Plants That Can Grow Without Sunlight – Best Options for Central Florida Landscaping

Acclimatized shade flowers and plants bring elegant blooms to your entire yard, including parts that receive little to no light. Contrary to popular opinion, not all plants want or need full sunshine at all times. For instance, you can shop at a nursery Clermont FL for beautiful, low-maintenance plants perfect for landscape areas that don’t get enough light. Read on to see some gorgeous low-light plant species that would thrive in your Central Florida landscape.

Areca Palm

Mature Areca Palm plants grow as tall as 30 feet and are best suited for indirect sunlight and slightly acidic soil areas. They don’t need a lot of water to stay alive either. Areca Palm produces pale yellow flowers and thrives in high humidity, making it a great option if you are looking for low light plants for your Central Florida yard.

However, it would help if you struck some balance regarding this plant. While the Areca Palm may not require direct sunlight, it may suffer slow or stunted growth without adequate light. On the other hand, too much direct sunlight causes sunburn, and the leaves will become yellow. Therefore, Areca Palm may thrive well in your backyard spot that receives little sunlight, also as one of the house plants on your balcony.

Burning Hearts

Burning Hearts, also known as Dicentra, is a pretty, bushy, but compact perennial with large heart-shaped flowers in a deep carmine-rose shade and white edges. They create a striking, finely-divided mass of foliage with feathery blue-gray leaves. In the warm Central Florida climate, these flowers may bloom from late spring but stop flowering in the summer heat to resume between late summer and early fall.

These low sunlight flowering plants thrive in partial shade and tolerate full shade. However, a total lack of sunlight may result in more periodic flowers. They are great for use as a ground cover, underplanting shrubs, or even edging your lawn or backyard garden.

Lady Ferns

Another worthy addition to plants that can grow without sunlight in Central Florida is the Lady Ferns. They are hardy but attractive perennials that can grow up to 5 feet. Lady Ferns flourish in shaded, moist areas. You can add them to those shady parts of your landscape where nothing else seems to grow or plant them along your fence border.

However, it is important to note that the Lady Fern is a deciduous plant. Expect its feathery foliage to start drying up and dropping in late fall. But while they may appear to die at this point, they come to reflourish in spring with tender care and adequate water. If you need plants that grow without sunlight, give Lady Ferns a shot.


Flowering dogwoods are other plants that can grow without sunlight. Their flowers range in color from pink or red to white and bloom in early spring for up to 4 weeks. With proper care, you will experience deep green foliage in summer, red leaves with a purple hue in fall and sometimes red berries in the winter!

Since more giant trees in their natural habitat surround dogwoods, they do better in partial shade than in the sun. In fall and summer, they may need additional water, significantly when hot and dry, but mulching can help retain moisture for longer. Plant them in that shaded part of your landscape and watch them flourish with little maintenance.

Dutchman’s Pipe

Dutchman’s Pipe is among the few flowers that don’t need sun to thrive. This hardy plant produces unique flowers that resemble smoking pipes, although its dense foliage mostly hides them. Since it is a climbing plant, you can get it to grow up to 30 feet by providing a proper support structure. Also, its heart-shaped leaves are shed in winter and sprout back in early spring, so you have a lush fence of leaves by early summer.

While Dutchman’s Pipe can grow in partial shade, its leaves reach their fullest potential in full sunlight. You can plant it anywhere in your yard but make sure it gets direct sunlight from time to time. Also, this plant has a robust root structure, so give it some ground room.


Next on our list of sunless plants are Impatiens. These beloved annual flowers can grow anywhere; plant them in a shaded flower bed or containers and baskets on your patio or porch and watch them bloom beautifully.

Impatiens aren’t meant to be grown in full sunlight, although, of course, they do need adequate light. Landscapers recommend planting them in a location that gets no more than 2 hours of direct sunlight each day and not at midday when the sun is too hot. These flowers are best suited for the whole morning and evening sun. Keep them moderately watered and away from too much heat, and you’ll have a flowery landscape from spring to fall!


Looking for flowers that grow in darkness? Try Coleus plants. They add a great pop of color to the most shaded parts of your garden or home, although they can also tolerate the sun. Coleus plants produce spiked flowers in summer, but you can remove them if you like (Coleus are mostly loved for their unique leaves). 

However, be careful not to inundate with water if you plant your coleus in the shade. Soggy soil causes root disease. Like Impatiens, Coleus can do with a few hours of the direct morning sun, but intense sunlight can scorch or fade its leaves. On the other hand, inadequate light will result in weak growth.

With so many plants that can grow without sunlight, you have no excuse to give up on the shaded parts of your garden. And whether you are experienced at gardening or just trying your hand, you could do with a bit of professional help. 

Visit for more landscaping tips.

Highland Grove Landscaping & Farm, 

20525 County Road 561 Clermont Florida 34715,

(352) 394-3318

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