The Q&A Archives: Plants for Deep Shade

Question: I have a fenced off corner area with a tree that doesn't receive any sunlight. Alwaays thought shade garden wold look great here. Hostas and ferns are even tough to grow here. Impatients seem to do well. I would like perennals or evergreen for this area. Please advise.

Answer: The evergreen groundcover epimedium thrives in shade and this one is a tidy clumper, good for squeezing into crowded gardens. Its flowers are a combination of purple and white, and the new spring foliage is becomingly flushed with red. Cornus canadensis (unalaschkensis) Bunchberry; Partial to full shade, humus-rich soil. Spring flowers; bright red berries in summer. Grows 2"-10". Gaultheria ovatifolia (Slender Wintergreen); Adaptable, best in moist shade and acid soil. Flowers in late spring to summer. Evergreen. 4?8" tall. Linnaea borealis (Twinflower) Partial to full shade. Late spring flowers. Low (1") evergreen. Spreads readily by stolons. False Lily-of-the-Valley; Moist shade to partial shade. Spring flowers. Plant only where you want it to spread! 3? 12" Oxalis oregona (Wood Sorrel) Wet or dry shade. Spring/summer flowers. 2? 6" Vancouveria hexandra (Inside-out Flower) grows in sun to shade; flowers in spring. 4? 16" Adiantum pedatum (aleuticum), called Maidenhair Fern. Grows best in moist shade. Deciduous. Delicate, lacy fronds. 12?30" Hope one of these plants is just right for your garden.

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