red perilla (Perilla frutescens)
It’s a colorful herb with anise-like flavor. Shiso is also known as Beefsteak plant or Red Chinese basil. It belongs to the mint family, and is used to flavor or color pickles. Some like to add it to rice and veggie dishes.
Red Perilla is grown from seeds. It likes moist areas with rich soil and enough shade. Plant it as an annual in USDA zones 3-11. Keep in mind that it prefers areas with high humidity. Pinch off any tips to promote branching, and prevent flowering.
10. Downy rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens)
It’s a woodland orchid with healing properties. It’s native to the Eastern United States. The plant consists of an underground rhizome and a rosette of veined leaves and small, white flowers. Use the leaves to make a toothache-relieving tea.
Apply slightly wilted leaves to skin sores and burns to relieve pain and accelerate healing.
The plant grows well in USDA zones 4-10 as long as its woodland habitat is replicated. Plant it in a shady spot under an evergreen tree. Use light, well-draining soil, and consider adding peat moss or leaf-mold.
11. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger root is used as a spice in cooking, and some use it to treat nausea and digestive issues. Ginger root is a branching rhizomatous underground stem. It’s a woodland plant, and grows as a perennial in USDA zones 9-12.
In other areas it’s grown as an annual plant which requires warm, sheltered location. Split rhizomes to plant it.
If planted in early spring, you get new leaves within a few weeks. Each section should have at least one of two growing buds (‘eyes’).
Mulch well to keep the soil moist and warm. The plant will reach its full growth by the end of fall, and the leaves die out naturally. Dug up rhizomes and store them in a cool place. Use them as fresh herb or dry them (ginger powder).
12. Wild ginger (Asarum canadense)
It’s beautiful, and the heart-shaped leaves form a groundcover. Rhizomes spread underground, and you can use them to add spiciness to your dishes. Native Americans use wild ginger to treat cold and fever.
Wild ginger grows well in USDA zones 2-8, and likes moist, slightly acidic soil.
Plant it somewhere under tall trees. Plant small rhizome sections with at least one eye, preferably in late fall or early spring. You will notice first sprouts pretty soon, and the stolons will cover the entire area.
13. Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
It’s native to Europe, but became naturalized in the US. Meadowsweet is also known as the Queen of the Prairie. It has large, feathery clusters of flowers that grow from June to August. This herb is usually grow for its distinctively sweet leaves and shoots.
Use leaves and stems to flavor your jams, jelly, wine and vinegar.
Meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, and its extract is the base in the production of acetyl salicylic acid or aspirin. Use the leaves and flowers to make tea. Drink it to relieve headache. It’s not recommended to children, asthmatics, and individuals allergic to aspirin.
Plant meadowsweet in moist and shady spots in USDA zones 2-8. It likes rich soil and healthy amount of compost.
14. Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Anise is native to Europe, and the world loves it. Its lacy, aromatic leaves and white flowers grow well in shady spots. Use the leaves as flavoring herb, and the fennel like seeds can be added to sweet and savory dishes.
Plant anise in USDA zones 4-9. Sown the seeds in situ, because seedlings can’t survive the “transplantation” after the develop the taproot. Start them early and use well-drained soil. It will take 4 months of warmth to complete flowering and seed.
15. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
It’s an aromatic herb with lemony scent. Lemon balm is used in both cooking and healing. Use the dish in fish and chicken dishes. Keep in mind that heat destroys its flavor, and add it after you finish cooking.
Use lemon balm leaves as a garnish for cold drinks and healthy salads. Lemon balm tea regulates bloating and vomiting. This tea can also relieve headache and restlessness.
Lemon balm likes rich and moist soil. It enjoys sun, warmth, but can also thrive in shady spots.
Grow it as a perennial plant in USDA zone 9-10, and remember, it can’t survive cold winters. Use heavy mulch if you can’t keep it indoors. Prune it frequently to keep the plant bushy and prevent flowering.
Use this herbs to make your garden more beautiful, and you will definitely use these herbs in your meals or beauty rituals.