Shade-loving plants for your garden

Are you struggling to find the right plants to fill the shaded area in your backyard? Most plants need around four hours of sun every day on their leaves in order to be healthy. Luckily, we have found the top eight plants that are shade lovers.

First, our tips for success

Avoid direct sun

Be careful not to expose these plants to direct sunlight as this can be damaging, so select a nice shaded area of the garden. Signs of too much light can include leaves burnings and fading of colour.


Overwatering shaded plants can happen easily as they don't have the heat or exposure from the direct sun to evaporate water. As the water will retain in the soil for longer, this can lead to root and stem rot if the plants are overwatered. Check your soil before watering; if it's still damp, wait an extra day or two before the next water.


There are numerous fertiliser options available for shade-loving plants. The most popular options being a high quality all-purpose slow release fertiliser, or you may like to try a soluble or liquid all-purpose fertiliser.

Green walls

A great way to introduce shade-loving plants into your outdoors is by installing a vertical green wall. Explore the Holman range of green walls. 


Our eight shade-loving plants

1. ZZ Plant

The Zamioculcas zamifolia is one of the easiest plants to grow. They thrive in dark environments and require very little water to survive. The ZZ plant is on the slower side of growth, and are perfect for beginners or as gifts.

zz plan

2. Rhapis palm

The Rhapis palm is a strong and sturdy plant that thrives in a part to full shade location. They are suitable to grow outdoors or in pots. As this plant can grow quite large, ensure it has enough room to grow when potted.

rhapis palm

3. Birds nest fern

This fern is a native Australian plant that suits tropical gardens. Perfect for adding to a vertical green wall or pots.

birds nest fern

4. Bromeliads

Available in many varieties across Australia, Bromeliads are happy to be planted in the shady spot in your garden. They support a long-lasting flower which makes a nice feature, but their stem is known for collecting water so be careful not to overwater.


5. Alocasia (elephant ears)

Known for their ornamental foliage, this beautiful plant is becoming a popular indoor plant. They can be planted outside and prefer a warmer and humid environment. Make sure they are protected from wind when outdoors as their leaves can tear easily.

alocasia plant

6. Aspidistra (cast iron plant)

This hardy and drought tolerant plant is a popular choice for any outdoor garden. The Aspidistra looks equally as impressive in pots but be careful not to expose them to full sun as this can fade their dark foliage.

cast iron plant

7. Philodendron

This fast-growing plant will love any shady spot in your garden. Their large impressive leaves make them a great feature plant. We have a few favourites from this family that include the Philodendron Bipinnatifidum, Red Congo and Xanadu.


8. Epipremnum Aureum (devil’s ivy)

The devils ivy is a fast-growing plant that is a reliable option for any garden. They are happy to grow in filtered light, or can be planted in shaded spots outdoors or inside. Be mindful not to overwater this plant.

money plant

Get growing

You've got the right information, so now it's time to get growing with our wide range of plants!

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our DIY videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member

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