perennials for shade - Knowledgebase Question

zimmerman, Mi
Question by tsjjtrgrama
March 11, 2010
I have a very shady yard and would like to plant perennials that would have color and not just green. What are some suggestions?

Answer from NGA
March 11, 2010


The answer to your question depends on the extent of the shade and on the type of soil you have. Very few plants will really thrive in heavy deep shade all day. If this is your situation, you may have better luck with an assortment of hosta (they are available in many interesting patterns, sizes and shapes, as well as assorted shades of blue, green, gold and white), and ferns. With some dappled sun or some morning sun, you could add some lily-of-the-valley, sweet woodruff, Solomon's Seal, tricyrtis, astilbe and pulmonaria. You might also add in some evergreen azaleas or rhododendrons. All of these plants will do best if you prepare the soil with an ample amount of organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, or well-aged manure. For splotches of bright color you can tuck some annuals into the garden. Impatiens, lobelia and begonias will grow in the shade. Best wishes with your garden!

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