Shade Plants

Shade Plants

These are shade-loving plants that typically grow in Minnesota woodlands. Combine wildflowers with grass-like sedges from a beautiful shady groundcover. Some of these plants like dry soil and some like wet soil.

Download our 2017 Plant List and Prices

We sell plants in 6-packs, 3.5″ pots, gallon sized pots, and seed packs. We also grow plants in wholesale trays with 2″ plugs (50-cell tray) or 1.5″ plugs (72-cell tray). To order plants, email us at or call us at 507-402-8337.

You can also buy our plants at our retail location from May to June: Souba Greenhouse, 4003 Crane Creek Rd, Owatonna, MN, and occasionally at the Owatonna Farmers Market.

Our selection includes:

Buy Anisse Hyssop Plants MinnesotaAnisse Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

A showy flower that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees–and it’s deer resistant. Leaves smell like licorice. Can be short-lived but will re-seed readily in gardens. See details

Buy Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) Wildflowers Minnesota Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

A spring favorite for hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators, providing a nectar source when there is little else in bloom. Great for shady areas. Will spread easily by seed, so be careful where you plant it! See details

Buy Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) Wildflowers Minnesota Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a classic woodland wildflower that looks like a person in a pulpit. A sheltered flower figure will slowly turn into a vibrant red bundle of seeds. See details

Buy New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) Wildflowers Minnesota New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

Every garden needs an aster for fall blooms, and this one will not disappoint. Its ability to grow in both wet and dry soils makes this one of the most popular asters, for people and pollinators. Prolific purple flowers cover the tops of tall stems. See details

 Buy Short's Aster (Aster shortii) Wildflowers Minnesota Short’s Aster (Aster shortii)

Shade loving plant for woodland gardens. Blooms in the fall when most flowers are long gone. Prolific flowers on a medium height plant. See details

Buy Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) Wildflowers Minnesota Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

A short, pretty flower for wet and saturated soils in shade or sun! Provides early spring blooms and will occasionally bloom again in the fall. See details

Buy Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) Wildflowers Minnesota Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

This little flower is stunning when planted in masses, providing blooms all summer long. Grows well on even poor, dry soils and will seed throughout a garden or prairie. See details

Buy Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) Wildflowers Minnesota Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

A woodland flower for shady spots. Blooms in early spring and goes dormant the rest of the year. Great for shady borders next to lawns and sidewalks where a short plant is needed. See details

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia)

Spring blooming flower for sunny and semi-shady locations. Long stems rise above thick foliage, with flowers that look like shooting stars. Levaes go dormant during the summer. See details

Buy Sweet Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) Wildflowers Minnesota Sweet Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)

Most woodland flowers are short spring bloomers, but Sweet Joe Pye Weed bucks the trend by being tall and blooming in late summer. Perfect for filling space in large shade gardens with medium soil moisture. See details

Buy Cream Gentian (Gentiana flavida) Wildflowers Minnesota Cream Gentian (Gentiana flavida)

Cream Gentian has bunches of cream-colored flowers at the top of unbranched stems. It can handle sun or part shade conditions in medium-moisture soils. See details

Buy Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) Wildflowers Minnesota Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Perfect for shady woodland gardens, Wild Geranium is a good groundcover with attractive foliage and lavender flowers. Spreads over time to create a blanket under the trees. See details

Buy Dwarf Iris (Iris cristata) Wildflowers Minnesota Dwarf Iris (Iris cristata)

A very short iris suited for shady spots. It spreads slowly to form large colonies and is often used as a groundcover. Pretty blue flowers blanket the ground in late spring. See details

Buy Prairie Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) Wildflowers Minnesota Prairie Lily (Lilium philadelphicum)

This is a classic lily of woodland edges and remnant prairies. It’s short and humble with only a few flower stems, but it stands out among other native plants with its traditional lily flowers. See details

Buy Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) Wildflowers Minnesota Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Hummingbirds love the bright red flowers on the tall stems. Very eye-catching when planted in a drift in a rain garden or other location with lots of moisture. Starts out as an inconspicuous clumped mat of leaves, and then shoots up before bursting with color. See details

Buy Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) Wildflowers Minnesota Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

A woodland classic–Virginia Bluebells looks incredible when blanketing a shady garden in spring. The variation of blue, purple, and pink flowers is like cotton candy for the eyes. Goes dormant after blooming, giving other shady plants a chance to stand out. See details

Buy Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) Wildflowers Minnesota Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Wild Blue Phlox is a woodland plant perfect for shady gardens. The blue-to-pink flowers bloom in the spring on top of thin stems, making it a good companion for other spring blooming plants. See details

Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

Jacob’s Ladder is a shade garden classic. Light blue flowers and vigorous, short foliage add much needed color to spring gardens. A necessity for any shady or woodland garden. See details

Buy Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida) Wildflowers Minnesota Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida)

A favorite of perennial gardens for its large, deep green leaves and almost-orange flowers. Butterflies and pollinators love it, too. Slowly spreads to form large clumps. Blooms later than most yellow flowers, making it a perfect companion for New England Aster and Bottle Gentian in rain gardens. See details

Buy Zig Zag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis) Wildflowers Minnesota Zig Zag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)

A fall blooming flower for shady gardens. Small yellow flowers zig-zag up the stems. Looks great when planted next to fall blooming woodland asters. See details

Buy Culver's Root (Veronicastrum virginicum) Wildflowers Minnesota Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum)

White flower spikes outlined with orange hairs add a unique color and texture to a garden. Culver’s Root can handle shadier gardens and moist soil, making it a valuable flower for hard-to-grow areas. See details

 Buy Prairie Sedge (Carex brevior) Grasses Minnesota Prairie Sedge (Carex brevior)

Sedges are like grasses, but they are cool season growers, sprouting out of the ground as soon as the snow is gone and long before the warm season prairie grasses come out of dormancy. They provide much needed green growth early in the spring. Prairie Sedge has short leaves and lots of seed heads. See details

 Buy Bur Sedge (Carex grayi) Grasses Minnesota Bur Sedge (Carex grayi)

Bur Sedge can be seen in many gardens, popular due to its versatility and star-shaped seed heads that persist through the winter–seeds that are often eaten by songbirds. Prefers moist soils and a little shade. See details

 Buy Palm Sedge (Carex muskingumensis) Grasses Minnesota Palm Sedge (Carex muskingumensis)

An ornamental sedge whose stems and leaves look like palm trees. Can handle shady and wet areas. When planted closely it creates a dense canopy. See details

 Buy Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica) Grasses Minnesota Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica)

This short sedge spreads slowly underground to form a groundcover in shady, dry locations. A key component of many oak woodland restorations. A good garden choice for locations where a short, spreading plant is desired. See details

 Buy Star Sedge (Carex radiata) Grasses Minnesota Star Sedge (Carex radiata)

Popular ornamental sedge that forms short clumps early in spring. Thin, bright-green leaves and star-shaped seed heads make this an appealing plant. Perfect for borders and when scattered throughout a garden, adding spring green to otherwise dormant gardens. See details

 Buy Long Beaked Sedge (Carex sprengelii) Grasses Minnesota Long Beaked Sedge (Carex sprengelii)

An increasingly popular sedge for shady and sunny gardens. Long beaked sedge spreads slowly, covering the ground with airy leaves and drooping seed heads. See details

Bottlebrush Grass (Elymus hystrix)

Bottlebrush Grass grows in woodlands, making it a good grass for shade gardens and forest restorations. See details