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Shade Gardens Come Alive with Gold Foliage

I used to shy away from gold-foliage plants because I felt that they looked anemic. But, once I added an Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ to the new Secret Garden, I was hooked. The plant is vigorous and the gold leaves actually brighten the dark area of the shade garden. The garden now has a glow, punctuated by white impatiens that draw the eye in and make the space feel soothing and inviting.

carex northcreeknurseries

photo courtesy of NorthCreek Nursery

Many shade plants offer gold foliage, such as coleus, bleeding heart and hosta. These are great options that most of us are already familiar with. Here are some other gold-leaved perennials that I am excited to try in the shade garden:

Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’
Height: 3–6 feet
Width: 3–6 feet
Sun requirement: Part shade
USDA Zones: 4–8

Sun King Plant Delights

Courtesy Plant Delights Nursery

Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’
Height: 18 inches
Width: 18 inches
Sun requirement: Part shade
USDA Zones: 4–9

hack WhiteFlower

Photo: White Flower Farm

Alchemilla mollis
Height: 1–1.5 feet
Width: 1.5–2.5 feet
Sun requirement: Full sun to part shade
USDA Zones: 3–8


Photo: White Flower Farm

Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’
Height: 18–20 inches
Width: 18–20 inches
Sun requirement: Partial to full shade
USDA Zones: 5–9

Photo: Plant Delight Nursery

Photo: Plant Delight Nursery

Hypericum calycinum ‘Brigadoon’
Height: 15–18 inches
Width: 24 inches
Sun requirement: Part sun
USDA Zones: 5–7

brigadoon northcreeknurseries

Photo:NorthCreek Nursery