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Shade loving trailing plants

Updated February 21, 2017

Shade loving trailing plants may not be as plentiful as their sun-loving counterparts, but those trailing plants that do love shade lend beauty and interest to any garden. Most plants need at least part shade to thrive, but there are a few that can thrive in any condition and actually prefer to be far away from the sun's powerful rays.

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Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing hydrangeas thrive in part to full shade conditions, particularly where it is hot and humid. It can be trained to climb or used as groundcover. Clusters of white flowers bloom in late spring to early summer.

Edging Lobelia

Lobelia is best known for its tiny blooms of brightly coloured flowers. It is used often along edges and in container gardens. There are many cultivars of lobelia, but edging lobelia is available in a trailing variety that grows well in shady conditions. Many colours are available including blue, shades of violet and purple, red, pink and white.

Wave Petunia

Petunias are one of the top-selling bedding plants in the U.S., prized for the exceptional colours and varieties available to gardeners in all regions. Wave petunias are a trailing cultivar of petunias that love part shade conditions and trail beautifully from hanging baskets and containers.

Bleeding Heart Vine

Not to be confused with common bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis), bleeding heart vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) is native Africa and blooms profusely in warm weather with red-centred white flowers. Bleeding heart vine needs shade and can trail or be trained to climb.


There are literally dozens of types of coleus plants, including trailing varieties that make lovely additions to gardens, baskets and containers. Coleus has a wide range of sizes, shapes and colours and thrive in any environment, including shade.

Sweet Potato Vine

Sweet potato vines are available in a wide varieties of bright colours with leaves that spill over the edge of containers or creep over the ground. They can be planted alone or with other plants. Paired with coleus, sweet potato vine makes a splashy display of intensely coloured foliage.


Fuchsias, with their decorative, teardrop shaped blooms, attract hummingbirds to their bright pink and purple centres. They are a favourite among hanging basket enthusiasts for their delicately drooping displays of colour. They thrive in shade and make a perfect addition to any shaded patio.

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About the Author

Ericka Watson is a freelance writer with 4 years of experience in blogging, writing for the Web, and corporate communications. She currently writes for About.com as the Guide to Powerboating, where she blogs and publishes articles that help boaters with the challenges of boating. She is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a degree in professional writing/writing for the Web.

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