Landscape Design

Annual plants come in bright, beautiful colors with fragrances that bring life to your garden. They're wonderful to plant early in the season to fill out your landscape for the ultimate summer show.

Before picking your favorite annual plants, it's essential to check if your garden has sun or shade. Many annuals require full sun to thrive; however, some annuals prefer living in shade or partial sun instead of direct sunlight. In this article, we'll feature some of the best annuals to pop some color in the shady spots of your yard.

How to Find Shade for Your Annuals

Shade isn't limited to the north side of your home! When we talk about shade, we're referring to any space that doesn't get direct, beaming sun in your yard. A few places you can find shade for your plants include:

  • The north side of ornamental grasses
  • Under a pergola with foliage
  • Beneath a tree or shrub that casts shade in your yard
  • Under a gazebo or permanent shelter
  • Against fences that cast a shadow
  • Apartments with north or east-facing balconies

If you have some favorite plants that need shade, you can always create some using the ideas above too to fill your garden with plants you love. Chances are, it’ll add some dimension to your yard too!


Tuberous begonias plants prefer partial shade, as they bloom the best in cooler environments without direct sunlight. This plant comes in bright colors, such as orange, yellow, deep rose, pink, and more which will catch your eye when it blooms with its beautiful, textured pedals. These plants are drought-tolerant, so be careful not to overwater them in the early summer months. Only water a couple of times a week when the soil is dry, and keep an eye on them in the peak summer heat. Tuberous begonias are perfect for spilling over the sides of a container, as long as they get enough shade from the taller plants in the pot!

Rex begonias are semi-tropical plants that thrive in partial shade; they can tolerate full shade but will likely not bloom. Rex begonias are fabulous annuals that last all season and add texture and greenery to your garden's shady areas. These annuals have a unique appearance with textured leaves with stunning shapes and colors. Rex begonias will only need to be watered weekly, but more often during the hottest parts of the summer. We recommend watering in the early morning, so it has a chance to absorb the water before it evaporates in the heat.


Coleus plants are easy to grow and care for, plus it is one of the brightest annuals to brighten up your garden beds that come in tones of reds, pinks, purples, and yellows. You can place them in a moist shady spot, as this plant likes to keep its soil moist but not too wet. They prefer morning sunlight and afternoon shade, so keeping the plant in a place that allows partial sun is ideal! It grows well in pots or on the ground.


Impatiens are a quintessential shade annual that blooms in the spring to late fall. To care for impatiens, ensure they are placed in moist, drained soil and in partial shade. They require regular watering to thrive, as they get dehydrated easily, 2-4 inches of water is needed to soak into the roots. These bright flowers come in a variety of colors, including white, red, pink, violet, coral, and purple, and add life to your garden’s shady areas.

Visit Westwood Gardens to find annual shade plants for sale today to brighten your garden and add some charm to your landscape!

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