Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants: Brunnera Jack Frost

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Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants

By dave
January 20, 2016

We're putting together a list of the ATP members' favorite shade plants! Come on in and read how to nominate your favorites! We will later publish a final article on the top picks.

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Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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DebbieC
Jan 21, 2016 3:10 PM CST
Jack Frost is a fabulous variegated plant for the shade; it will take some sun. It has lovely blue flowers in the spring when the leaves are small, then once the flowers are finished it will put on new growth with larger leaves. The leaves really brighten up the shade garden. There are other nice Brunnera cultivars but this is my favourite. It prefers a moist, humousy soil. I don't believe they are a long lived perennial, at least in the colder zones, but it is one I would be happy to replace when it dies out.
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
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cliftoncat
Jan 21, 2016 4:01 PM CST
I agree A lovely and easy to grow perennial, great for shade.
Skåne, Sweden (Zone 7b)
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William
Jan 23, 2016 7:24 AM CST
I really like the looks of Brunnera plants, both bloom and foliage is lovely. However I have killed a few and I'm pretty sure 'Jack Frost' was one of them Sad . I believe my soil is much too dry for them. However I have now grown the similar 'Sea Heart' for three years and also divided it into three nice plants this very autumn, so this one seems much tougher for my conditions and hopefully it will be long lived as well. Still does need some watering. I had the deer eat the flowers once, but they have never touched the more mature foliage, so good in this regard as well.
[Last edited by William - Jan 23, 2016 8:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Jan 23, 2016 10:06 AM CST
I all so love Brunnera Jack Frost. Besides the gorgeous foliage which is outstanding it gives beautiful blossoms in the garden in a wonderful blue color. Trimming off the bloom when it declines and the plant will reward you with a flush of large new leaves. Here is some bloom....
Thumb of 2016-01-23/Paul2032/23e04d


Thumb of 2016-01-23/Paul2032/a85b64


With Corydalis lutea.....

Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Jan 23, 2016 1:34 PM CST
I have tried Jack frost 3 times and it apparently does not like my garden, I even purchased one for my sisters garden and again no take. I love the look so I may look for the 'Sea Heart ' one maybe it is less picky. Smiling
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Skåne, Sweden (Zone 7b)
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William
Jan 23, 2016 4:41 PM CST
Cinda, if the problems you had were related to high summer temperatures and/or the soil being a bit on the dry side (I have 25 feet of pure sand down to ground water and live in a pine forest, so often very dry in summer) I suspect you will have much better success growing 'Sea Heart'. If you feel the leaves of it you will notice the difference immediately. I think these are sometimes described as feeling like cardboard and that is perhaps a bit exaggerated, but the leaves really are very, very thick.
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Jan 23, 2016 4:57 PM CST
I grew Jack Frost for a few years and I did love the foliage and the very striking blue blooms, but then it started sending up plain green leaves that were not as attractive, eventually I got tired of trying to keep them pulled out and got rid of the plant.
Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
Hostas Cat Lover Annuals Bulbs Container Gardener Critters Allowed
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Houseplants Foliage Fan Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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DebbieC
Jan 23, 2016 6:58 PM CST
Oh that's too bad Margaret; I've not heard that they were unstable like that. Lovey dubby
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
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ViolaAnn
Jan 23, 2016 7:07 PM CST
It doesn't seem to like sharing space with my hostas, but I must try again. Smiling
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Jan 25, 2016 8:53 PM CST
Emerald Mist is my favorite brunnera. It has not reverted at all in several years of growing it. But they are all very nice.
:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 26, 2016 11:58 AM CST
I like Brunnera macrophylla too! I have the one with just solid green leaves. I love the cute blue flowers which shows up around mid Spring. Last fall, I repotted it and I thought I have killed it, so sad seeing the leaves flopping. But with the recent cool rains, it is coming back nicely. Fingers crossed that it continues on Smiling We have very hot and dry summers here so I really have to grow this in the shadiest side of my garden. I only grow plants in containers, so this one, a shade loving, blooming plant that adapts well to container gardening is a favorite for me.
[Last edited by tarev - Jan 26, 2016 12:18 PM (+)]
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