New to SHADE need advice suggestions on plants.....

riverratspaz(09LA)March 24, 2008

Hi, gerard here in zone 8-9 Louisiana. I've come to my new place from all sun, the only shade i had was under some pecan trees and all i had was lirope and amaryllis. I am now in a yard with six pines, and two rather large and DENSE live oaks. I used to grow daylilies but had to leave them all.

Now i have my spring gardening bug biting me like crazy, but i have no idea what to do, or what to plant. I had some hydrangeas that were suffering at the other place because of lack of shade, but other than that dont really know what to do..... Im not familiar with shaded gardens and/or the plants.

Home Depot and Lowes have very little to choose from on the color side, i see alot of mosses, vines, and groundcovers, but i want flowers and COLOR.


I hope to have a picture of the area to post tomorrow.

Thanks in advance, "withering away in the shade" lol

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Shade plants don't always offer a lot of color, but you can certainly lighten up the area by using variegated plants.

The only reliable plant with color that I know of would be impatiens - an annual flower for me that comes in a lot of colors.

For shade, consider Ferns, Hostas, Epimediums, Polygonatum falcatum 'Variegatum' (solomon's seal). There are an increasing amount of variegated shrubs to choose from such as Illicium floridanum 'Shady Lady', Gardenia jasminoides 'Variegata', Aucuba japonica variegata 'Gold Dust' , Hydrangea macrophylla 'Variegata'.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 7:25AM
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you could try the new encore azaleas, native american azaleas will bloom in summer, pieres japonica, dogwoods, japaneese maples, fothergelia, camelias (sasanqua for fall/winter blooms, japaneese for winter/spring blooms) leatherleaf viburnum will grow in a closet, but all are just splashes of color. I find that combining leaf textures and colors the best way to deal with shade. You could go with contrast like a fine leafed japaneese maple underplanted with large leaved hostas. Florida leuocothe (sp) has a somewhat weeping form that gives a waterfall effect when underplanted with sedges or northern sea oats. Just some ideas, good luck.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 10:34PM
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Columbines, bleeding heart, astilbe, foam flowers,violets, all offer some color. Even Hosta flower.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 7:08AM
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For spring color, try forget me nots, which come in blue and pink. They spread quickly, then have a nice thick leaf (depending on the variety) throughout the season. Japanese ferns have great leaf colors. Hellebores also are nice, spring flowering, but nice leafs all summer. Forget the home improvement stores, go to a real nursery for a good selection!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 2:46PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I'm a different zone than you are, but I have a lot of shade too. Some plants I have in shade are:

dwarf azalea
hakone grass (nice bright color!)
bleeding hearts
lily of the valley
hostas, hostas, hostas, lol! (lots of beauties out there!)
solomon's seal
sweet woodruff

Some of the above are in beds that do get some morning sun. Do you get any sun at all? And can you plant spring bulbs that can bloom before the oak trees leaf out?

Shade gardens can be incredibly lush and beautiful, places of peace that refresh. Okay, I know, corny, lol, but I do believe that. You just have to learn what can grow in the shade, accept that these will grow while sun-lovers just won't, and learn to appreciate the beauty of those plants.


P.S. Agree with the above - go to a real nursery! :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 8:19PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Forgot toad lilies, primroses, and lobelia also...


    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 8:29PM
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