Plants Similar to Hostas of the Asparagaceae family can easily help you quickly fill shady spaces. Keep in mind that Hostas are hardy and resilient species that can thrive in medium to low light.

8 Plants Similar to Hostas

But sometimes, these classics can get repetitive. With that being said, we have brought you a list of plants similar to hostas that will amp up your gardens like no other! 

List of Plants Similar to Hostas You Need

1. Jack in the Pulpit

The plant looks somewhat like a cross between a skunk-cabbage, to which it is closely related in addition to a pitcher plant to which it is not as closely related, however as its name suggests, displays a remarkable and unlikely resemblance to a little man standing in a miniature old-fashioned canopied pulpit

Pair Jack in the Pulpit

– Features

Jack in the pulpits makes for great plants under maple trees with tons of shade. A single, enormous bract called a spathe, which frequently has stylish white, brown, or purple pinstripes, gracefully curls around a fleshy, cylindrical spike known as a spadix. 

– Using for Decor

This floral arrangement is unique and rich. Deep within the inflorescence’s base, the flowers are concealed and unseen. 

2. Heuchera 

Heucheras are second on our list of best plants similar to hostas because they do well under dappled shade. In addition, they are super easy-to-grow evergreen perennials and are a staple for most gardeners looking to switch out from hostas. 

– Availability

They are native to North America, has undergone extensive breeding to generate numerous varieties with vibrantly colored leaves. In addition, they live for years and need very little maintenance, making them an ideal beginner-friendly hosta alternative. 

Coral Bells of Heuchera

– Specifications

The coral bells also have a range of striking foliage colors that look attractive under trees and other shaded patches.

These gorgeous plants is known for being one of the most evergreen hosta-like plants because they are resilient to tough conditions. Of course, in extremely cold weather conditions, you can expect a few leaves to fall off because of dryness, but that’s expected from any plant.

– Features

Heucheras have a typical white flower that blooms in the summer months. The leaves of this plant come in a few deep colors, including purple, maroon, deep red, pink, and burgundy. These colors make any shaded space more vibrant, attractive, and colorful. This plant is especially great if you want it to complement all other plants beside it. 

3. Brunnera 

One of the most beautiful plants to include in a gloomy, shaded garden is Brunnera. 

– Attributes

It is also commonly referred to as false forget-me-not. The petite blooms of these native plants complement any given space thanks to its attractive and glossy foliage. 

– Features

Brunnera is known for blooming light blue flowers that rise above its leaves in different cultivars. In addition, these plants have leaves of glossy greens and hues of silver, giving them a very exotic look. You can expect full blooms in early to mid-spring and stay throughout the summer.

Growing Brunnera Flowers

The plants grow in neat clumps with rough, hairy leaves and a height range of up to 18 inches. 

Brunnera macrophylla, often called Siberian bugloss, large-leaf brunnera, or heartleaf brunnera, is one of the most well-known brunnera species. Their eight to ten-week flowering period begins in the middle or late spring and lasts for their tiny blue blossoms. It is an ideal variety of shade plants.

– Requirements

Brunnera plants thrive in moist but well-drained soils and do well in full to light shades. However, keep in mind they require moist soil. Dry soil will eventually encourage your plants to die, and soggy soils are also not ideal. 

Watering will be necessary to maintain the soil’s moisture level, and proper drainage will be required to prevent the roots of this plants from sitting in soggy soil. Growing, the brunnera forms a tiny mound that is one foot high and two feet broad. 

Watering will be necessary to maintain the soil’s moisture level, and proper drainage will be necessary to prevent the roots of brunnera plants from sitting in soggy soil.

However, these perennial herbaceous low-maintenance plants have a long lifespan under typical growth circumstances, great companion plants for other plants next to them as well, especially for bleeding hearts. 

4. Ferns 

Ferns are typically known for not having flowers, as they grow beautifully in their beautiful green foliage.

– Appearance

They generally reproduce by producing spores and are similar to most flowering plants. Ferns have leaves, stems, and roots, so they all the typical scientific features. But, unlike flowering plants, ferns will not produce flower seeds. 

– Specifications

Ferns are the classic plants for shaded gardens. Ferns are a terrific way to bring some natural beauty to a dim room or a yard corner constantly in the shade.

Nevertheless, many ferns require at least some daytime sun in order to grow, despite their typical preference for shade. Therefore, selecting a cultivar exceptionally well suited to full shade will yield the best results.

Ferns in the Summer Forest

– Fern Options

The Dryopteris, Polystichum, and Asplenium species normally occur in deep woodland and are the best ferns for full shade. Wallich’s wood fern, Soft shield fern, in addition to Hart’s tongue fern are three good examples in addition to painted fern.

Other decorative ferns, such as Maidenhair ferns, Holly ferns, Japanese painted ferns, and Sunset ferns, can also thrive in heavy shadow. Again, there are several possibilities, and both indoor and outdoor options are offered. 

– Distinct Feature

Several Dryopteris species thrive particularly well in the shade. Wallich’s wood fern (Dryopteris wallichiana), a robust variation with fronds that initially emerge in hues of yellow or brown before turning glossy bright green on a dark stem, is one remarkable instance. ‘Caramel gold’ is a very striking cultivar.

– Decorating Ferns

Shapely and stylish, the shuttlecock of fronds grows tall and bushy (like an ostrich feather). This variety can spread through the soil with creeping rhizomes, so it is a good idea for quickly filling a large shady area but needs management in a smaller space. 

5. Wild Ginger 

Wild ginger is a great alternative to non-native Hostas as a ground cover. The leaf complements other woodland plants like ferns and Wild Blue Phlox beautifully, as it is also known as Phlox divaricata, which are great forest grass.

– Placement

Although wild ginger has smaller leaves that are more analogous to those of a hosta variation like “Sun Mouse” than “Sum and Substance,” it excels as a ground cover in partial to full shade and underneath trees. Wild ginger can reach a height of one foot if you let it grow on its own.

Group of Wild Ginger

If you want to maintain control over the appearance of your landscape, you must keep an eye on how quickly the plant is spreading. For example, a significant area of land can be rapidly covered by colonies of wild ginger, which can grow quickly.

– Decorative Use

Wild ginger is often used for decoration as a susbtitue for hosta. It is one of the best plants similar to hostas that like sun. If you want to spend money on landscaping with multiple uses. Size: 1 to 112 feet broad and 6 to 12 inches tall (but colonies will spread and form large patches if allowed) 

6. Mayapple 

The mayapple plant typically grows in patches despite having a one to two-foot maximum height. The plant is a predictable grower since its width can increase to an equal size. 

– Features

Mayapple finds its footing similar to starry Solomon’s plume in between the ground cover and leafy greens. Shorter plants find it challenging to compete with the mayapple’s development because of the thick, almost sassafras-like leaves that have a tendency to grow in. 

However, the purple flowers that bloom on the plant in the spring will make up for the lack of other foliage’s typical flashes of color.

– Bringing Bugs and Animals

In the spring, mayapples do tend to draw pollinators. The mayapple will lure butterflies and bees back if you don’t have their regular visits throughout your yard. Similarly, you may anticipate seeing a variety of animals eating from the plant when it bears fruit in the fall. 

Raindrops on Mayapple

In light of this, mayapple plants are less animal or deer resistant than some landowners would like. 

Flowers attract pollinators, while the fruit is eaten by wildlife. Due to its susceptibility to juglone, mayapple can be planted underneath black walnut trees. 

– Characteristics

Nevertheless, the plant is a welcome alternative to hostas but also a great hosta companion due to its tolerance for sunlight and ability to flourish alongside larger landscaping objects. 

A mayapple colony is a great substitute for a hosta patch. This resistant perennial spreads by rhizomes and grows in wet, shaded locations to develop dense mats of foliage like an umbrella. 

7. Umbrella Plant 

Umbrella plants are an excellent option for imitating the impression of a huge hosta in the garden in moderate regions. It is also a native alternative to hosta. 

It favors damp, chilly, shaded environments. The up to 112-foot-wide leaves have a stunning texture and turn red in the fall.

– Requirements

Umbrella plants are often low maintenance. If you water them at least a few times a month, you can have a lovely plant to liven up. If you want the greatest results, choose a location with good light but no direct sunshine; over time, this will produce a tidy, bushy plant that will develop reasonably straight up and tall and “tree” like.

Indoor Umbrella Plant

For very good development to happen, the umbrella plant likes growing in damp soil, but it will easily tolerate some underwatering. Therefore, it should be understood if you neglect to water it for a week or two after the ground has last dried out.  

– Pros

It adds structure to an uninteresting corner or utilize it more daringly by flanking a doorway. Its adaptability continues with the option of keeping it short and compact on the coffee table or having it as a tall, slender specimen set at floor level and reaching toward the ceiling. It can be used in a big of positions and will adjust to different environments. 

The umbrella plant has little pest resistance; frequent pests include scale insects and red spider mites. However, any issue can be solved; therefore, if you’d like an umbrella plant to visit your home, go out and acquire one.

– Cons

The biggest drawback is that when the plant ages or receives continued improper care, the lower leaves may fall off, leaving a naked lower stem but a full canopy. Although sometimes referred to as an umbrella tree, it can appear strange indoors, but it is great for a shaded garden! 

8. Skunk Cabbage

If you can, disregard the name, the Skunk cabbages, although Lysichiton americanus is native to the Pacific Northwest and has magnificent big leaves, it can be challenging to establish. 

Skunk Cabbage Bloom in Spring

– Features

Especially in moist locations, these greens are a beautiful alternative to hostas and are a sight to behold in big patches, they would be perfect ground covers

Although the interesting element of this skunk cabbage’s yellow blossom is a spathe, it is still extremely fascinating. Native to the eastern coast of North America, Symplocarpus foetidus has rounder foliage than its western counterpart. Both thrive in the shade but can tolerate the light and favor moist soil over still water.


Finding plants similar to hostas is super easy now. Why not try one of the eight alternatives above? Although hostas are a great addition to your garden beds and look great, it is still nice to have some substitutes.

Try to remember: 

  • If you have a shaded garden bed and want to fill it up, consider planting Jack in the Pulpit, Coral Bells, and even the beautiful Brunnera.  
  • If you don’t mind planting the host alternates in light, consider the Skunk Cabbage, Mayapple, and Wild Ginger. 
  • Ferns, on the other hand, are known for their beautiful green foliage, as they would give similar vibrance as Hostas

 So, which of the plants above are you going to choose?

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