Pink candelabra primula flowers

Flowering plants for damp shade

We pick some of the best flowering plants to grow in damp, shady spots.

If you have a damp, shady corner in your garden, don’t worry. Plenty of plants thrive in these conditions. From tall, majestic angelica, to low-growing candelabra primulas, there’s a wide range to choose from to brighten up your shady spot.

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Discover beautiful flowering plants to grow in damp shade, below.

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Angelica

Huge, round, pale-green angelica flowerheads
Huge, round, pale-green angelica flowerheads

A great architectural plant, Angelica archangelica has deep-cut foliage and huge, rounded, bright green flowerheads. It self-seeds readily after flowering.

Buy angelica from Waitrose Garden


Astilbe

Pink plumes of astilbe flowers, above deeply serrated leaves
Pink plumes of astilbe flowers, above deeply serrated leaves

In summer, the wiry stems of astilbes hold plume-like flowerheads of this easy-to-grow perennial. Provided the soil is moist, astilbes are happy in partial shade. Pink, red and white varieties are available.

Buy astilbe on Amazon


Bleeding heart

Arching stems of red-pink and white bleeding heart flowers
Arching stems of red-pink and white bleeding heart flowers

With arching stems of nodding, heart-shaped flowers, Lamprocapnos (formerly Dicentraspectablis is an elegant perennial, perfect for brightening up a damp, shady corner.

Buy bleeding heart from Waitrose Garden


Brunnera macrophylla

Small blue flowers of Siberian bugloss
Small blue flowers of Siberian bugloss

Reliably tough, even in poor soil, Brunnera macrophylla shows its daintier side when sprays of forget-me-not flowers shimmer over its bristly green leaves in spring.

Buy Brunnera macrophylla from Amazon


Cowslip

Clusters of yellow cowslip flowers atop tall stems
Clusters of yellow cowslip flowers atop tall stems

Our native cowslip, Primula veris, looks great planted in woodland or naturalised in grass beneath trees.

Buy cowslips from Waitrose Garden


Erythronium

Delicate, cream dog's tooth violets
Delicate, cream dog’s tooth violets

Swept-back petals give great character to graceful dog’s tooth violet, erythronium. It thrives in cool, shady conditions and moist, humus-rich soil.

Buy erythronium from Suttons


Rodgersia

Small pink flowers and veined leaves of rodgersia
Small pink flowers and veined leaves of rodgersia

A dramatic foliage plant, rodgersia, has cream flower plumes that turn bronzy in autumn, against deeply ribbed foliage. It favours constantly moist conditions.

Buy rodgersia from Gardening Express


Solomon’s Seal

Cream/green bells of Solomon's seal hanging from arching stems
Cream/green bells of Solomon’s seal hanging from arching stems

With arching stems and delicate flowers, Polygonatum x hybridum is an elegant choice for a shady spot. This perennial likes moist, humus-rich soil.

Buy Solomon’s Seal on Amazon


Trillium

Magenta flowers and marbled leaves of trillium
Magenta flowers and marbled leaves of trillium

A North American woodland perennial, Trillium erectum bears large leaves that frame its striking wine-red (occasionally white or yellow) flowers. It does best in shade in humus-rich, damp soil.

Buy Trillium erectum from Dobies


Candelabra primulas

Tall flower stems of deep-pink candelabra primula
Tall flower stems of deep-pink candelabra primula

These stunning perennials are at home in moist soil and partial shade. Candelabra primulas to grow include Primula beesiana and Primula chungensis.

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Buy candelabra primulas from Primrose