Ornamentals/Edibles for shady garden...

atarinoxAugust 7, 2006


I'm moving into a rental house this week, and the whole backyard is pretty much covered with a canopy of trees. I'm trying to come up with some plants which will do well in such shady conditions...ornamentals or edibles, anything really. Is there anything i'd be able to start from seed in the garden?

thanks, Mike

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celinasews(z6 PA)

Hi Mike,

I'm fairly new to Pennsylvania gardening, but my (new)backyard is also covered by a canopy of trees and I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what I can plant there. I can tell you that when I moved in there were a couple of plants already established that are doing well. 1) Black Eyed susans- I thought those preferred more sun, but mine are surprisingly doing very well. 2)Hosta- mine are variegated and they bloom each year. They're not my favorite plant in the world, but they are hardy and I'm happier with them than without. 3)Ajuga- it's a ground cover, but blooms purple spikes in the spring and is also very hardy. I tried some cosmos from seed (wishful thinking- I know they like lots of sun but it's sort of hard to tell exactly how much sun that area gets) I figured that if the Black eyed susans could grow there, other sun loving perennials could too...I did have good luck with daffodil, tulip,crocus, anemone poppy and allium bulbs- I guess because the leaves on the trees were all gone. Hope that is of some help!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 8:30AM
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clawskeeter(z5 PA)

I have started heuchera, foxglove and columbine from seed for the shady areas in my garden, and traded for some bleeding hearts that seemed to enjoy the shade. I also have had good success with hostas and impatiens. Hope this helps!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 11:01PM
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grovespirit(Zone 9)

You can usually grow lettuce and mints and edible alliums (onions, chives, leeks) in shade. Hazelnuts like shade.
Also try currants, chamomile and bachelor buttons (cornflower) whose flowers are edible as well as pretty.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 5:00AM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

True geraniums (the perennials) can tolerate some shade, and they've got very pretty delicate little flowers.

Do you have deer where you live? That'll impact what you can grow. Look for tracks in the snow this winter.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 4:00PM
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