April 01, 2021

Nasturtium Flowers Drawing

Will Wildflowers Grow in The Shade?

Are you trying to grow wildflowers but want to figure out if it is possible to grow them in the shade? This guide will provide all the answers that you require. Growing wildflowers can be a unique experience, even for veteran gardeners who have not worked with them before. There is something entirely different about these wild plants that make them unique from any other domestically grown species of plants. Their resilience is particularly attractive these days as more and more people are trying to get into gardening that does not require too much effort.

It is no secret that wildflowers can grow in places where most other plants would not survive. Their ability to continue thriving even with little human input makes them a great starting point for people who want to enjoy a garden and have the space to spare. Yes, it may not look that good in a well-maintained suburban area, but for the right person, they can provide a wonderful sight right in their backyard. If you are planning to plant them in an area with trees and shrubs covering everything, the following question has probably popped up in your mind as well.

Do Wildflowers Require Direct Sunlight?

The answer to this question is, it depends. It is a different affair for every species and the best you can do is observe the plants in their natural habitat. However, there are almost no species of wildflowers that can grow in a place where trees completely block the sunlight. They may not need direct light from the sun, but some light is still necessary for their growth. Typically, these can be the edges of forests where the trees are not so dense or at the bottom of hedgerows. While these places do not allow direct sunlight to reach them, they keep the plants open to indirect light or beams that may be passing through the branches above them.

Wildflowers Options for Growing in Shade

If you cannot plant your wildflowers in the open and want something that can grow well in the shade, you have plenty of options to choose from. Here are some options that do well if you plant them in places like a shady bed or maybe a woodland garden.

  • Jacob’s Ladder: This plant has a relatively taller growth among wildflowers as it can go as high as 1 meter off the ground. The flowers it has are bell-shaped and they look beautiful in any wildflower garden or meadow. You can also get several colors in this wildflower, including pink, white, yellow, and blue.
  • Wild Sweet William: This is a type of woodland phlox that grows in beautiful clusters with delicate-looking flowers that grow all year round. Being perennial means you need to provide very little care for them, and they keep on growing strong year after year. They come in light purple and blue color and can be used for making bouquets as well if you are into that sort of thing.
  • Columbine: In the entire collection of wildflower species, the columbines are among the most beautiful options that you will find. They come in several different colors, including purple, yellow, blue, and red. The purple and white combination is particularly attractive and gives your garden a beautiful look.
  • False Solomon’s Seal: This wildflower is another tall option that can grow up to a meter in height. The flowers on this plant also come in a bell shape and they are found hanging by the plant’s arched stems. People growing woodland gardens are particularly fond of this species of wildflowers.
  • Solomon’s Seal: This specific species is calledPolygonatum odoratum and it can grow even taller than its counterparts with a height of 1.2 meters. The flowers produced by this type are white in color and really brighten up any garden with their towering presence.
  • Virginia bluebells: This is the wildflower you use to cover the ‘lower level’ of your woodland garden or shady bed. The small flowers are gorgeous to look at and their color in early spring makes them the star of any garden. In the forests, the entire floor gets covered with them where they grow naturally. However, you need to make sure there are plants from other seasons in your garden since they are completely gone by mid-summer.
  • Mayapple: Another name for this wildflower is American mandrake and you can find them in forests a lot. Their distinct white umbrella shape with a delicate inner flower makes them easy to spot and admire. Their height is also not too big, so you can use them for ground coverage in pretty much any woodland garden.

    Seeds vs Plants

    When it comes to growing wildflowers in the shade, growing them from scratch can be a real pain to deal with. The germination process is quite hard, and you may be required to provide specific growing conditions for them. The season also needs to be carefully selected for seeds otherwise, you cannot grow them properly. In addition to that, the chances of losing plants are also great since seeds are also a staple food source for birds.

    We think that buying plants instead of seeds would be a better option as you would not need to make such a high effort for your plants to grow. After all, the whole point of growing wildflowers is to minimize the work you need to ensure optimal growth.


    As long as you choose to use grown-up plants for your shady bed or woodland garden, the maintenance you will need to do will be quite minimal. The only real requirement is a moist area, and you can promote further growth by using mulch, which provides nourishment and minimizes weed growth. The options shared here are only a few of the many choices you have when growing them in the shade. We recommend that you survey your local area and see what wildflowers are thriving in shady areas and add them to your garden. 


    You can also join over 40,000 other fans, and try growing wildflowers with seed balls. So far we've grown over 10 BILLION wildflowers for the bees, but we need your help to reach our next goal of 25 BILLION.

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