I love plants. I can’t help it; they are so calming and beautiful. They make me happy, and their presence in a space makes you more productive because your brain is engaged with the beauty of nature all around you!

For this reason alone, I have always wanted to have my own garden, but our apartment complex does not allow for yard-like gardens (or any edible landscaping). So, instead, we set up a low-maintenance shade garden on one side of the patio with succulents and cacti from Lowes or Home Depot. The plants stay clean by themselves; if anything gets too dirty, just let them dry out for about 2 hours and then water again when needed.

What Does Shade Mean?

Shade and part shade are terms used by gardeners to categorize the amount of sunlight a given plant will receive. Shade plants have low light requirements, typically in the understory of a woodland area or on the north side of trees in a backyard.

Full Shade

Fewer than an hour of everyday direct sunshine is required for a full shadow perennial flower garden. As a result of obstructions such as trees, buildings, and other structures, less sunlight reaches the ground.

Partial Shade and Sun Exposure

There is partial shade when there is less than four hours of direct sunlight yet more than one and a half hours. The best time of day for partial shade plants is in the morning, when the sun isn’t as hot.

What is a low maintenance shade garden?

A low maintenance shade garden is a garden that is easy to care for and does not require a lot of sunlight.

Benefits: Low maintenance shade gardens are easy to care for and can help save money on your energy bill. They also provide a place for you to relax and enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about mowing the lawn or watering the plants.

Types of plants: Some of the best plants for low maintenance shade gardens include hostas, ferns, impatiens, and begonias. These plants are easy to care for and do not require a lot of sunlight.

What are some of the best plants for a low maintenance shade garden?

There are a variety of plants that can thrive in shady areas, including:


A popular choice for shade gardens, hostas come in a variety of colors and sizes. They are relatively low maintenance, and will prosper even in deep shade.


Ferns add a lush, tropical feel to any garden, and they prefer shady conditions. Most ferns are quite easy to care for, and will tolerate some degree of drought.


These colorful flowers are another good choice for shady areas. They prefer moist soil and protection from the hot afternoon sun.


This plant has long been used as an ornamental houseplant. It thrives in cool temperatures and bright light.

Coral Bells

To everyone’s benefit, plant breeders have gone a little bit crazy with coral bells. Coral bells are a type of plant that is cultivated for its vibrantly colored leaves. The low clumps of leaf work wonderfully as border edgers, foreground specimens, or in dense masses under trees.

As a bonus, they complement other plants in a container garden with their vibrant foliage. However, the summertime flowers of the coral bells are no slouches, either; they emerge atop sturdy stems and can be quite spectacular. Removing the old leaves in the spring is all that’s required for maintenance.


Your garden, no matter how little, has room for a clematis vine, which will gracefully twine itself over any nearby object. Flowering clematis vines add a pleasant touch to hedges and small trees with their wide array of colors. Clematis may thrive in both full sun and partial shade, but they produce the most beautiful blooms when given at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day.

Deep planting of clematis and ample mulching will help maintain a comfortable temperature around the plant’s roots. Give your clematis something to climb on and then sit back and enjoy the show.


We usually associate grasses with sunny meadows, but there are a few that thrive in the shade and add visual variety to sunny landscapes. Think about how the Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra) looks. This grass, which comes in both golden and striped variants, reaches a height of about a foot and a half and resembles a cascading river or waterfall.

It looks great in a row of trees or a mass planting in the shade. When used alone or in combination with other shade foliage plants or flowers, these grasses add a lot of fun to your container garden. Leave them standing during the winter to provide cover and food for birds, and then trim them back in the spring as you would any other type of grass.

Benefits of the Plants

Hostas – Hostas are known for their ability to brighten up any shady area with their vibrant leaves. They also require very little maintenance, making them ideal for busy gardeners or those who want to enjoy their garden with minimal effort.

Ferns – In addition to adding a touch of luxury to your garden, ferns also help to create a cool and humid environment which is perfect for other shade-loving plants. They also help to prevent erosion on slopes or banks.

Impatiens – Impatiens add color and life to any garden, and they are also known for being very easy to care for. They make an excellent choice for busy gardeners or those who want to enjoy their garden with minimal effort.

Begonia- Begonias are one of the easiest plants to grow in containers because they do not need much water or fertilizer. They are also extremely versatile and can be grown indoors or out.

Coral Bells – Coral bells are a popular plant in many gardens because of their colorful leaves and fragrant white flowers. They are also relatively easy to grow and require only light watering once established.

Clematis- Clematis are another popular plant for container gardening because they are easy to grow and require little attention. Their flowers bloom year round and are often considered a “must” in many gardens.

Grass- Grasses are a good choice for container gardening because they require little maintenance and can be planted almost anywhere. They also look nice growing along a bank or slope.

What are some tips for creating a low maintenance shade garden?

The first step in creating a low maintenance shade garden is preparing the soil. This means removing any weeds, rocks or debris that might be present. You also want to make sure the soil is loose and not too compacted. Once the soil is ready, you can then start thinking about plant selection.

Plant selection

When selecting plants for your low maintenance shade garden, it’s important to choose varieties that are well-suited for shady conditions. Some good options include ferns, hostas and impatiens. You’ll also want to avoid plants that require a lot of sun or water, as they will likely struggle in a shaded area.


Mulching is another key element of a low maintenance shade garden. Mulch helps to suppress weeds, retain moisture and keep the soil cool – all of which are important in a shaded area. Be sure to use an organic mulch such as bark or wood chips, as synthetic mulches can actually increase weed growth in some cases.


In general, shade gardens will require less watering than those in full sun. This is because shady areas tend to be cooler and have more moisture in the air. However, you may still need to water your garden on occasion, especially during extended periods of dry weather. If possible, try to use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to minimize water waste.


While fertilization isn’t usually necessary for most shade gardens, you should consider applying a slow release fertilizer every few months. This will ensure that your plants get the nutrients they need throughout the season.

Container Gardening

If you’re looking to create a low maintenance shade garden but don’t have enough space for traditional beds, you might want to consider planting your plants in pots instead. Pots allow you to easily move them around if needed, and they also provide a great way to add color to your yard without having to worry about weeding.

Who would benefit from a low maintenance shade garden?

A low maintenance shade garden can be a great addition to any home. They are easy to care for and can provide a beautiful area to relax in. There are many different types of plants that can be used in a shade garden, so it is important to choose the right ones for your specific needs.

For example, if you live in a hot climate, you may want to select heat tolerant plants that thrive in warmer temperatures. On the other hand, if you live in colder climates, you may want to consider choosing plants that tolerate cold temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. How do I know what type of plants will work best in my garden?

When deciding what plants to grow in your garden, think about what kind of environment you live in. Also, think about how much time you spend outdoors each day. If you spend most of your time indoors, then you probably won’t want to plant anything that requires a lot of attention.

2. What size container should I use for my garden?

The ideal size for a container garden depends on the amount of light available. In general, containers that receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day are considered “full sun.” Containers that receive four hours of direct sunlight per week are considered “partially sunny” and containers that receive two hours of direct sunlight per month are considered “shade.”

3. Can I just stick a bunch of flowers in a pot and call it a garden?

No. While flowerpots make great additions to any outdoor space, they aren’t designed to hold large amounts of dirt. You’ll likely find yourself digging up your plants after only a couple of years. Instead, look for pots made specifically for growing houseplants. These pots typically contain drainage holes and are filled with pebbles or gravel.

4. Is it okay to put my garden outside?

Yes. Many people enjoy spending their weekends tending to their own backyard garden. It’s a fun hobby that allows you to connect with nature while creating something beautiful. However, you should always take precautions when gardening outside. Make sure to wear sunscreen, bring along insect repellent and keep an eye out for pests such as slugs.

5. Are there any benefits to using plastic pots over clay pots?

Plastic pots are more durable than clay pots. This means that they will last longer and require less frequent replacement. Additionally, they are easier to clean and maintain.

6. Why does my soil get all clumpy when I water my plants?

Your soil naturally contains small particles called air pockets.


If you want to create a low-maintenance garden, you’ve come to the right place! We have some tips to help you get started. First, don’t forget to check our blog regularly for helpful articles like this one. Second, we also recommend checking out our selection of low-maintenance plants.

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}