While many plants need plenty of sunlight in order to thrive there are others that can cope happily with shady conditions. There are different types of shade ranging from areas that receive sun for part of the day to those that are in full shade which can either be dry or moist and cool. As always the best way to succeed is to choose the plant to suit the conditions. This article by Dolores Monet which I found on the Dengarden website describes twelve plants that are suitable for a woodland garden.
The shady areas around our homes are pleasant, but often they are bare spots devoid of flowering plants. Many perennials, annuals, and shrubs that can brighten up those partially shaded to fully shaded areas near or under trees, or on the north side of the house.
Some shade-loving plants offer colorful or variegated foliage to brighten up those dark areas. Others produce lovely flowers.
AstilbeAstilbe, or False Goat’s Beard, is a hearty and trouble-free perennial that prefers soft soil (add humus or peat) and partial shade. Astilbe has feathery, fern-like foliage and sends up plumes of flowers in pink, white. lavender, and red in summer.
Plant in moist, well-drained soil. Divide the roots in spring or fall every three or four years. US Zones 4 – 9.
AzaleasAzaleas are beautiful woody shrubs in the rhododendron family that come in a vast array of colors and types. Many azaleas are evergreen in warmer climates. Azaleas bloom in spring, when the shrub is covered with brilliant flowers in white, pink, violet, or red. Yellow and orange hybrids exist but may be more difficult to grow.
Plant azaleas in light or dappled shade in moist, well-drained soil. Water often during hot, dry summer months and feed with a fertilizer for acid-loving plants. Prune just after flowering. Azaleas do not tolerate extreme cold, and some evergreen azaleas lose their leaves in colder areas. Some azaleas are more cold-tolerant than others, so check the tag carefully.
Bleeding HeartBleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is an old-fashioned, two- to three-foot tall cottage garden favorite that likes partial to full shade and moist, well-drained soil. This bushy perennial produces small heart-shaped blooms on arching stems in early spring. The attractive, lobed foliage goes dormant in summer, turning yellow. Plant in US Zones 2 – 7.
See more at Dengarden
Feature photo: Dolores Monet