Shade Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Kaysville, Ut
Question by barbhol6
April 13, 2010
What are some good shade plants that do well in my area?

Answer from NGA
April 13, 2010


Start with coleus. These are not grown for their flowers but for the great foliage. Although sun-tolerant coleuses are now on the market, the traditional cultivars are excellent additions to great shade-tolerant flower gardens.

While these plants have varying sizes and textures, they remain one of the most colorful and versatile choices for local gardeners. Pinch the blossoms off to keep them full and bushy.

Add fibrous begonias with red, pink, white and salmon colors and picotee edges on the flowers of those colors, they are awesome additions to a shade garden. The foliage colors range from bright green to a rich copper to add more versatility.

Tuberous begonias are some of the most beautiful shade flowers in the garden. Many also have very beautiful foliage colors and textures. These are not sun-tolerant and must be protected from hot winds.

For interesting foliage, consider the Japanese painted fern or the Hakone grass. The rich textures and colors from these and many other ferns and grasses are excellent in a shady spot!

Add lamium ? or deadnettle ? as another must-have flower. New varieties include "Pink Nancy" and "White Nancy" as excellent choices.

Hostas are another very diverse group of shade-loving plants. Varieties spread from 4 inches to 4 feet, with a similar range of heights. The stunning foliage is what makes these plants so important in any shade garden.

Corydalis is a long-blooming shade perennial for Utah. Use the lutea or yellow species for the best performance. Brunnera is another old standby, but consider some of the new cultivars with variegated foliage, including "Jack Frost" or "Looking Glass."

Last but not least is my own personal favorite, bleeding hearts. Few flowers grow as large as quickly, and it is hard to find any with more exquisite blossoms. Plant some of these, and look for many other wonderful plants that will help with your made-in-the-shade garden.

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