The Q&A Archives: plant selection

Question: we have lots of big old trees in the back yard. I think just choosing plants that are ok with some shade is not enough. those trees suck up all the water! can you suggest some hardy plants for around our deck that won't struggle?

Answer: You are absolutely right - you need to concentrate on plants that tolerate dry shade. Here are a few suggestions:
Acanthus mollis (Bear?s Breeches) Aegopodium podagraria Goutweed/ Bishop?s Weed
Ajuga reptans Bugle Weed Asarium europaeum (Wild Ginger) Bergenia cordifolia (Pigsqueak, Bergenia) Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley) Cyclamen hedifolium (Hardy Cyclamen) Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove) Epimedium sp. Barrenwort, (Bishops's Hat) Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae (Robb?s Spurge, Wood Spurge)
Euphorbia cyparissias (Cypress Spurge) Euphorbia epithymoides (Cushion Spurge)
Gallium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff) Geranium macrorrhizum (Big Root Geranium, wild geranium, cranesbill) Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose) Hemerocallis sp. (Daylily) Heuchera sp. Alumroot (Coral Bells) Heucherella sp. (Foamy Bells)
Hosta sp. (Plantain Lily) Iris cristata (Crested Iris) Iris foetidissima (Stinking Gladwin Iris) Lamium maculatum sp (Spotted Dead Nettle) Lamiastrum galeobdolon (Yellow Archangel) Liriope muscari (Blue Lilyturf) Liriope spicata (Creeping Lilyturf) Mertensia virginica/ pulmonarioides (Virginia Bluebells)
Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple) Polemonium caeruleum (Jacob?s Ladder) Polygonatum sp. /also variegated varieties (Solomon?s Seal) Pulmonaria saccharata (Bethlehem Sage, Lungwort) Tiarella sp. (Foam Flower) Tradescantia virginiana (Spiderwort).

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