Light Vs. Shade - Knowledgebase Question

Endicott, NY
Question by Williamjbren
March 30, 2001
The front of our hose faces north and does not get direct sunlight but a lot of bright light. Can I get away with planting items for partial shade? I would love to have a lot of flowers. I love monarda and rudebecia.


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Answer from NGA
March 30, 2001

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Unfortunately, in my experience monarda and rudbeckia would prefer more sun than they will receive on the north side in the shade. You can try plants that are listed as preferring shade to partial shade, however plants that prefer sun to partial shade will most likely not be happy there. By moving the planting area away from the house, you will be able to increase the amount of sun that reaches the plants in the summer time, this may help broaden your selection as well. Some flowers that should do well include hosta (many foliage colors available), pulmonaria, Solomon's seal, (English ivy, there are variegated and specialty forms available), bleeding heart, tiarella, ferns, astilbe, and sweet woodruff, as well as in the sunnier areas possibly heuchera, perennial geranium, ceratostigma, lamium, creeping jenny, ajuga, violas and clematis. You could also add annual plantings such as caladium, impatiens and coleus.

Enjoy your shade garden!

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