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Tell us your Favorite Shade Plants

By dave
January 20, 2016

We're putting together a list of the ATP members' favorite shade plants! Come on in and read how to nominate your favorites! We will later publish a final article on the top picks.

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Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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GigiPlumeria
Jan 24, 2016 10:08 AM CST
When mounted on trees, they require minimal care and could reward you with multiple blooms. For most people, they do well in pots kept in shade but receives bright lights. My favorite is any type of Dendrobiums:
Orchid (Dendrobium bigibbum)
Here are my no ID Dendrobiums I purchased from the clearance racks of Lowe's

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Cattleyas, are great. I could not keep them alive too long in pots but when I mounted them on my oak tree, they took off. They do well in pots keep in shade but with bright lights.
Orchid (Cattleya cernua)

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Vandas they love hanging under shade trees although some variety of Vandas need some part sun to bloom, mine only require bright lights
Orchid (Vanda Pachara Delight 'Pink')

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©by Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 24, 2016 10:48 AM CST
Neat thing about orchids is that there are native types in almost all parts of the world, except the deserts and Arctic regions. Those are well adapted to growing in most shady areas, and some even grow wild in full sun.

Of course as your climate zone gets warmer, you can grow a wider variety of orchids outside in the shade, too. Here in Florida a lot of us can grow many warm growing orchids year-round outdoors. (as long as the nights stay in the 50's).

Those wonderful moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) that everyone sees at the big box stores, and grocery stores are suited to grow indoors in cold weather but do very well outdoors in the shade as long as the night temperatures stay above 50. They bloom generously, and the flowers last up to 3 months, too. Nice array of colors, as well.

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There are also a wide array of ground orchids that actually grow in soil, that make gorgeous shade plants. Most of them would still need winter protection anywhere colder than about zone 8 though. Jewel Orchids have gorgeous sparkly foliage, so they are very decorative even when not in bloom. Phaius (aka Nun's Orchids) are magnificent large plants with stunning flowers on 3ft stems that last for 6 weeks at least.

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Spathoglottis are another ground orchid that bloom almost non-stop here, but would go dormant and need winter protection further north (or south, in the Southern Hemisphere). They are offered at the big box store nurseries here year 'round, in a nice array of colors from white, through yellows, pink, purple and bi-colors. Beautiful pleated foliage and good resistance to pests and diseases are another plus for these. The blooms keep on coming on elongating stems that get well over 2ft. tall. Wonderful landscape plants for shady areas!
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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GigiPlumeria
Jan 24, 2016 11:28 AM CST
Elaine I love the Nun orchids, I hink I have the bottom one. And I love the spatoglotthis, These are in my wish list this year. Lowe's and HD are now carrying them.

I'm having a tough time with my phals lately but I've been growing them indoor, I don't think they get enough bright lights.
©by Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Jan 24, 2016 2:52 PM CST
I love orchids too! It really needs some shade here on my side. In my area, it took me awhile to understand which ones will thrive. So far I am lucky to be able to grow Phals, Oncidiums and Dendrobiums. I do not have a greenhouse so it is a continuous learning process for me handling these lovely plants. Since we have intense dry summers, my orchids respond by holding back their blooms till the conditions return to more amiable 70F-85F temps. So oftentimes, I will get the flower spikes in Fall or maybe in mid Spring. Such is the limitation of my area, but I can grow some which is good enough for me Smiling They are truly lovely plants, understanding their culture will help it thrive in a part shade location, provided the other aspects of growing is met, proper watering, humidity needs and light.

Here is one of my favorites, my Oncidium Sharry Baby, it has a chocolate-like scent, so a good bonus, pretty and scented Lovey dubby


My other favorite, Wilsonara Hilda Plumtree 'Purple Wings' also belonging to the Oncidium alliance. Such a bright looking bloom that cheers me up during the doldrums of winter.



Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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GigiPlumeria
Jan 24, 2016 3:00 PM CST
Tarev, they are both beautiful. I'm not so good with Oncidiums yet but I'm learning. I don't think my 2 Oncidiums have any fragrance. I need to check out that Sharry Baby.
©by Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Jan 24, 2016 3:06 PM CST
Gigi, on my part I am not good with Vandas here, our location is way too dry for it, our humidity is really dismal here. But I am still trying..just with one Vanda, Vanda coerulea, this one likes our mild winters outdoors..still hoping for a rebloom..trying to be patient, at least it has not kicked the bucket yet Big Grin
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Jan 24, 2016 3:09 PM CST
This is another favorite of mine: Maxillaria tenuifolia - love its coconut-like scent! Lovey dubby

Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
Plumerias Sempervivums Roses Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
GigiPlumeria
Jan 24, 2016 3:15 PM CST
Oh that one is pretty too Tarev.

Keep working on your Vanda, hopefully it will bloom for you this year.
©by Gigi Plumeria "Gardening is my favorite past time. I grow whatever plant that catches my attention." Plumeria Photos http://www.flickr.com/groups/calachuchi_plumeria_/ plant photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gigiplumeria/sets/
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Jan 24, 2016 3:31 PM CST
Yeah, am getting better leaves slowly so my hopes are up with my Vanda. Big Grin

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