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The Barn Nursery's Favorite Annuals for Shade

Just because you have a shady spot in your garden doesn't mean you are limited to hostas and ferns. You can grow annuals in the shade. Here is a list of our favorite shade annuals to brighten up your shady landscape. If you would like more landscaping ideas, look at our portfolio. Due to the 2013 Impatiens Walleriana downy mildew outbreak, this list can also be used as a list of alternative to impatiens.

  • SunPatiens These remarkable plants are robust, sun–loving impatiens that thrive in full sun or part shade and deliver continuous color from spring through frost. Whether used in baskets, window boxes, patio pots or in the landscape, these beautiful plants combine massive flower power with tough, low-maintenance plants that flourish almost anywhere.
  • Polka-dot Plant aka Hypoestes The polka dot plant is a lively and beautiful little plant with brightly spotted leaves that stand out especially well against other plants. Put them in a mass of ferns or ivies, and their colors will stand out in bright contrast. The most common polka dot plant on the market is the pink polka dot, but in recent years we have introduced new varieties in colors such as white or red.

  • New Guinea Impatiens These impatiens are the closest substitution for impatiens walleriana. They have the same bold, blanket coverage of color and are a bit wider, so you can plant fewer plants and achieve the same effect. Great in the shade.
  • Coleus Coleus’ claim to fame is their texture and variety of color. From large to small, their foliage is a gardeners dream. Mix-n-Match to achieve some fun contrasts in color. With names like Chocolate Drop, Fishnet Stockings and Alligator Tears how can they not be fun?
  • Nicotiana  Gardeners who enjoy growing Nicotiana, enjoy great, fragrant perfume. It's a flower that is grown for its fragrance. Nicotiana is a member of the tobacco family and is commonly known Tobacco Plant. Nicotiana


  • Dragonwing Begonias Vigorous and heat tolerant, these begonias are easy to care for and add BIG impact in landscapes and potted planters. These plants fill in fast in the landscape and thrive until first frost.




  • Euphorbia Diamond Frost  Frost is frequently uses in containers due to their ability to mix-n-match with pretty much anything but these white frilly flowers are DYNAMITE in the landscape. Plant in masses and they will explode with brilliant white color.




  • Wax Begonias This widely used tender annual produces single or double one-inch flowers in red, white or pink. The flowers are held on succulent stems among shiny bronze or green leaves, providing color in sun or shade from late spring until frost. Wax begonias tolerate hot humid conditions well.waxbegoniasWant to learn more about how to design stunning annual containers? Read our recent article includes a downloadable chart for designing annual containers.

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