The best flowers to plant in morning sun and afternoon shade

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Fill shady locations in your landscape with vibrant colour and abundant blooms.

Finding the right flowers to plant in shady locations can be a daunting task to the novice gardener; however, with a small amount of preparation, you will find that there are many flowering plants that flourish in locations that receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade (also categorised as "partial sun"). Morning sun provides essential light while the afternoon shade protects plants from blistering summer sunlight.

Bear's breeches

Add tall spikes of creamy white or pink flowers to your landscaping with Acanthus mollis, or bear's breeches. Plants placed in heavy shade will not bloom as abundantly as plants that receive morning sunlight and afternoon shade. This perennial plant grows to heights of 90 cm or 1.8 m (3 to 6 feet) and features glossy green leaves and showy flowers that are similar to snapdragons. Bear's breeches bloom throughout June and July and is hardy throughout the British Isles.


Impatiens grow well in morning sunlight and require afternoon shade to protect plants from wilting under the hot summer sunlight -- particularly in warm climates. Impatiens will grow as a perennial in areas with temperatures that stay above freezing but are considered annuals in cooler climates. Impatiens feature vibrant green leaves and flower colours that include purple, deep red, pink, salmon, white, orange and white. Impatiens are hardy in all UK regions.


Morning sunlight fulfils the light requirements of Odontonema strictum -- commonly known as Firespike -- while afternoon shade protects the plant from intense heat and withering afternoon sunlight. Firespike is a perennial plant that grows to heights of approximately 1.2 m (4 feet). It blooms with spikes of vibrant red flowers that are similar to salvia. Plants bloom from late winter through fall, depending on the region. Flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Firespike is hardy in all but the coldest UK regions.


While azaleas are often considered to be shade-loving flowering shrubs, the plants actually do best when planted in an area that receives morning sunlight and afternoon shade. Plants features dark green leaves. Some varieties are evergreen, while others lose their leaves every autumn. Flowers bloom in vibrant shades of red, pink, purple, yellow, orange and white. Some varieties bloom with striped, speckled for bicolor flowers. Azaleas grow well throughout the British Isles.

Cranesbill geranium

Geranium sanguineum, or cranesbill geraniums, bloom with flowers ranging from blood red to purple or pale pink. These perennial plants grow to heights of 30 cm to 45 cm (1 to 1 1/2 feet), and feature lobed green leaves that drop every autumn. Cranesbill geraniums grow best when planted in locations that receive morning sunlight and protective afternoon shade. Cranesbill geraniums are hardy in all but the warmest ares of the British Isles.