The next time you’re at the local garden center, step over to the dark side… and by dark side, I mean the area where they keep the shade loving plants.
Shade plants have it all figured out. They’re loving life out of the rays of the scorching sun. Who can blame them? When it’s hotter than a Billy goat in a pepper patch, I like to spend my time in shady spots too.
Plants that thrive in the shade are more efficient at utilizing the far-red light that streams through the canopy of trees. Far-red light is light at the extreme red end of the visual spectrum, between red and infra-red. Most of these plants also have broader, thinner leaves to catch more sunlight.
Whether you use annuals, perennials, or shrubs, you can brighten the shady areas of your garden with any of these vibrant varieties.
SHRUBS FOR SHADE
Bloom-A-Thon® Red Reblooming Azalea
Great color AND it blooms in spring and again in summer and fall.
Invincibelle® Spirit Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
Delightful pink flowers on a hardy hydrangea that grows in zones 3 – 9. Blooms first appear in early summer and repeat through the first frost.
PERENNIALS FOR SHADE
Key Lime Pie Coral Bells (Heuchera)
One of my favorites for the edges of paths and in containers. The chartreuse foliage brightens low light areas.
Shadowland™ ‘Empress Wu’ Hosta
Tremendous 18-inch wide leaves and flower stalks that grow up to 5 feet.
ANNUALS FOR SHADE
Rockapulco® Double Impatiens
Produces masses of rosebud-like blooms. Plant Rockapulco® White to bring light to deep shade or Rockapulco® Purple for a shock of color.
Diamond Delight® Euphorbia
Such a floriferous annual that loves the shade.
Surefire® Series Begonias
Choose Surefire™ Red or Surefire™ Pink or both for your shade garden. The extra-large blooms are show stoppers.
Charmed® Wine Oxalis
Pair this plant’s dark wine leaves with something vibrant like Key Lime Pie Heuchera for a colorful combination.
ColorBlaze® Lime Time™ Coleus
This striking coleus will grow in both sun or shade. The super saturated green foliage is beautiful paired with blue or purple.
So there really is no reason your garden couldn’t be as lush in the shade as it is in the sun. Play with your colors and textures; have fun with it. There are so many interesting options for full or partial shade; you may just find yourself drawn to the dark side.
Good to Know: Planting Under Trees
There are many plants that thrive under trees, but if you garden in these spaces you know that tree roots can present a challenge. A solution for this is container gardens placed under the tree. Just remember that shady doesn’t equate moist. Don’t forget to water the containers when the top inch of the soil is dry.