The Q&A Archives: Wildflowers for Partial Shade

Question: I admire wildflowers and would like to plant them in my backyard. The area gets a half day of sun and afternoon shade. What wildflowers would grow well there?

Answer: Many perennial wildflowers will do well in partial shade and morning sun. You might consider plants such as Virginia Bluebells, bloodroot, asters, trillium, tradescantia, uvularia, thalictrum, lobelia cardinalis, native ginger, iris cristata, ferns, dicentra, cimicifuga and bunchberry dogwood, along with bletilla (hardy orchid) and native columbines. Most of these plants do best in a moist, somewhat woodsy soil well enriched with organic matter, such as compost, rotted leaves, or aged manure. You might begin with one or two different flowers and experiment to see which ones do best in the conditions you have to offer, then add to the collection using plants with similar needs.

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