|Friday Five: Favorite Plants for Shade|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Friday, 02 March 2012|
Few gardeners have completely sunny yards in which to plant their flowers, there are always shady spots--especially if you have large shade trees or your yard has “grown up” over the past 20 or 30 years. Since we’re trying to cut back on lawns and most lawns don’t do well under shady conditions anyway, it’s always useful to have a list of plants that grow in shade.
The first plant that comes to mind when I think about shady spots is hosta (Hosta spp. While the flowers are either purple or white, leaf colors range from light to dark green to silvery blue and variegated. With the staggering number of hostas to choose from, you could actually have an entire garden devoted to hostas!
2. Bleeding Hearts
Bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis, pictured above, are delicate looking plants with arching flower stalks featuring dangling beautiful pink and white heart-shaped flowers.
3. Virginia Bluebells
If you’re looking for some pretty shade loving blue flowers with dark green foliage that thrive in woodland settings, then look no further than Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginicana).
Primroses (Primula spp.), with their basal rosette of leaves and flower spikes, come in a variety of colors. They are a great choice for rock or alpine gardens and also look lovely around pond edges. Primroses are not quite as tolerant of deep woodland shade as some of the others, but this isn’t usually a problem because they are among the early spring bloomers. There are a huge number of cultivars from the typical English primroses to the more showy ones such as ‘Dorothy’.
5. Solomon's Seal
Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum ordoratum) is another shade loving plant thriving in moist soils and shady conditions. The white bell-shaped flowers look lovely against the dark green foliage and the dark purple-black berries are also quite attractive. Look for the cultivar ‘Variegatum’. P. biflorum is the native species of Solomon’s seal and has flowers that are more greenish-white to even yellow-green in color.
Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas
Taylor's 50 Best Perennials for Shade: Easy Plants for More Beautiful Gardens
Making the Most of Shade: How to Plan, Plant, and Grow a Fabulous Garden that Lightens up the Shadows