4 Best Annual Plants For Shade Or Sun In Maryland

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You can make any area of your yard look amazing by planting beautiful flowers and flora! But, some areas can be harsher on plants than others, i.e. full sun and full shade areas.

It can seem like the only plant that can grow there is grass, and even grass can have a hard time in full sun. Any plants you put in these areas either don’t live up to their full potential or don’t live long at all.

You could be left with a bare spot in your yard that’s just daring you to try and fill it in. Don’t let it continue to mock you.

You can do like many of our clients have done and discover plants that will not only grow but absolutely blossom in your Maryland garden.

You can use these annual plants that are perfect for full shade or sun areas to complete your landscape.

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This is one of the best annual plants for shade!

Caladium leaves are heart-shaped and come in color combinations of red, green, pink, and white. While they rarely bloom, you can enjoy the unique dimension the brilliantly colored foliage adds to the shadier spots in your yard.

Caladium with green fringed and red interior leaves
Red Green Caladium Lush Healthy Natural Plant

They do like the heat, so the best time to plant them is when the nights and soil are consistently warm.

Caladium works best in partial to full shade and should be planted 8-12 inches apart so they can reach their full potential. This is because they usually grow anywhere from 10-14 inches tall and wide.

You may find they work best in mass plantings, flower beds, and as a border.


Isn’t it nice when you can see great results with little effort? Well, not in everything but these annual plants for shade can give you just that.

Not everyone can be looking after their garden 24/7.

Your New Guinea Impatiens will bloom continuously throughout the summer and into fall. This is because they absolutely thrive in hot and cool conditions. Like Caladium, these are great for adding splashes of color to your shadier areas (they work best in partial sun and partial shade).

Pink New Guinea Impatiens a great annual plant for shade

You should also see an increase in the number of butterflies coming to your garden as New Guinea Impatiens attract them.

They tend to grow 10-12 inches tall and spread out almost as much. Spacing them apart 14-16 inches usually yields the best results.

Many homeowners plant them in beds, borders, combined with other plants, and in masses.



Valentine’s Day is perfect for these annual sun-loving flowers because they come in shades of red, pink, and white.

Imagine how lovely the bouquet would look.

Red wax begonia blooming beautifully

Speaking of colors, here are some of the best varieties for Maryland gardens:

  • Cocktail Series, Gin – pink flowers with bronze leaves
  • Cocktail Series Vodka – bright red flowers with bronze leaves
  • Cocktail Series Whiskey – white flowers with bronze leaves

Cocktail Series Begonias have bronze leaves, which do better in full sun than the Prelude Series’ green leaves

You’ll love how they bloom all summer and into fall, making it one of the best annual plants for sun that provides consistent performance.

They are mostly planted in borders and pots, usually in larger quantities. Growing to about 6-8 inches tall they work best when planted 6-8 inches apart.


Even if you don’t have a green thumb this plant can still grow well. It can handle heat, drought, and is a pretty tough customer in general.

Tough enough to keep deer from eating them, yet gentle enough to attract butterflies.

We prefer the Lucky Series of Lantana as they have various shades of pink, orange, and white. They can grow 2-3 feet tall and grow best when planted 15-18 inches apart.

Yellow and orange Lantana plant one of the perfect annual flowers for sun 1

Like the other plants mentioned here, this sun-loving annual flower blooms through summer and into fall.

It can make your flower beds pop, especially if you combine it with other annual plants for sun.

Lucky Series Available in 4.5”, 6“, 10” HB, and 12“ HB.


It does not matter if it’s full sun, full shade, or somewhere in between, you can plant something there to help any area of your yard look its best.

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