Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia)

11 wildflowers for shade

Transform your shady areas into wildlife havens, using our 11 wildflowers for shade.

Wildflower meadows are often associated with open, sunny swathes of land, but there are plenty of gorgeous wildflowers to grow in shade. 

Even the smallest spots can be used to grow wildflowers – try creating a mini wildflower meadow, or take a look at more ways to create a mini meadow.

Whichever method you choose, don't forget to allow seeds to form, to ensure a continuation of blooms.

Discover 11 wildflowers to grow in shade, below. 


Sweet cicely

Sweet cicely, Myrrhis odorata, produces clouds of white flowers from May to June. Grow in dappled shade and enjoy the lacy foliage in dishes.


Angelica species you could grow in part shade include Angelica sylvestris, Angelica archangelica and Angelica gigas. Plant in moist, fertile soil. They make ideal plants for bees, too.

Sweet woodruff

Though many Galium species have a reputation for being garden thugs, sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) is more well-behaved. You can even plant it up in a herb container display.


Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum) is a majestic, reliable perennial, producing fluffy flowerheads held on tall stems. Grow it in partial shade, in moist soil. Makes an extremely attractive plant for butterflies.

Common spotted orchid

Common spotted orchids, Datylorhiza fuchsii, enjoy a moist, humus-rich soil in partial shade. Sow seeds directly by sprinkling over undisturbed soil. 

Red campion

With their luminous pink blooms, red campions are ideal at brightening up shady spots. To encourage more to grow, wait for the seed capsules to ripen, then sprinkle the seeds where you want them to grow.


Foxgloves are garden favourites that are easy to grow, and thrive in shady areas. They'll self-sow readily, but you can also collect and sow foxgloves, then plant them out where you want them to grow. 


Betony (Stachys officinalis) has long been used as a herbal remedy to a range of ailments. It's also one of the best plants for bees. Grow it in well-drained soil, in partial shade. 


While often avoided due to its vigour, selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) is popular with butterflies and bees, and requires almost no care. It's also edible and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Nettle-leaved bellflower

Campanula trachelium are large, native perennials that enjoy partial shade, and are usually found growing on clay soils. Take a look at 10 more flowering plants for clay soils.

Wood sage

Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia) is a stunning woodland perennial that produces pale green-yellow flowers, similar to those of salvias. Grow it in partial shade, where it'll tolerate most soils. 
Even the smallest spots can be used to grow wildflowers.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to sow perennial wildflowers

How to mow a wildflower meadow in late summer

Five key plants for a mini-meadow

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