Shade Loving Flowers Or Shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

Chesapeake, VA
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Question by MLKWSKTJK
January 16, 2001
The north side of my house only see's roughly 3 or 4 hours a day of sun, I want to plant something that likes shade that has blooms in the spring, summer. My soil is primarily clay.
Sould I use some compost and sand to loosen up the soil for better drainage ?


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Answer from NGA
January 16, 2001
Yes, I'd definately improve the soil before planting. Add plenty of compost, but be careful with the sand so you don't end up with adobe bricks! Add a layer of compost/mulch to the top of the soil every season to continue improving it. Here are some flowers for shade: Perennials -- Anemone, Columbine, Astilbe, Campanula, lily of-the-valley, Dicentra, Digitalis, Ferns, Hosta, daylilies, Liriope, Monarda, Pachysandra, Thalictrum, Vinca, navelwort (Omphalodes cappadocica), blue lungwort
(Pulmonaria angustifolia), pinkroot (Spigelia marilandica), bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) and sweet violets (Viola odorata).

Annuals -- Begonia, Browallia, Coleus, annual Foxglove, Forget-me-not, Impatiens, Primrose, Torenia,
Viola. Bulbs -- Begonia, Caladium, Camassia, Elephant's ears, Lilium, Narcissus, Scilla, Callas.

For shrubs, you might consider viburnums, hypericum, paxistima, shrub dogwoods and hydrangea arborescens.
Try to go to a full-service nursery and look around. Plants under canopies or cover are usually the shade-lovers.

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