Shade gardens can be such a pleasant surprise. In that spot where you think nothing will grow, there are plants that will not only grow but flower and thrive as well.
Depending upon climate, there are tropicals, perennials and annuals that will flower throughout different times of the year and including some in summer in a shady location.
If you are looking for plumes of colour for that shady spot, consider planting astilbe. These perennials are quite easy to grow and will bloom from late spring and through the summer.
Astilbe flowers are white, pink, lavender or red, and are striking when grown in bunches or along a shady walkway. Give the plant rich soil and water to keep the soil moist. “Astilbe plants are not drought tolerant nor do they thrive in the hot summer sun instead they prefer woodland conditions, with light, moist, humus-rich soil and dappled sunlight.” According to ABC Gardening Australia.
The only problem with choosing a camellia shrub for your shady garden is trying to figure out which variety to grow, which color to grow and which flower form.
The Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) is the most popularly-grown species in the home garden. With more than 2,000 cultivars, gardeners can choose those that bloom in double, semi-double or single flowers, in shades of white, pink and red.
Although the young camellia will thrive in deep shade, as it ages it will need a bit of morning sun to produce the gorgeous flower show.
Heuchera is popular not only because it’s so easy to grow, but for its mind-boggling diversity in form and color – with nearly 50 different species.
Heuchera (Heuchera spp.) is commonly known as coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea).
The USA National Gardening Association voted it “Perennial of the Year” in 2012.
Dainty flowers provide color to the shade garden, in white, pink and red hues. Learn more about Heuchera and get tips on choosing the right one for your garden at Nurseries Online or wimastergardener.org.
Don’t discount the value of brilliant foliage in your shade garden. Hosta (Hosta spp.) is a favorite, across the country. Although they die back in winter, the gorgeous foliage appears again in spring.
Grow the hosta in well-drained soil amended with lots of organic matter.
Is there a flower lover on earth who isn’t impressed with hydrangea blooms? The mopheads, with their huge, round flowers or the panicles that drip from the shrub – what’s not to like?
Best of all (at least for the shade gardener), is that too much sun is brutal on the hydrangea. In fact, a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal.
Hydrangea is a deciduous shrub and, depending on variety, they generally grow from 1-2 M tall. Learn more about the different types of hydrangea and their care from Yates Australia or at Clemson University’s website.
This African native is another top-selling bedding plants. The reason: it’s very easy to grow.
Impatiens come in 15 colours, from white to bright and will grow quite well in the shade. They do require moist soil at all times to keep blooming.
Impatiens are also lovely in containers and hanging baskets. Find more at ABC Gardening.
If you prefer to carpet the soil within your shady gardening spot, choose a groundcover. Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.) is one worth considering.
Flowering in shades of purple, red, white or pink, lungwort is a clumping perennial. Most varieties grow around 20 cm in height and spread 60-90 cm wide.
Lungwort prefers slightly moist soil at all times. If the roots get too dry the plant will wilt and it will rot if the roots get too much moisture. The experts suggest watering it every week to 10 days if there’s no rain.
What are Your Favourite Plants That Love to Grow in Shade?
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