What Flowers Don't Need Direct Sunlight?


Your shady lawn doesn't have to stop you from gardening with flowers each year to your hearts content. There are many flower options that bloom without direct sunlight. You can choose from annuals and perennials. So don't let a little shade discourage you from having that colorful flower garden you want, this year -- and next.


  • Your annual begonia tubers have to spend time in a darkened room before you introduce them to the great outdoors in the spring, and these future flowers will need shade even then. Keep begonias out of direct sunlight but don't plant them in dense shade either, as they benefit from partial shade the most. According to the Oregon State University Extension Service, your begonias will need a cool and shady place in order to give you the flowering profusion you seek. Other annual-blooming flowers not requiring direct sunlight include browallias, coleus and dwarf salvias, according to Oregon State.

Spring-Flowering Bulbs

  • Although most bulbs would need to be planted in direct sunlight to continue to produce blooms year after year, the crocus is an exception. This is because the crocus' leaves will arrive before your surrounding trees' leaves do, according to the University of Minnesota. Therefore, you can plant crocus in an area that does not get direct sunlight once tree leaves above them leaf out because they will get enough sunlight before then. Other bulbs that bloom in the spring that meet this criteria include scillas, snowdrops and some tulips.

Ground-Cover Perennials

  • Perennial ground-cover flowers that don't need direct sunlight include lily of the valley, wild violets, wild ginger and goutweed, according to the University of Minnesota. Another perennial flower, which is also a woodland flower, and doesn't require direct sunlight, is the fringed bleeding heart, which happens to bloom throughout the flower-growing season.

Heavy-Shade Flowers

  • Sometimes planting flowers that don't need direct sunlight is not enough and you need flowers that can withstand and bloom in heavy shade as well. You should plant woodland flowers in those instances. Virginia bluebells, Dutchman's breeches, meadow rue and bellwort will work for these heavy-shaded garden areas. Wild violets are an option as well.

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