The Q&A Archives: Shady flower bed

Question: I have a flower bed that has partial sun but mostly shade. Which flowers or blooming shrubs could I plant there? I prefer to plant something that will come back each year.

Answer: Shade loving shrubs suitable for your climate include Aralia (Aralia japonica),
Aucuba (Aucuba japonica), and evergreen shrub, 4-6 ft. tall, mottled yellow color on leaves. Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) a deciduous shrub with magenta or white berries; Mexican Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa), Snowball Bush Viburnum (Viburnum spp.) -- also, Spring Bouquet (Viburnum caricephalum) and White Boneset (Eupatorium havanense).

Annuals and perennials include:
Ajuga (Ajuga reptans) -- 3-6", Aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior) -- Rightly called "Cast Iron Plant"; Chamomile (Chamaemelum spp.); Columbine (Aquilegia spp.); The yellow blooming Texas Gold and the red and yellow Aquilegia canadensis perform well here. Coral Bells (Huechera sanguinea); Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum bungei), a deciduous perennial, 3-6 ft. Large, showy pink flowers in summer. Good hummingbird plant. Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta) a perennial bulb, dies back in winter, grows to 6 ft. with large, dramatic leaves. Mulch to protect from freezing.

Foxtail Fern - related to Asparagus fern, soft bushy stems. Frog Fruit (Phyla nodiflora) -- Low growing ground cover 3'4"; Hoja Santa (Piper auritum); Hollyfern (Cytomium falcatum); Inland Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) -- Perennial native grass. Good for erosion control. Wet or dry, sun or shade, this is a hardy plant. Lamium (Lamium maculatum); Liriope (Liriope muscari); Monkeygrass or Mondograss (Ophiopogon japonicus); Nolina or Beargrass (Nolina nelsonii) -- Grass like foliage, OK in deep shade, good for slopes, erosion control; Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla); Oxalis, Wood Sorrel (Oxalis spp.); Pigeonberry (Rivina humilis); Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala); Ruellia, Mexican Petunia (Ruellia spp.); Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana and J. tomentosa); Spiderlily (Hymenocallis spp.);
Spiderwort (Tradescantia andersoniana); Sweet violets (Viola odorata); Texas Aster (Aster texanus); Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea); Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea).

Best wishes with your new garden!

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