The Q&A Archives: Shaded areas

Question: What plants will be successful in a shady area with clay soil?

Answer: Here are a few perennial suggestions: Ice Ballet Asclepsias, Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium), Marshallia grandiflora (Barbara's Buttons), Astilbe. The following will take partial shade and wet soil: Darmera peltata (Syn. Peltiphyllum peltatum - "Umbrella Flower"), Trollius chinensis (Golden Queen Globeflower), Louisiana Iris, Caltha (Marsh Marigold), Chelone lyonii (Turtlehead Flower), Filipendula ulmaria 'Flore' (Queen of the Meadow), Brunnera macrophylla (Siberian Bugloss), Ligularia przewalskii (Ligularia), Petasites (Giant Butterbur). Some annuals include: Impatiens, Begonias, Cyclamen, Forget-Me-Not, and pansies. If at all possible, work some organic matter such as compost, composted cow manure, or leaf mould into your planting area. It is very hard for any plant to thrive in clay soil. The organic matter will not only improve the soil's composition, it will also gently nourish the plants.

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