20 colorful plants for shade gardens

Plant some of these beauties for great garden color, even in shade

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'Melon sorbet' Flowering maple
Photo via Proven Winners

Flowering maple (Abutilon hybrids)

Bell-shaped blooms of yellow, white, pink, orange, or red dangle in clusters among maple-like green leaves that are sometimes variegated with white.

The evergreen shrub grows about 8 feet tall, but we love the dwarf varieties for pots and small spaces; coral salmon ‘Melon Sorbet’ grows just 18 to 36 inches tall. The white and yellow forms flower almost continuously. Give the plant part shade in the hottest climates.

Zones 8, 9, 12–24; H1, H2; annual elsewhere.


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