The Q&A Archives: Shade Gardening

Question: Please suggest flowering plants and vines for shady places and poor soil.

Answer: Plant growth and health will be much improved if you can amend your poor soil with some organic matter. Digging aged-manure or compost into the soil will loosen it, help the soil retain moisture, and provide some nutrients to the plant roots as the organic matter decomposes. Some of the plants that will thrive, even in poor soil, in shady sites include: Asarum caudatum (Wild Ginger), Cymbalaria muralis (Kenilworth Ivy), Lamium maculatum (Dead Nettle), Oxalis oregana (Redwood Sorrel), Vinca (Periwinkle), Japanese Spurge, Galium odoratum (Sweet Woodruff), and Polygonatum (Solomon's Seal).

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