The Q&A Archives: Dry Shade

Question: Under the window of a guest house in my back yard is a large dirt area that nothing seems to grow in. It's a very shaddy area with trees above and little sun in the afternoon. The only thing I have been able to grow is coleus. Any suggestions. I live in L.A.

Answer: Not only is the area shady, it's also a bit dry so it would be best to plant things that thrive under those conditions. Try planting Japanese Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis). It produces white blooms in spring but, like English ivy, is grown primarily for its robust green foliage. Vinca Minor is a vining plant with adorable blue flowers in spring. Spotted Dead Nettle is another consideration. Flowers are tiny but the variegated foliage is quite attractive.

Hope these plants work well in your garden!

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