Shade perennials - what survived

paulsiu(5a)April 7, 2012

So I planted some shade perennials because frankly, there's just too much shade in my yard and there a few shade spots at my inlaw's house.

celandine poppy - survived and is really big.

Columbine - survived and looks OK. I often find them unreliable.

Ostrich Fern - survived and looks OK.

Brunnera macrophylla - flowered in March

Hosta blue color (forgot which kind) - survived and looks OK.

Heuchera hybrid 'Midnight Rose' - dead

Dwarf Crested Iris - dead

Foam flower - survived, but is rather small.

So far, it appears that Heuchera may be harder to grown than expected. The winter was fairly mild, so it should have survived. The Iris may actually need more light than expected.

Other things I have considered trying, what do you think?

Japanese Painted Ferns



More Hostas


Wild Ginger


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tepelus(6a SW MI)

I've found heuchera actually appreciate sunlight and won't do well without it, but that also depends on where one lives as well. In the north they prefer more sun, in the south more shade. Also, and probably more important than sun, is root competition. When I moved heuchera from an area full of invasive roots to where there weren't any, the plants took off quickly. They appreciate moist, not soggy soil, and drying out a little between watering doesn't hurt them. That is my observation. And I think I actually like heucherella better than the straight heuchera. They seem to be stronger growers.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 1:13PM
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My shade bed on the north side of my house has all of these growing in it:

Hosta (8-10 different ones)
Japanese painted fern
White bleeding heart
Polemonium/Jacob's ladder
Virginia bluebells
Hellebore/lenten rose
Tricyrtis/toad lily
Cimicifuga/black snakeroot
Lady's mantle
Carex 'Ice Dance'
Brunnera 'Jack Frost'

The lungwort isn't thriving because it's growing in dry rather than moist soil. Everything else does well with minimal supplemental water.

This is a shot of the bed taken last May

Not quite the same angle but here it is in mid-October

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 1:43PM
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paulsiu wrote: Brunnera macrophylla - flowered in March

That seems so early in zone 5. Good for you.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 1:46PM
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In spite of our dog using it as a 'cushion', Herman's Pride (Yellow Archangel, Lamiastrum galeobdolon) returned this Spring and has doubled in size!

It's under huge Tulip Poplar's with Hellebores and Sweet Woodruff, and it's super shady and dry as a bone there (unless I remember to water them).

Love the bright yellow Spring flowers and the silvery veining on the leaves. Never thought it would survive and return this year.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:37AM
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I have found after trying heucheras unsucessfully in the past, that they love lots of compost and morning or filtered sun, and now they grow well for me. Pulmonarias like pretty much the same thing and they grow well side by side in the same bed in my zone 7a garden

Heucherellas like a bit more shade, it's the tiarella in them but still lots of good organic woodland soil.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 11:07AM
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