The Q&A Archives: Shade Loving Plants

Question: I am a real novice. I just bought a home which enjoys partial to full shade in the front, great in this hot-summer climate. I'd like to plant some bushes/shrubs (preferably flowering) under our front window, and put some ground cover plants down as well. Any suggestions for plants that like shade, are pretty hardy and fast-growing, and stay green year-around? A suggestion for ground cover as well as bush would be great.

Answer: Some of the most attractive shrubs that remain reasonably compact include Carpenteria californica (Bush Anemone), Brunfelsia pauciflora, Enkianthus, Jasmine and Gardenia. Any of these shrubs would be perfect under a window, especially jasmine and gardenia, which have fragrant flowers. Groundcover choices include Houttuynia cordata, Star Jasmine, Vinca (periwinkle) and Parthenocissus.

Be sure to prepare the bed well prior to planting by amending the soil with lots of organic matter to help it drain quickly yet retain moisture for your shade-loving plants. Water deeply once each week, and your plants should thrive.

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