The Q&A Archives: Hot, windy shade

Question: I need some plants that would grow on the side of the house, under some trimmed up Texas privet. The area is mostly shady, between houses and very windy, and because it's Sacramento, it's WARM in the summer. Tried hostas, and many other things, but the hot wind seems to be the kicker in this location. HELP!!

Answer: Hostas like moist soil so I can imagine the hot, dry area you describe was not quite right. However, you might try some of these:
Liriope Spicata; looks like a grass (its common name is "border grass", or "lilyturf"), even though it's actually a member of the lily family. But liriope also has a spikey flower, ranging in color from white to lavender. In autumn it bears a dark berry.

Foxglove; is distinguished by its showy floral display. It is also the tallest of the plants for dry shade.

Stella de Oro Daylily; is a "daylily," in the sense that its individual flowers last only a day, don't be fooled into thinking that you won't get much of a show out of this perennial. Another bloom will be along shortly to replace yesterday's departed beauty. In fact, its ability to re-bloom over a long period makes Stella de Oro daylily perhaps the most popular of the daylilies. Its popularity is also due to its ability to adapt to a wide range of planting zones and conditions, including dry shade.

Japanese Pachysandra, or Pachysandra terminalis, produces white blooms in spring but, like English ivy, is grown primarily for its robust green foliage.

Vinca Minor Vines, with the adorable blue flowers, is a groundcover type plant and is happy in lots of different growing conditions.

Snowdrops and Scilla Siberica are bulbs which you can plant under vinca or dead nettles for an early spring floral display.

Best wishes with your garden!

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