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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Choosing Shade Plants and Vine Plants

Michael Nolan
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We get a lot of questions about choosing plants that grow well in shade. We also hear from a lot of you wanting to know more about vine plants and how to use them.  And as the season grows warmer, making the most of your shaded areas becomes even more important.

So we thought we would combine our recommendations into one article, and help you choose the right shade plants and vine plants for your garden, no matter where you live.

Shade Plants

Hostas are excellent shade garden plants

Whether you are dealing with the canopy of a large tree or the shadow of a building, growing plants in areas that are predominantly shaded might present a challenge. It should set your mind at ease knowing that regardless of your specific circumstances, there are lots of shade plants that will perform well.

First, take a good look at the area you have to work with and gauge how much sun the area receives on an average day. Don’t be disheartened if you find your have less sun than you originally thought! Even some plants that are well-known for growing in the sun can handle some degree of shade. So when choosing shade plants, always check the plant tag for sun requirements. This will give you a better idea as to just how much sun or shade your plants should be able to live with, and you might be surprised by what the tag tells you.

For specific shade plant suggestions based on your region, check out these articles:

Vine Plants


Vine plants (also called climbing plants or vining plants) are those that climb or trail. In fact, in the UK, these plants are more commonly referred to as “climbers”. Some common vine plants include ivy, grapes, and honeysuckle, but there are many different plants that share these characteristics.

Vine plants may be used for a variety of garden and landscape applications. From creating an interesting vertical garden element to disguising a plain wall, vine plants are also quite popular for creating a living privacy wall.

For specific vine plant suggestions based on your region, check out these articles:

Working with a shade garden may not be as difficult as you might think. In fact, you might discover new plants and varieties that you may not have ever considered before. Shade-loving and vining plants provide endless opportunities for a creative and functional shade garden.

Arbor and Vine photo: V. J. Matthew / Shutterstock

Got questions about this article or any other garden topic? Go here now to post your gardening ideas, questions, kudos or complaints. We have gardening experts standing by to help you!