Shade plants

bea(9a FL)August 11, 2014

We recent,y moved into a heavily wooded property. The whole property is live osks. My only sun is in a spot that gets about 3 hrs of sun around 9am - noon. I would like to create a perrenial garden there. I wouldn't mind all nstives. But i would like some flowering plants. My cosmos are doing well there but zinnias are struggling. Suggestions on plants?

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I have a 2 acre lot that is 3/4 trees and 1/4 cleared. Spring of 2013 I decided I wanted a shade garden. So, I cleared a path through a clump of trees, cut off several lower banches! Dug out several small trees and roots. The garden gets sun pretty much as you described.
I had good luck with Wendy's Wish salvia, caladiums, polka dot plant, agastache, bee balm, autumn ferns, ajuga.....all of which returned this year.
Here's a link to pics from last spring right after I planted it.
I'll get some updated pics posted in the next few days.

Ps...the hummers love this spot :)


Here is a link that might be useful: My shade garden

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:28PM
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You might also want to post on the "gardening in shade" forum.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:07PM
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Lovely shade garden, rvid. Looks like a nice cool place to take a rest.

Some plants have colorful leaves and don't need flowers, like variegated cast iron, crotons, and copper plants.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 6:35AM
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bea(9a FL)

Rvird thanks for the great suggestions. Your garden looks great! Just what I need. What are the orange, blue, red and pink flowers? Can't tell from the photos. And did you get them locally? I live in Middleburg and my local garden center only carries sun plants. Big box stores don't have much either. I have a couple of caladiums, a fern and a couple of hostas that are doing well. They were all planted by the previous owner last year. I know hosts don't do well here but these two were growing here when we moved in in April.

By the way, the previous owners also planted a lot of cannas - probably 30 or more. As you can imagine, they are struggling - no sun. If any gardener lives in my area you are welcome to them. I hate for them not to get their full potential.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:33AM
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Bea, cannas don't have to have full sun here, if they get even just a little. This time of the year they usually look pretty ratty. I just cut them off at ground level and they'll come back for the fall looking much better.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:05AM
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bea(9a FL)

Katkin the cannas were planted in complete shade and are short, not growing much and no flowers. I feel sorry for them.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:27PM
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Cannas won't be happy in complete shade, that's true, but there are dwarf cannas that only get 2 to 3 feet tall. :o)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:14AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Justicias and firespike bloom and prefer the shade, and many salvias will tolerate shade and still bloom well. I guess the real question is how many freezes and frost per year you get....


    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:57AM
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I have good luck with camellias(at least 80 plants) on my yard full of sand live and laurel oaks. I do periodically raise the canopy.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:07PM
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bea(9a FL)

Thanks for the suggestions. Very helpful.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 5:37AM
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apapjim, approx. where located? I have a 'Pink Perfection' Camellia (East Hillsborough County) that was replaced due to the former one declining beyond tolerable. The new one acts the same. Sits there with leaf buds that refuse to break. It might go through the whole summer without sprouting ... just existing instead. (There are about 3 sprigs that came directly from the rootball, but the main plant is seems darn near dormant.) When I planted (this Spring) I removed a lot of the sandy soil from the hole and back-filled it with a mixture including high percentage of pine fines. Of course, some Camellia fertilizer , too ... a couple of times. Also tried apps of aluminum sulphate, magnesium, manganese .... but never see a difference. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 9:50AM
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Also, azalea and begonia. I have a mature bleeding heart that is in full shade, blooms frequently.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 11:48PM
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I'm in Apopka Yardvaark, although it's hard to imagine anybody's soil being sandier than mine. I do have a lot of oak trees so perhaps the many years dead foliage has created a more acidic topsoil. I don't think they care for full sun.

Papa Jim

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Sorry it took so long to get back. Thanks for the kind words on my shade garden.

The pink flowers are summer love agastache, a bearded tongue (not sure which one) and Wendy's Wish salvia. The orange is crossandra which did come back but not as lush as last year. The blue flowers are summer night delphinium and I think mystic spires salvia.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:08PM
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Garden Gate Nursery in Gainesville has a nice selection of plants that big box stores don't carry. Lowes on 13th in G'ville carries Wendy's Wish, crossandra in spring and summer.
I had to order the bee balm online fron Hirts in Ohio last year. Their customer reviews are bad and good but I had no problems with them at all.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:22PM
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Last post for the night, I promise :). Kanapaha Gardens has a nice fall plant sale and you get in free.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kanapha garden events

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:31PM
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Hostas, caladiums, foxgloves (these say sun but do well in shade), ferns, coleus (sold as annuals, but mine always come back), four o'clocks, canna lily

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 12:55PM
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