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Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

Posted by fireweed22 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 17:47

Can you recommend any great shade perennials that bloom as hard and free, as something like some of the Rudbeckias that bloom ALL summer?
I can't think of any, hoping there's something.
Thanks!


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 17:52

There are going to be few perennials due to needing a slower metabolism in shade...less "calories" of sunlight...so shorter available energy pool to bloom. I'll suggest later season bloomers, there's a lot of spring stuff.
Rudbeckia triloba (blooming now...bloomed about July 1st...blooming till frost)..biennial. Reseeds easily.
Lobelia sylphitica (mid july till frost)
Mimulus species (if you have the environment for it), I have alata myself. July till September for mine.
Malvaviscus drummondii (if hardy in your area, you didn't say where you were...so I'm figuring on MY zone 6b) (July till frost)

That's what's blooming in my beds now...and all I can think of at the moment.
Clematis if you can get the top of the vine into the sun and leave roots in shade...will love it.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

I have the following perennials that have a significant bloom period planted in shade:

Cimicifuga racemosa/black snakeroot
Tricyrtis hirta/toad lily
Dicentra exima/fernleaf bleeding heart
Chelone/turtlehead
Aquilegia/columbine
Cranesbill/perennial geranium 'Biokovo'
Hellebore/Lenten rose
Phlox divaricata/woodland phlox
Pulmonaria/lungwort

Be aware that, like all perennials, shade-loving plants have a finite bloom period each season unlike annuals.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

The hands down winner is Corydalis "Lutea". It is in continuous bloom in even deep shade from spring till frost.

(The knock against this plant is that it seeds all over but it is so easy to pull it out that this isn't a concern to me.)


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

I second the corydalis lutea! Mine hasn't stopped blooming yet this year. I let it reseed and rarely have to pull it as it hasn't yet popped up anywhere that I really don't want it, although it is under the dwarf alberta spruce, and the back steps...both in mostly shade..


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

For me the winner is Dicentra eximia 'Luxuriant,' which also blooms May-Sept. Lots of catalogs and plant tag says a plant blooms that long, but this one really does.

I'd also add some coral bells to the mix. Some have very nice flowers and they bloom forever, but maybe they don't want deep shade.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 21:24

You'd be better off with annuals if you want blooming in the shade all summer long.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

Phlox 'Wanda' never stops blooming here in sun or shade.
Heuchera - many of mine bloom over and over. Don't need the blooms either.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

We're still shooting blanks, possibly, as we don't know where OP is or how dense this shade is.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

I'd also add some coral bells to the mix. Some have very nice flowers and they bloom forever.

Good reminder. My Heuchera "Lipstick" and "Havana" have been in flower for months and these flowers are nice.

This post was edited by rouge21 on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 7:57


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

Definitely a good option mxk3. I have many yellow tuberous begonias that bloom all season in even deep shade.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

Tradescantia sweet Kate has been a long bloomer for me this year-- I think the cooler temps have helped.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

I'll third Corydalis lutea.

Apart from it's very free seeding, with it's fleshy root, it's very easy to pull out.

Getting rid of a Corydalis like C. solida (which grows from a corm) is much more difficult.

Corydalis lutea must be the leading candidate for longest blooming perennial where we live.


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RE: Shade perennials with longest bloom period- freeflowering?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 20:54

I haven't seen anyone mention of Astrantia, was one of the longest blooming carefree shade plants - if not allowed to get too dry - in my former garden. I did need to bait for slugs around it.

And it did self sow, but it bloomed early from the sowing and picking out those with the best coloring was easy, discarding the rest of the seedlings.


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