Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Perennial Plants for Shade - Part 1

Outside of Hostas, folks ask me all the time what perennials grow in shade. There's a plethra of selection nowadays. Here is part 1 of my top choices for perennials that endure shade. Most of them are selections from my wee little garden. These perennials last. Unlike some which are borderline hardy, these have provided endless struggle to survive and fair beautifully.

Note: when I say backyard in peak growing season get's about 3 hours of dappled sun. Definitely more shade than sun. My choices here don't reflect plants that grown in complete shade.

Moist (yet free draining soil) Shade:

Astilbe sp. (flowers late June)
Astrantia major (Masterwort - flowers mid June)

Pulmonaria officinalis (Lungwort - flowers early May)

Dicentra spectablis (Bleeding Heart; white - flowers mid-May)

Well Drained (soil) Shade:

Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum') does quite well in free draining soil.

Various Hosta fortunei (my preference are thicker leaved varieties, which have better slug resistance)
Rudbeckia sp. Indian Summer Black Eyed Susan (flowers July-September, self seeds too)
Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate' (bronze brown foliage in June, paling to green, flowers early September)

Ground Covers:

Hedera helix, Evergreen English Ivy (evergreen)
Lamium maculatum 'Cannon's Gold' (flowers on new growth)
Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy' (white flowers on new growth)

Much more here on Part 2....

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