Companion plant for Cast Iron

gail363April 28, 2010

I have a row of cast iron plants along a privacy fence, what could I plant in front? Thank you

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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

Almost anything that will be shorter than the aspidistras, handle the sun or shade of the spot, and that you like.

Wasn't very helpful, was it? If you want a more helpful answer we need to know:

1) What your sun/shade/soil/moisture conditions are.

2) Do you want perennials? Annuals? Shrubberies?

3)What effect you are trying to achieve. Do you want constant color? To soften the "row of soldiers" effect your aspidistra are most certainly making?

4) What size area are you working with?

Just signing on and saying "I have a row of cast iron plants along a privacy fence, what could I plant in front? Thank you" is not going to elicit helpful responses from most of us.

My gut reaction, for instance, was to reply "impatiens and caladiums"


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:37PM
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I assume we're talking about an area that doesn't get much light or water. I've got a similar area I'm going to have to replant because it has become too shady. I was thinking about Variegated Flax Lily, dianella tasmanica, with aspidistra behind. I suppose holly fern would work too, but it would require rather more water.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 3:59PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

whitecap---we can assume all we want...but we don't KNOW. I'm hoping the original poster will come back into the conversation...

Hellebores would work as well, or Sarcococca (humilis, ruscifolia, confusa...any of the sweetbox cousins).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 4:41PM
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I am sorry for not giving more information. I have just started gardening (found out that I love it); just a beginner.
1. It is mainly shade but does get a little afternoon sun, the area is mainly dry and I am in zone 8.
2. Yes, I would like to soften the row, and I would like perennials and shrubs.
3. The area is rather long (15 feet) and is on the back fence of our yard.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:13PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC) are looking for plants that like "dry shade." Go to you local garden center (not a big box like Slowes) and ask them to show you the plants that like dry shade. Hellebores and sarcococca are both dry shade plants.

You are going to want a few textures...and some different colored/variegated foliage. If deer are not an issue...hostas might work. I've had good luck with lamium and pulmonaria in dry-ish conditions.Autumn Fern 'Brilliance' can perform in dry-ish conditions once established...mine made it through a couple of serious droughts.

I've linked a page that lists shade plants for your zone. Not all will be for dry shade, but they may give you some ideas.


Here is a link that might be useful: zone 8 shade plants

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 10:05PM
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Liriope (lily turf) would provide a finer texture to contrast with the broad aspidistra leaves. It tolerates dryish shade and part sun.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 10:42PM
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