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Shade Garden Plants

October 3, 2008

If you have a yard that is partially shaded or even completed shaded, there are still an enormous number of beautiful plants and flowers available that will thrive in that environment. There is no need to forgo a beautiful garden just because the area lacks direct sunlight. There are a number of plants that do well in complete shade and others that thrive in partial shade. There are some flowers that do like full sun but that will grow just as well when planted in a partial shade environment.

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While shade plants might not need a lot of sun, they generally do need a lot of water. Many shade plants and flowers need moderately moist soil in order to thrive. To keep the soil moist, plan to water the area often if it does not get regular rainfall. To help the shady area retain even more moisture, add compost or other thick organic materials, such as peat moss, to the soil to help hold in moisture. Placing mulch on top of the soil will also help it to retain water. If the shade in the area is being provided by a tree, remember that the tree is likely taking much of the water that you provide, so helping the soil to retain moisture is extremely important.

Monkshood and daylilies both enjoy partial shade environments. Monkshood is extremely hearty and can be grown in a wide variety of climates. Columbine s partial shade as well, can be planted in zones 3-9 and blooms into extremely delicate, intricate flowers. Primrose is an early spring flower that can tolerate some sun, but does require shade much of the time. These shade flowers are vibrantly colored and will thrive in zones three through nine. Foxglove, Shasta Daisy, Sweet William, Purple coneflower, Geraniums, Bleeding Hearts, Meadow Rue and Carpet Bugles are all beautiful plants that will grow in the shade.

Ferns of many types thrive in full shade conditions. For this reason they can be planted in areas that are shaded by trees or even at the base of trees. There are many different shapes and sizes of ferns that will grow well in shade and create a lush green space. But, if you want to have more color, there are also ferns that have more color to them than green. The Japanese Painted Fern is a shade plant that has leaves made up of silver, green and purple.

One of the most popular shade plants is the Hosta. The popularity comes from the Hosta’s love for the shade as well as from the many, many varieties of this plant that are available. There are enormous Hosta varieties that can dominate a large shady area as well as tiny ones that would barely be visible in a shady spot.

If the shade in the areas is being provided by a building, consider a shade-loving ivy. Ivies come in many varieties and most will thrive in the shade. They do love to climb, so planting them in the shade of a building may mean that the ivy makes its way up the walls. Some types of ivy will dominate the entire surrounding garden unless regularly pruned back, so they can be useful in providing ground cover for shady areas. Like ivies, honeysuckles will also grow quickly and thrive in shady spots. They will also scent the air with their sweet scent.

While you might have trouble growing grass in the shade, there are a number of beautiful plants that will cause no such trouble. Even rhododendrons will thrive in partial shade when given enough water. They make a beautiful and colorful addition to any shade garden. Keep Gardening. Jeff

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