Top Plants For Dry Shade – Our Guide

As a general rule, every garden will have at least one area of dry shade. These areas are usually found where trees or walls create significant amounts of shade but also take a lot of moisture from the ground. If you have a few areas of dry shade in your garden, then you may be wondering what you can plant to bring a bit of life to it.

Many people will assume that they are not able to grow anything in these areas of dry shade, but this is not the case. There are actually some plants that will cope well in dry soil with lots of shade. In order to give you some ideas, here are some suggestions for the top plants for dry shade.

Hellebore Plants

The Hellebore plant is sometimes known as the Christmas rose. They have purple and red flowers that will really brighten up your garden during the colder months of the year. The good thing about this plant is that it will grow really well in a dry shade area. Many people wrongly assume that they require a lot of sunshine to grow effectively but this is not the case, they are perfectly fine in shady areas where there is little moisture in the soil.

Hydrangea Bushes

Hydrangeas are incredibly common in British gardens up and down the country. These plants have a beautiful big bloom which is often pink, purple or blue, sometimes a mixture of all three. Again, a lot of people mistakenly think that these bushes require a lot of sunlight and moisture to grow well but this isn’t the case. You can plant a hydrangea in a dry shade area and it will grow very well indeed. To make sure that it doesn’t grow out of control, regular hydrangea pruning is essential.


Snowdrops are seen very often not only in British gardens, but also throughout the countryside. These white flowers are incredibly easy to maintain, grow well and do very well in shady areas which are lacking moisture. These flowers are particularly good if you have a dry shade area that you want to cover quite quickly as they grow and spread very fast.

Fern Plants

When it comes to finding plants that will thrive in dry shade areas, one of your best options are fern plants. There are hundreds of different varieties to choose from and the vast majority of them will manage really well with little moisture and a lot of shade. If you take a look around the countryside then you will often find wild ferns growing in shady areas where there isn’t much moisture. These are durable plants that will keep your garden looking great all year around.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is particularly known for its beautiful fragrance. If you want your garden to smell incredible, then this is definitely a plant that you should be adding. It produces white flowers that smell fantastic. One of the best things about the Lily of the Valley plant is that it copes very well in areas of dry shade. You will also notice that it spreads quite quickly so it is perfect if you want to cover dry shade areas under trees and at the bases of any walls in your garden.


If you want to add some climbing plants to areas of dry shade in your garden then the perfect option is the ivy plant. There are a number of varieties that you can choose from. These plants are especially useful if you want to plant along the base of any walls in your garden because they will climb up the walls quite quickly. These plants are perfect for dry shade areas as they require little light and moisture. However, do remember that ivy can grow at quite an alarming rate so you will want to make sure that you don’t plant too many seeds.

Mint Plants

What many people fail to consider is the fact that there are actually some herbs that will grow really well in areas of dry shade. One example is the mint plant. However, if you are going to plant mint in a dry shade area then you should keep in mind that the flavour won’t be as strong as it would if the plant were to be growing in an area of your garden that gets a lot of sunlight. Despite this, it can be a good addition to shady areas, especially if you want to add some scents to your garden.

Chive Plants

Another herb that you can plant in areas of dry shade in your garden is the chive plant. The good thing about this plant is that it not only provides you with a delicious herb, but it also produces a beautiful pink bloom. If you want to add some colour and some perfume to the shaded areas in your garden then chives are definitely worth considering.


There are so many other types of plants and flowers that cope really well in dry shade. If you have a lot of dry shade in your garden, then don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will have to leave these areas bare because you won’t be able to grow anything there, because this is simply not the case. Plenty of plants will thrive, even without plenty of light and water.

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