The Q&A Archives: What to plant in shady area with other annual plants

Question: I have two small flower beds in the front of my house that are shaded by two huge oak trees. We have tiger lillys in the back, three hostas in the front on one side. On the other tiger lillys on the side and three snow cap bushes to the other side. I would like to find a perenial that grows well in the shade, clay soil with the other plants. A flower that spreads. We also have cedar chips in the flower beds.

Thank you.

Answer: You might consider Pulmonaria or Astilbe chinensis, both are attractive flowering perennials that will spread steadily but not too fast. Ajuga "Burgundy Glow" would be a good fast spreader and has blue flowers in the spring. The foliage is greener in shadier areas, more burgundy colored in more sun.

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