The Q&A Archives: planting in shade

Question: My backyard is a completely shaded area. I have tried planting shrubs and flowers for shade and partial shade and they have all died. What are the best flowers, shrubs etc. for planting in shaded areas.

I also would like to know when is the best time for planting new grass and overseeding

Answer: It can be difficult to find plants that will grow under shade trees. This is not only because there's no sunlight but also because tree roots will compete with anything you plant for water and nutrients. So the plants you choose must be happy in dry shade and don't mind competing roots. Some of the best choices include foxglove, Stella D' Oro daylilies, hostas, ferns of all kinds, pachysandra, ginger, vinca, spotted dead nettle, Koreanspice viburnum, Oakleaf hydrangea, Sweet pepperbush, Virginia sweetspire, coral bells, astilbe, bleeding heart, and lady's mantle are all good choices. Be sure to keep your new plants watered until they become well established. (Water once a week, twice if the weather is hot.)

Best wishes with your shade garden!

Overseeding is best done in spring or in fall. It's hard to get seeds to germinate and grow in the heat of summer.

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