Shady flower bed - Knowledgebase Question

Fort Worth, TX (Zone 7B)
Question by theresaagui
March 23, 2007
I have a flower bed that has partial sun but mostly shade. Which flowers or blooming shrubs could I plant there? I prefer to plant something that will come back each year.

Answer from NGA
March 23, 2007


Shade loving shrubs suitable for your climate include Aralia (Aralia japonica),
Aucuba (Aucuba japonica), and evergreen shrub, 4-6 ft. tall, mottled yellow color on leaves. Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) a deciduous shrub with magenta or white berries; Mexican Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa), Snowball Bush Viburnum (Viburnum spp.) -- also, Spring Bouquet (Viburnum caricephalum) and White Boneset (Eupatorium havanense).

Annuals and perennials include:
Ajuga (Ajuga reptans) -- 3-6", Aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior) -- Rightly called "Cast Iron Plant"; Chamomile (Chamaemelum spp.); Columbine (Aquilegia spp.); The yellow blooming Texas Gold and the red and yellow Aquilegia canadensis perform well here. Coral Bells (Huechera sanguinea); Clerodendrum (Clerodendrum bungei), a deciduous perennial, 3-6 ft. Large, showy pink flowers in summer. Good hummingbird plant. Elephant Ears (Colocasia esculenta) a perennial bulb, dies back in winter, grows to 6 ft. with large, dramatic leaves. Mulch to protect from freezing.

Foxtail Fern - related to Asparagus fern, soft bushy stems. Frog Fruit (Phyla nodiflora) -- Low growing ground cover 3'4"; Hoja Santa (Piper auritum); Hollyfern (Cytomium falcatum); Inland Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) -- Perennial native grass. Good for erosion control. Wet or dry, sun or shade, this is a hardy plant. Lamium (Lamium maculatum); Liriope (Liriope muscari); Monkeygrass or Mondograss (Ophiopogon japonicus); Nolina or Beargrass (Nolina nelsonii) -- Grass like foliage, OK in deep shade, good for slopes, erosion control; Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla); Oxalis, Wood Sorrel (Oxalis spp.); Pigeonberry (Rivina humilis); Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala); Ruellia, Mexican Petunia (Ruellia spp.); Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana and J. tomentosa); Spiderlily (Hymenocallis spp.);
Spiderwort (Tradescantia andersoniana); Sweet violets (Viola odorata); Texas Aster (Aster texanus); Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea); Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea).

Best wishes with your new garden!

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