shade planting - Knowledgebase Question

wharton, Ne
Question by Joanyzz1
September 4, 2010
what can i plant under the overhang of my house that is low maintenance and for total shade?


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Answer from NGA
September 4, 2010

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Winter creeper, Euonymus fortunei, is a vinelike shrub from the bittersweet family. It gets 50 feet or more with aerial roots and 2 feet high. Leaves are oval and 1 to 2 inches long with small flowers and showy orange fruits. Winter creeper grows in any light with regular watering and in any soil.

Surprise lily, Lycoris squamigera, is an easy-to-grow fragrant perennial that attracts butterflies. It has 2-feet-tall stalks with lilac pink fragrant flowers that are funnellike and 3 inches long. Leaves are grayish and 1 foot long. Grow this one in partial shade in any type soil. It can also tolerate full sun.

Coral Bells (or Heuchera) are grown for their beautiful leaves, often purplish, metalic silver, lime green, or bronze.

Astilbe is a shade loving garden favorite. They are long-blooming plume-like flowers in shades of white, pink and red, peach, & purple (The Visions variety not only has beautiful flowers but has a wonderful scent as well!). Astilbes are one of the easiest perennial flowers to grow, but they give a high return. Virtually pest free, they can light up the shade garden and are deer resistant*.

Bleeding Hearts are traditional favorites in shade gardens. Their foliage tends to die back after the plants are done flowering in May, leaving behind vacant spots in the planting bed. It's a good idea to surround bleeding hearts with hosta plants and other shade-loving perennial flowers that will fill in those vacant spots during the summer. Bleeding hearts are striking enough to warrant their use as specimen plants in spring.

Ligularia is a noble plant with huge leathery leaves, deep green on top, ebony on the reverse side. Give this moisture lover room as it can be 4' across and 5' tall. Yellow flowers in early summer until late fall.

Hope these suggestions are helpful.

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