The Q&A Archives: Shade flowers and Plants

Question: Please advise on the best plants, flowers to plant in a shaded area where there is very little sun.

Answer: There are a number of plants you could use for a shady location. Your zip code places you in USDA winter hardiness zone 7A or the coldest part of zone 7. Depending on your microclimate, it might actually be as cold as zone 6. If you are in an exposed, windy or rural location you may want to look for plants considered reliably hardy into zone 6 just to be sure they will overwinter successfully for you.

Perennials you could consider would include hostas, ferns, cimicifuga, pulmonaria, hellebore, tricyrtis, liriope, and Japanese anemone along with natives such as Virginia bluebells, Solomon's seal, and Tiarella. Annuals would include caladium, impatiens, fibrous rooted begonia, and coleus for examples.

Most of these plants will do best in soil that is organic and humusy and evenly moist yet well drained. Adding organic matter such as compost to the soil and using an organic mulch will help feed the soil on an ongoing basis and will also help keep the soil evenly moist.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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