The majority of blooming plants require or at least prefer full sun, but there are a few shade-loving perennials that bloom during the summer. Better yet, some of them actually bloom all summer long. There aren't a lot of perennials that meet the criteria of thriving in shade and blooming all summer, but there are some beautiful options to consider. Discover seven gorgeous yet low-maintenance shade perennials that bloom all summer so you can add at least a few to your landscape.
Astilbe (Astilbe spp.) is a shade-loving perennial that blooms during the summer. It will grow in full or partial shade. Cultivars like America and Bumalda bloom early to mid-summer, while options like Aphrodite and Sprite bloom in late summer. While a single plant may not bloom all summer, you can combine types to have a season-long astilbe display. Colors include various shades of pink, purple, red, and white. Astilbe is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
In all but the coolest regions, the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) thrives in part shade. This herbaceous perennial produces elegant, tall red blooms throughout the summer that sometimes keep flowering into early autumn. Cardinal flowers typically stand between three and six feet tall and are known to attract hummingbirds. They are hardy in USDA Zones 3-9.
Carpathian bellflower (Campanula carpatica) is a summer-blooming perennial that thrives in partial shade (it also likes full sun). There are numerous cultivars, all of which produce lovely bell-shaped flowers throughout the summer. They come in white and various shades of blue and purple. Carpathian bellflowers reach between four and 12 inches in height and can spread to an equivalent width. Carpathian bellflower is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9.
Fernleaf Bleeding Heart
Fernleaf bleeding heart (Dicentra luxuriant) is a long-blooming, low-maintenance perennial that thrives in full shade or part shade. Unlike other bleeding heart varieties, which are dormant in the summer, this one sports bright pink blooms starting in spring and keeps flowering throughout the entire summer and into autumn. This plant grows up to 15 inches tall and has a spread of up to 18 inches. Fernleaf bleeding heart is hardy in USDA Zones 3-9.
Rodgersia (Rodgersia aesculifolia) is a large, summer-blooming plant that thrives in part shade. This plant's growth pattern is similar to that of a Hosta, as the plant grows tall (three to five feet) and wide (also three to five feet) with individual leaves that can be up to a foot long. Rodgersia produces light pink or white blooms throughout summer. The blooms are on stems that rise 18 inches to two feet above the top of the plants. It is hardy in USDA Zones 5-8.
Rozanne (Geranium gerwat), also known as hardy geranium and cranesbill, can thrive in part shade. With as little as three hours of sun per day, this plant will produce lovely gradient purple blooms throughout the entire summer. It is a compact plant that grows in mounds, so it's a great option for border plantings or even ground cover. Rozanne is hardy in USDA Zones 5-7.
Yellow fumitory (Corydalis lutea), also referred to as fumewort, prefers to grow in part shade, but will tolerate full shade. This long-blooming perennial can reach 12 to 15 inches in height, and it grows in mounds. It starts blooming in spring and goes all the way through summer and well into fall. It has bright yellow blooms that resemble blossoms on pea plants. Yellow fumitory is hardy in USDA Zones 4-8.
Plant Perennials for Shade That Bloom All Summer
Summer blooming shade plants make it easy to enhance your landscape with minimal effort. If you have some shady spots in your garden or yard that need to be filled in, consider planting some summer blooming perennials for shade. If you're looking for a low-maintenance way to add summer-long blooms to the shady areas of your garden, you can't go wrong with the plants listed above. For year-round beauty, you may also want to consider adding some shade-loving shrubs.