Four Grassy Options for the Shade

Four grasslike plants that thrive in shady gardens.
gby1207_2j_acorus_ogon

gby1207_2j_acorus_ogon

frame 11

Here are four shade-loving, grasslike plants that can be added to a shady nook in the garden.

  • Japanese sweet flag (Acorus gramineus) tolerates well-draining to wet soils. 'Ogon' is a golden selection that brightens up shady spots in the garden. Japanese sweet flag is hardy to USDA Zone 5 and evergreen in warmer climates.

  • gby1310_4a_carex_glauca_sedge

    gby1310_4a_carex_glauca_sedge

  • The blue-gray sedge known as Carex glauca also tolerates wet soils but has good drought tolerance too, which means it grows just about anywhere. Hardy to USDA Zone 4, it reaches eight inches tall and maintains a compact growth habit.

  • gby1310_4b_carex_orange_new_zealand

    gby1310_4b_carex_orange_new_zealand

  • Orange New Zealand sedge (Carex testacea) is only hardy to USDA Zone 6 and is beautiful, especially in fall when it turns bright orange. At other times of the year, its olive-green foliage has hints of copper. It grows two feet tall and wide.

  • gby1306_1a_sparkler_sedge

    gby1306_1a_sparkler_sedge

    Sparkler sedge

    Sparkler sedge

  • Carex 'Sparkler' has interesting white-variegated foliage and does well in partial to full shade. Hardy in USDA Zones 7 to 10, it grows to about two feet tall and wide.

  • Keep Reading

    Next Up

    Shade Perennials

    Replace annual impatiens with shade loving perennials for a low maintenance landscape.

    7 Shrubs for Shade Gardens

    See our favorite shrubs that flower and flourish in the shadows.

    All About Ajuga

    Carpet a shady spot, a slope or an area where grass won't grow with this tough groundcover. Bonus: you'll get spring-to-summer blooms.

    Annuals for Shade

    Discover some of the best shade annuals, and learn tips for choosing these shady characters.

    Favorite Shade Plants

    This Virginia Beach garden began long before the current homeowners came on board.

    North-Facing Garden

    Master gardener Paul James dresses up his mother's north-facing garden beds with hydrangeas, heucheras, ferns and other shade tolerant plants.

    Hardy Begonia

    The hardy begonia has red stems and starts blooming in late summer.

    Japanese Pieris

    (Pieris japonica )

    The Reluctant Botanist

    Learn about a wildflower that is a favorite for shade gardens and was also an ancient disease remedy.

    American Elms

    These beloved shade trees are making a comeback, thanks to new varieties and cultivars that tolerate Dutch elm disease.

    1,000+ Photos

    Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

    Follow Us Everywhere

    Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.