The Q&A Archives: Suggestions for Plants

Question: The area is in front of my house. It is shady and stays kind of damp. Would like shrubs, some color from perennials or just shrubs of different heights that have some color. Even a small tree would be ok with shrubs.

Answer: Flowering perennials that will thrive in damp shade include:
Anemone nemoroasa, a spreading perennial with white or yellow flowers;
Cardiocrinum giganteum a bulbous perennial with large, white blooms;
Digitalis (foxglove) with tall stalks with downward-facing pink blooms;
Dodecatheon meadia has lovely white blooms on dainty, arching stems;
Epimedium - delicate white flowers, green foliage;
Gentiana asclepidadea has fresh green leaves, blue trumpet-shape blooms;
Iris with thin, green leaves and violet blooms;
Pulmonaria, an upright woodland plant featuring pink/blue blooms;
Trillium is a lovely three-petal white flower, often found in woodlands;
and, of course, hostas and ferns of all kinds.

Some shrubs tolerant of damp shade include:

Carolina allspice is another shade-loving shrub that not only adds interest with its reddish-purple flowers, but this shrub also emits a pleasant spicy aroma.

Viburnum shrubs not only provide attractive, fragrant blooms but are also tolerant of shade. These sweet-smelling, shade-loving shrubs can make excellent understory plantings as well.

Rhododendrons and azaleas are probably some of the most popular and best loved of the shade shrubs. They not only thrive in shade but also seem to harmonize with it. These shade-loving shrubs are loved for their colorful blooms and interesting, evergreen foliage. They can be used as hedges, foundation plantings, or alone as specimen plants.

Hope these suggestions help you find just the right plants for your garden.

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