Partial Shade? - Knowledgebase Question

Alamo, CA
Question by lfarrow
July 31, 2002
What exactly is partial shade?
Does a leather leaf fern need any direct sun of full shade under trees okay?

Also I have a spot that gets shade all day except 3+ - hours in the afternoon. What do you suggest.
I have tried full sun plants that didn't do much and now have a hydrangia the does pretty well until it burns on a really hot day then I have to trim and it looks awful. I have given it 3 seasons to establish.
Louise Farrow

Answer from NGA
July 31, 2002


Partial shade is difficult to describe. It generally means dappled shade (such as you'd find in the shade of a tree) to full morning sun but with shade from the hot afternoon sunshine. Leather leaf fern will be happy in full shade (such as under trees). For the partially sunny spot (afternoon sunshine), you can grow Acanthus, Astilbe, Begonia, Coleus, Cyclamen, Dicentra, Lilies, Impatiens, and Viola (pansy). Hydrangea tends to wilt in the hot afternoon sun, but usually recovers by morning. Try to find a spot with morning sun but afternoon shade for your hydrangea and it should perk right up for you. Best wishes with your garden!

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