Shade plants are plants that can thrive in shady areas of the garden. Many of these plants can also grow in full sun, but the best part about shade plants is that they are very forgiving. If you leave them sitting in the shade for a few days, you will not kill them.
For most people living in the city, Shade gardening is the reality that they have to deal with every day. For the most part, the formal English and full sun gardens are out of the question. Small back yards with high fences for privacy, large trees, tall buildings, and our penchant for large houses all have contributed to a shady urban garden landscape.
It is highly probable that you have, at the least, one shady spot in your garden that is in need of help. Below is a list of the types of shade gardens and the plants best suited to them for color and maintenance.
One of the plants we sell heavily this time of year is Vinca. Super easy to grow, it is a site plant for that shady corner that you have to deal with. It is an evergreen vine that creeps along the ground, no need for pruning, and has small purple flowers that are closed and colorful berries for fall and winter interest. All this along with the fact that it does not need a lot of water makes it a super easy plant to grow.
There are other great shade garden options out there, many of which you can find in local nurseries and garden centers. The American Horticultural Society keeps a list of plants categorized by Sun and Shade tolerance. This can be found at AHS. If you are in our area stop in and say hello, we are happy to help you find the right plant for your garden no matter what time of year it is.
Deep shade gardens are areas without much or any light, direct or indirect. These naturally occur under large densely leaved trees and tree groupings, deciduous or coniferous. One way around this problem area would be to thin out the trees, prune the canopy, or in the case of the conifer prune up from the ground several feet, exposing the ground to indirect light. Other areas of deep shade occur beside high fences and walls, practically those facing north.
Plants that can do well in this type of deep shade would be mostly woodland plants, especially those from your zone and area.
List of Deep Shade Plants:
- Aucuba (spotted laurel) Shrub
- Cornus (dogwood) shrub
- Euonymus (pindle) shrub
- Lamium (dead nettle) plant
- Milium (millet) grass
- Rosa (rose) climber
- Schizphrgma climber
- Lonicera (honeysuckle) climber
These gardens are generally under loose foliage trees or woody areas. The light received in these garden areas is a mixture of spotted light and shade that tends to stay the same during the day. There are many plants that thrive in this type of setting, mostly woodland varieties, but you may be able to plant some sun-loving plants that are able to adapt to lower light conditions.
List of Dappled Sunlight Plants:
- Windflower (Anemone nemorosa)
- Primrose (Primula)vulgaris)
- Bluebells (Endymion non-scriptus)
- Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarsissus)
- Wild Foxglove (Digitalis purpruea)
- Welsh poppy (Meconopsis cambrica)
- Lily (Lilium)
- Solomon’s seal (Polygonamatum)
Partial shade is an ambiguous term used for areas that get some direct sunlight during the day and indirect for the rest. Most sun-loving plants will adapt to this type of setting as will dappled shade plants With a little forethought and planning, you can beat the shade and have a great garden in these problem areas of your yard.