The Q&A Archives: deep northern shade for planting in a redwood tree environment.

Question: I have trouble growing anything but camellias in the dark northern shade of my house in Larkspur, CA. Snails eat the tubers (large leafed green or mottled, I forget their names.) I would love some

Answer: Many plants can't tolerate the deep shade from redwoods or can't compete with the tree's aggressive, shallow roots. The roots and the needles can be found in the soil, even 30 feet away. Camellias are good plants for this type of environment, as are azaleas. Other possibilities include Redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana), redwood violets (Viola sempervirens), Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum), trilliums (Chloropetalum or T. ovatum) and bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa) can thrive in shade, as can wild ginger, white fairy lantern, and checkered lily. Best wishes with your garden!

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