Six plants for dappled shade

Dappled shade equates to around three hours of sun a day. Discover our pick of plants to stun in these spots.

Dappled shade can present itself anywhere. Beneath trees is probably the most frequent area you'll find it, but it could also be underneath climber-covered trellis or pergolas

This presents a unique opportunity for gardeners to select plants that will enjoy the soil enriched by leaf mould that you're likely to find in these spots. The plants we've picked are best for the shade beneath deciduous trees, as opposed to evergreens. This allows plenty of light through in spring, but in summer equates to around three hours of sun a day, providing plants with constant, but low-level light.  

Discover six plants that will relish dappled shade, including starry tiarellas and fragranced daphnes.

Advertisement

Lamprocapnos 'Burning Hearts'

Grey-green filigreed foliage in early spring is soon topped by stunning heart-shaped flowers, produced over a number of weeks. Those of 'Burning Hearts' are deep ruby red, but there are also pure white-flowered cultivars like 'Alba'. Lamprocapnos dies down in winter. 

Flowers April to June. 
H × S 40cm × 40cm.

Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'

Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' is an evergreen shrub that provides scented winter flowers at a time where there’s not much else happening in the garden, especially in shade. 

Flowers January to February. 
H × S 2m × 1.5m

Acer palmatum 'Coral Pink'

Position this small tree where you can enjoy the changing colours of its leaves. Those of 'Coral Pink' turn from bronze-pink to lime-green and then amber in autumn, but there are many other beautiful acer cultivars to grow, with foliage in varying shapes and shades. 

H × S 1.5m × 1.5m. 
Foliage March to October.

Sweet box (Sarcococca confusa)

Wafting wonderfully sweet winter scent from its delicate flowers, sweet box is a tough evergreen shrub that copes well in dry shade. It brings year-round interest to gloomy borders. 

Flowers December to March. 
H × S 2m × 1m.

Fumewort (Corydalis solida)

Finely divided grey-green leaves appear from fleshy tubers in early spring. Produces clusters of small tubular flowers over a long period. Disappears below ground for the winter. You could also grow Corydalis flexuosa in dappled shade. 

Flowers March to May.
H × S 25cm × 25cm.

Tiarella 'Neon Lights'

Plant Tiarella 'Neon Lights' in groups to get maximum impact from the frothy flower spikes, which open in late spring. It also has distinctive bronze patterns at the centre of the leaves. 

Flowers May to July.
H × S 20cm × 20cm.


Dealing with darker areas? Try our pick of plants that will thrive in partial shade and full shade.

Advertisement

Spade

Know your shade

When choosing plants for your garden, it's important to know what type of shade you have, which is affected by the aspect of your garden, as well as the objects and plants in it that cast shade.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Five perennials to plant in February

Five plant combinations for spring colour

Six plants for partial shade

Related offers

Offer

Farmer Gracy 15% off begonia tubers

Save 15% on begonia

Save 15 per cent on entire range of begonia tubers. These colourful flowering plants are suitable for both indoor and outdoor planting. Buy now and your tubers will arrive in March 2018 ready for spring planting.

Use code: BBCGWBEG15

Order now

SAVE 20%

Farmer Gracy 20 per cent off Crocosmia

Save 20% on crocosmia

Enjoy vibrant colour in the garden summer after summer with savings on crocosmia. You'll save 20 per cent on crocosmia corms when you order now. Corms will be delivered in March 2018 ready for spring planting.

Use code: BBCGWCRO20

Order now

SAVE 10%

Save 10 per cent at Bloom & Wild

Save 10% at Bloom & Wild

Save 10 per cent on the entire range of flowers and gifts by post from Bloom & Wild. Designed to fit through letterboxes, these delightful parcels are perfect to send as Christmas gifts and include floral bouquets, gift sets and pre-decorated Christmas trees.

Use code: GARW10

Order now