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Plants to grow under your garden canopy

  • Published on 10/04/2022
  • Written by 123v

Most gardeners have some challenging shaded spots that can be difficult for plants to grow in. Dry shade is more likely to occur under your canopy as the structure shelters any plants from the rain. This affects the levels of moisture in the soil below making it difficult for plants to flourish and bloom in a shaded environment.

However, your sheltered space does offer a wonderfully shaded haven for a wide range of beautiful plants. Here are just some of the gorgeous, shade loving plants that would flourish under your garden canopy and help to create a bright and inviting outdoor space in your garden.

#1 Lily Of The Valley

Convallaria majalis are simply beautiful and are the perfect perennial for a life in the shade. Lilies of the valley are spring bloomers and are easy to grow in most conditions.

They require little maintenance and prefer shade and moist soil. But be cautious that in dry conditions its leaves will brown, so it is best to keep them partially exposed and watered regularly.

These stunning perennials are ideal for pots on the patio. They will delicately decorate your canopy by blossoming little sprays of bell-like white or pink flowers every spring, creating a warming and inviting area accompanied with a glorious fragrance.

If you feel these delicate plants can add something special to your garden canopy, The Royal Horticultural Society has some great tips on best practice for how to grow and care for your Lilies of the valley!

#2 St. Johns Wort

Often used for medicinal purposes, St. John’s Wort is a great shrub to grow in the shaded area of the garden canopy because it adapts to both moist and dry soil. You won’t find a better plant that can thrive in a range of different environments.

From when they blossom in midsummer all the way to autumn, these cheery yellow flowers will add light and personality to your garden canopy, and with hardly any complicated maintenance. What a delightful shrub!

If this is the plant for you, expect them to grow up to 3 feet high. It is best to plant them 1 foot apart as the roots have a widespread. For more information visit Edible Wild Food.

#3 Lily Lovell

Geranium Phaeum are suitable for a wide range of different growing conditions, they are specifically suited to growing in shady spots. The blue-mauve or purple flowers can reach an impressive 4cm in diameter when they blossom in the spring and summer months, as well as September.

Top tip: to best ensure the plant blossoms again in September, cut back hard after the plant’s summer flowering is over.

If you are looking to create an outdoor space that is full of character, and you are a lover of nature, the Lily Lovell may just be the plant for you! The flowers elegantly float above a bright green foliage to attract butterflies and add a gorgeous pop of colour to your garden canopy.

#4 Firethorn

Also known as Pyracantha coccinea, the firethorn is a fast-growing, evergreen shrub that thrives in the shade.

This pretty scrub blossoms beautiful red, yellow or orange berries in autumn and winter. It is best trained against a wall or fence so it is the perfect accompaniment to brighten your garden canopy.

The firethorn is not just a pretty face either! When cooked, the small fruit is perfect for making jellies, marmalades and sauces. Pyracantha Jam is very easy to make, and you only need 5 ingredients.

#5 Honeysuckle

Honeysuckles are known for their quick growth and adored for their scented blossoms. Most species can thrive in a partially shaded area, bringing a touch of colour and creating an exciting buzz to your garden canopy as their flowers attract bees and butterflies.

Orange honeysuckle, Chaparral honeysuckle and California honeysuckle are three types of honeysuckle that are known to thrive best in low light conditions. However, the less light your honeysuckle plants receives, the fewer flower its will produce. Instead, it will have denser foliage, this is something to consider when deciding what type of setting you would like to have under your garden canopy.

These are just some plants that will bring life to your garden canopy, but using pale stones or installing mirrors will also reflect the light creating a beautiful, bright and contemporary look for your canopy.

For an extra special touch, adding a water feature is also a good way to reflect light and can be used to add a gentle and relaxing sound to your patio canopy. Although these 5 great features can also add huge character to your garden!


With a variety of canopies and verandas in various designs and sizes, you can be sure you will be able to find the perfect patio canopy to suit your ideal sheltered garden!

For more information regarding our service call us on 0800 783 3835, or download one of our brochures.

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  • 26 Articles Published
  • Joined on 22/09/1997

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