The Q&A Archives: what type of flowers can I grow in shady areas?

Question: I live in massachusetts and i have a lot of trees on my property. I do not have a green thumb and would like to know what types of flowers I can grow in my yard.
Thank You.
Shannon Goddard

Answer: Shade gardens are spectacular if you remember to add plants with variegated foliage (such as hostas) to add interest. In addition to hostas, consider planting Rheinland Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii 'Rheinland'), with clear pink plumes in June. Reaches 24? tall.

Purple Lance Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis 'Purple Lance'); Violet-purple, lance-shaped flowerheads. 40? tall.

The Rocket Ligularia (Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket'); Yellow flower spikes. 4? tall.

Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii); Rose-pink blooms in late summer. 30? tall.

Fairy Candles (Cimicifuga racemosa ?Atropurpurea?); Purple-veined leaves and stems, white wandlike flowers. 5' tall.

Golden Corydalis (Corydalis lutea); Bright yellow flowers, ferny foliage. 12? tall.

Fernleaf Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia ?Zestful?); Pink blooms, ferny foliage. 12?-15? tall.

Barrenwort (Epimedium x youngianum 'Roseum'); Pink flowers, heart-shaped leaves. 10? tall.

Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum ?Chequers?); Silver foliage, pink flowers. 8? tall.

Elegans Hosta (Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'); Large frosty-blue leaves, mounded habit. 30? tall.

Desdemona Bigleaf Ligularia (Ligularia dentata ?Desdemona?); Yellow daisylike flowers, mahogany leaves. 36" tall.

Blue Wedgewood Hosta (Hosta 'Blue Wedgewood'); Very blue, wedge-shaped leaves, lavender flowers. 18? tall.

Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla); Blue forget-me-not-like flowers. 12? tall.

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum); Whorled leaves, tiny fragrant blooms, spreading. 6? tall.

Bertram Anderson Lungwort (Pulmonaria longifolia ' Bertram Anderson'); Violet-blue flowers, narrow spotted leaves. 12? tall.

Dwarf Goatsbeard (Aruncus aethusifolius); Compact foliage turns burgundy in fall, feathery white flowers. 12? tall.

Japanese Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta 'Miyazaki'); lilac-spotted white flowers in fall. 30? tall.

Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea); Upright fronds. 3? tall.

Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum'); Fronds mottled in gray, green and burgundy. 18? tall.

Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica); Blooms are purple, lavender or white. 2'-3' tall.

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis); White, teardrop-shaped flowers in very early spring. Plant bulbs in clusters of five. 4" tall.

Minnow Daffodil (Narcissus 'Minnow'); Tiny white-and-yellow blossoms, borne three to a stem, early spring. 6" tall.

Actaea Poet's Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus 'Actaea'); White flowers with dainty yellow cups in mid-spring. Fragrant. 16" tall.

For bright patches of color, plant impatiens and lobelia.

Enjoy your shade garden!

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