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Outdoor Plants

Top 8 Foliage Plants for Gardens

June 5, 2019 3 min read

Sometimes you want a lush, full, colourful plant without the fuss of long-blooming flowers. Even though some of these plants flower at some point, the blooms don’t take away from the beauty of the foliage.

This collection of plants thrive in the shade, while others can tolerate sun. Always review the plant tag to ensure you are planting in the correct area!


We love using tropical plants in our outdoor summer container gardens. This annual, or houseplant, thrives in medium, indirect sunlight and consistently moist soil.

The vibrant foliage is available in mixes of pink, white, and green. It will be sure to add a touch of the tropics to your outdoor living space.


These lush green perennials thrive in the shade to partial shade area that generally has moist soil. Avoid direct sun and locations that dry out quickly.

Textured and versatile, ferns a must for any garden bed or container that needs added texture.

‘Brilliance Autumn’

Another bonus: if you’re looking for a different hue, check out the silver-purple Japanese Painted Regal Red and the fiery growth on the Brilliance Autumn.


When we say this perennial is available in every shade, we are not joking – take a look at them! Heuchera can be planted in containers or garden beds that receive partial to full shade.


A staple to many gardens because of the wide range of foliage colours and textures. Divide this perennial every three to four years if you want to control their size. To deter slugs, pick varieties that have thick rubber foliage.

Ornamental Grasses

Whimsical, distinct feathery plumes add four-season foliage interest to outdoor spaces. Perfect for filling back corners of beds, adding height to containers. Ornamental grasses are cherished in every outdoor space.

‘All Gold’ Ornamental Grass


Don’t let the common (lungwort) name confuse you; this rugged, traditional shade-loving perennial has light green foliage that is speckled with silver. Ideal for moist, well-drained shade areas in the garden.

Pulmonaria ‘Dark Vader’


Commonly known as bugleweed, this dense, fast-growing perennial is ideal for groundcover. It’s perfect for full sun to partial shade areas in the garden where you would like to replace grass or add a colourful base. New growth appears as pink and fades to cream with a deep cream centre.

Ajuga Burgundy Glow
Ajuga ‘Burgundy Glow’


We love this annual for the vibrant foliage even in full shade. If you notice any bleaching or dullness, the plant is likely getting too much sun. Always maintain moist soil. To keep coleus compact and full, pinch off the top.