Shady perennials for rock garden?

cassieinmass(6)May 9, 2009

I have a pile of rocks that I have a bunch of soil packed into in plans of a rock garden. The only problem is this pile of rocks is under a maple tree which casts a lot of shade in the summer. I think I want to go with herbs, but I am unsure as to what can tolerate the shade? Any ideas? Thanks for your help!!!! -Cassie

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Suggest you do a search for the key words- 'shade loving herbs'.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 2:50PM
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eibren(z6PA)

I tried making my first rock garden, literally, on a pile of rocks with soil packed between them, then found out that frequently people just place rocks strategically around the plants.

It's difficult to get enough water to the plants if the rock drainage is too great.

My first rock garden was a colossal failure.

:o(

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 12:24AM
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cassieinmass(6)

Mine is a pile of rocks that were all bunched up on a bile of old sod. Im wondering if id have enough soil now myself. Glad you brought that up!!! -cass

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:46AM
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eibren(z6PA)

I think mint will grow ok in par shade, but not in total shade. It would take over the whole rock garden, though.

Thyme would be perfect in a rock garden, but it needs sun.

Lemon balm will do well in part shadfe, but it gets about two feet tall and can be invasive.

I will give this some more thought...I had Google check for "shade loving herbs" and was not too impressed with the results...one did suggest wild Canadian gigner, though.

You can grow quite a few things in dappled sunlight, but if you have full shade, less is possible.

Tansy will grow in part shade. The curly variety might work out at the back of a rockery, but the plain tansy can grow as tall as six feet. The conditions you provide will affect the size of your plants as well, though.

I think most rock garden plants like sun, to be honest, but maybe some others will have better ideas.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 5:39PM
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eibren(z6PA)

I think mint will grow ok in partial shade, but not in total shade. It would take over the whole rock garden, though.

Thyme would be perfect in a rock garden, but it needs sun.

Lemon balm will do well in part shade, but it gets about two feet tall and can be invasive.

I will give this some more thought...I had Google check for "shade loving herbs" and was not too impressed with the results...one did suggest wild Canadian ginger, though.

You can grow quite a few things in dappled sunlight, but if you have full shade, less is possible.

Tansy will grow in part shade. The curly variety might work out at the back of a rockery, but the plain tansy can grow as tall as six feet. The conditions you provide will affect the size of your plants as well, though.

I think most rock garden plants like sun, to be honest, but maybe some others will have better ideas. The Woodland Plants people might be able to help as well.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 5:42PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)
    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 7:44PM
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shapiro(5a Ontario)

Wild ginger grows great in my Canadian garden! It is a really beautiful ground cover. The flowers are hidden right at ground level - they are small brown bells. I believe that ants are the pollinators. ONE question: has anyone every used this plant as a substitute for "real" ginger?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 10:41AM
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eibren(z6PA)

I've never grown it--I think I tried once, but it promptly died on me. I suspected lack of adequate moisture. Is it safe to use it as a culinary?

Cassie, another plant I thought of for part shade is Oregano. It is a fairly determined plant and will work with you. It's not invasive, but will produce enough extra shoots for use in spaghetti, etc; I have found it and thyme to be my most-appreciated herbs in the garden.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 6:11AM
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granite(z6 NC)

sweet woodruff is great in shade

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:08AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Edibility of wild ginger (Asarum canadense)...according to Peterson's Edible Wild Plants, yes, as candy and seasoning. It says dried it can be substituted for commercial ginger.

I never suggest people harvest wild native plants, especially roots though. Too many native plants have vanished in too many areas. I'd just stick to commercial ginger for food use. It's cheap enough and you are not killing a native wildflower. If you grow it for your own use, that's another story.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 1:48PM
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