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 wildflower seeds to form, to ensure a continuation of blooms.

Discover 11 wildflowers to grow in shade, below.

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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.

Sweet cicely Myrrhis odorata


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.

Angelica archangelica

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.

Sweet woodruff Galium odoratum


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.

Eupatorium cannabium Hemp agrimony

Common spotted orchid

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

Common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii

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.

Red campion Silene dioica


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.

Foxglove Digitalis purpurea


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.

Betony Stachys officinalis


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.

How to grow self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)

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.

Nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium)


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.

Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia)