what type of flowers can I grow in shady areas? - Knowledgebase Question

Uxbridge, Ma
Question by shannonmcbur
March 28, 2008
I live in massachusetts and i have a lot of trees on my property. I do not have a green thumb and would like to know what types of flowers I can grow in my yard.
Thank You.
Shannon Goddard

Answer from NGA
March 28, 2008


Shade gardens are spectacular if you remember to add plants with variegated foliage (such as hostas) to add interest. In addition to hostas, consider planting Rheinland Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii 'Rheinland'), with clear pink plumes in June. Reaches 24? tall.

Purple Lance Astilbe (Astilbe chinensis 'Purple Lance'); Violet-purple, lance-shaped flowerheads. 40? tall.

The Rocket Ligularia (Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket'); Yellow flower spikes. 4? tall.

Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii); Rose-pink blooms in late summer. 30? tall.

Fairy Candles (Cimicifuga racemosa ?Atropurpurea?); Purple-veined leaves and stems, white wandlike flowers. 5' tall.

Golden Corydalis (Corydalis lutea); Bright yellow flowers, ferny foliage. 12? tall.

Fernleaf Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia ?Zestful?); Pink blooms, ferny foliage. 12?-15? tall.

Barrenwort (Epimedium x youngianum 'Roseum'); Pink flowers, heart-shaped leaves. 10? tall.

Spotted Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum ?Chequers?); Silver foliage, pink flowers. 8? tall.

Elegans Hosta (Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans'); Large frosty-blue leaves, mounded habit. 30? tall.

Desdemona Bigleaf Ligularia (Ligularia dentata ?Desdemona?); Yellow daisylike flowers, mahogany leaves. 36" tall.

Blue Wedgewood Hosta (Hosta 'Blue Wedgewood'); Very blue, wedge-shaped leaves, lavender flowers. 18? tall.

Bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla); Blue forget-me-not-like flowers. 12? tall.

Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum); Whorled leaves, tiny fragrant blooms, spreading. 6? tall.

Bertram Anderson Lungwort (Pulmonaria longifolia ' Bertram Anderson'); Violet-blue flowers, narrow spotted leaves. 12? tall.

Dwarf Goatsbeard (Aruncus aethusifolius); Compact foliage turns burgundy in fall, feathery white flowers. 12? tall.

Japanese Toad Lily (Tricyrtis hirta 'Miyazaki'); lilac-spotted white flowers in fall. 30? tall.

Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea); Upright fronds. 3? tall.

Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum'); Fronds mottled in gray, green and burgundy. 18? tall.

Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica); Blooms are purple, lavender or white. 2'-3' tall.

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis); White, teardrop-shaped flowers in very early spring. Plant bulbs in clusters of five. 4" tall.

Minnow Daffodil (Narcissus 'Minnow'); Tiny white-and-yellow blossoms, borne three to a stem, early spring. 6" tall.

Actaea Poet's Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus 'Actaea'); White flowers with dainty yellow cups in mid-spring. Fragrant. 16" tall.

For bright patches of color, plant impatiens and lobelia.

Enjoy your shade garden!

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