Perennials For Shade In Zones 3 and 4 - Knowledgebase Question

North Branch, MN
Avatar for dinanelson
Question by dinanelson
January 27, 1998
We are in a new development with tons of shade! We left part of our back yard (about 20 feet) unfinished so I could plant perennials along the back edge of the grass. The soil is quite sandy with about 100 years of compost on top. From all maps I've seen, we are on the border of Zones 3 and 4. Please help me with some ideas of what to plant. When I say shade, I'm talking 90-95%!

Answer from NGA
January 27, 1998
In your conditions, zone 3 with shade, there are quite a few perennials that will thrive. Here are a few to consider: Aconitum (Monkshood), Actaea (Baneberry), Aegopodium (Bishop's Weed/Snow on the Mountain - can be invasive, though), Ajuga (Carpet Bugle, ground cover with flowers), Aruncus (Goatsbeard), Asarum (European Wild Ginger, ground cover), Bergenia (Saxifrage), Brunnera (Siberian Bugloss), Chelone (Turtlehead), Cimicifuga (Bugbane/Snakeroot) - sounds bad, looks good! Plus, I found a really good website for you...a garden center catered to gardeners in zone 3 and 4 here is the address:
they even have a few designed gardens available (including a shade garden). Enjoy!

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