The Q&A Archives: Hard to grow area

Question: I am looking for shrub or plant that can live in total shade all year round that I can plant alongside my outdoor stairs that run alongside a fence that is about 20 feet long 4 feet wide.

I like the sarcococca.

Answer: Sarcococca won't work in full shade, but any of the following plants will:
Cardinal Flower; flowers July to September; needs winter mulch.
Lobelia cardinalis; Grows in wet areas.
Columbine; PMany cultivars to choose from.
Cowslip; Spring blooming plants. Many different types. Grows well in full shade.
Daylily; Orange-red mid-summer blooms on 6-foot spikes. Tolerates a variety of soils. Sun or partial shade.
Dead Nettle; this plant has dark green leaves splotched with silver. Small, lavender flowers bloom through summer.
Dictamnus albus; Profuse, purple-red to magenta flowers May to August.
Geranium sanguineum; Interesting foliage throughout the season.
Goutweed; Silver-edged leaves.
Japanese Spurge; spreads by stolons (creeping stems). Evergreen.
Pachysandra terminalis; Useful primarily in wet areas.
Convallaria majalis (Lily-of-the-valley); Fragrant, bell-like flowers in spring.
Monkshood, Autumn; Showy blooms in late summer. Purple to blue, white, or yellow flowers. Plant parts are poisonous.
Periwinkle; blue flowers.
Plantain Lily (Hosta); Many cultivars available with variegated foliage. Flowers on spikes.
Shooting Star; needs rich, light soil. Attractive blooms April to June.
Sweet Woodruff; white flowers May to mid-June.
White Wake-Robin (Trillium); white spring flowers.

Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your shady garden bed!

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