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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: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Replace your lawn with a garden!
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Bee Lover Sedums
Hostas Dog Lover Xeriscape Region: Minnesota Heucheras Butterflies
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foraygardengirl
Jan 24, 2016 9:09 PM CST
I can't pass up the opportunity to put in a plug for cranesbills. I have several varieties and find them to be the single most useful plant in my gardens. They will grow virtually anywhere, even in dry shade on a hillside under large shrubs. Many varieties have fragrant foliage. They are a wonderful ground cover. Some varieties like like Rozanne, Tiny Monster, and Pink Penny will weave up through other plants. They look great with hostas, coral bells, and under hydrangeas. I got many of mine from a friend who handed me a black garbage bag full of dead looking brown rhizome type roots. Lo and behold, I stuck them in the soil and now have a hillside full of lovely bigroot geraniums.

Geraniums (Geranium)

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:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:
Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Jan 24, 2016 10:40 PM CST
Hurray!
I second that plug Thumbs up
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 25, 2016 6:55 AM CST
Yup, add my vote too! There's a cranesbill for almost any situation: mounding, sprawling, lower border types or taller background types. Lots of variety in the foliage color and bloom color; and most have attractive changes to their foliage color for fall/ cooler weather.
. Love this one. Stays in a nice mound.
. Foliage is very attractive.
. Brightens up a shady spot.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 25, 2016 12:41 PM CST
I agree Jeannie! Geraniums are so adaptable- shade, sun, moist, dry- they take it all and manage to be bright and lovely!
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
Light is the shadow of God!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: United States of America Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
Garden Ideas: Master Level Native Plants and Wildflowers Peonies Hummingbirder Dog Lover Lilies
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TBGDN
Jan 26, 2016 2:14 PM CST
Have to agree with these plants: So versatile, very hardy, very nice!

Lux Umbra Dei
Name: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
Light is the shadow of God!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: United States of America Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
Garden Ideas: Master Level Native Plants and Wildflowers Peonies Hummingbirder Dog Lover Lilies
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TBGDN
Jan 26, 2016 2:55 PM CST
Another favorite.

Lux Umbra Dei
Name: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
Light is the shadow of God!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: United States of America Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
Garden Ideas: Master Level Native Plants and Wildflowers Peonies Hummingbirder Dog Lover Lilies
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TBGDN
Jan 26, 2016 2:59 PM CST
Another in white. The close up was in light rain. This also comes in burgundy/red/maroon. Mine seems to have disappeared. Sad

Lux Umbra Dei
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jan 27, 2016 1:52 AM CST
I love geraniums, but never really thought of them as a shade plant. Mine are all in either dappled shade or sun and seem to do well there.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Daylilies Irises Roses Hostas
Birds Multi-Region Gardener Cat Lover Dog Lover Ponds Foliage Fan
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cliftoncat
Jan 27, 2016 7:46 AM CST
Geraniums are real workhorses in our garden and we have dozens of them, in both sun and shade. I particularly love Rozanne, for its easy style and seemingly endless bloom period, and for deep shade Geranium x oxonianum Wargrave Pink - another one that has non-stop flowers, this time in a pearly pink that is great for adding light to a dark corner.

Name: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
Light is the shadow of God!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: United States of America Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
Garden Ideas: Master Level Native Plants and Wildflowers Peonies Hummingbirder Dog Lover Lilies
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TBGDN
Jan 27, 2016 11:12 AM CST
Geranium sanguineum 'John Elsley' This has been around my place for years: At least since 2005. It forms neat mounds usually not more than 10-12 inches high and 24 inches across. In posting this I happened to notice someone had uploaded the first image from Davesgarden.com to Pinterest without asking permission. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/463659724112890664/
I had apparently placed it in the data base at DOG in 2006. I've not been a member at DOG since 2009 so it's hard to tell what they've done to the data base and all the pictures. Anyway, it is a very nice geranium with little or no care, and it grows anywhere in sun or shade as long as the soil is well drained.



Lux Umbra Dei
[Last edited by TBGDN - Jan 27, 2016 11:46 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1044426 (10)
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
Image
DebbieC
Jan 27, 2016 11:18 AM CST
That is a lovely cranesbill, Leon. I particularly like the two toned flowers.
Name: Leon
Indiana (Zone 5a)
Light is the shadow of God!
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: United States of America Region: Indiana Vegetable Grower
Garden Ideas: Master Level Native Plants and Wildflowers Peonies Hummingbirder Dog Lover Lilies
Image
TBGDN
Jan 27, 2016 11:40 AM CST
Thanks Debbie, It is so easy and self seeds. I find new seedlings in various spots like this one I didn't know I had. And I wonder which plant it came from since the colors are different.

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Lux Umbra Dei
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Hellebores Ferns Ponds
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aspenhill
Jan 27, 2016 11:50 AM CST
Rozanne doesn't seem to do well in the shade for me at all. I'll have to give Wargrave Pink a try.

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