Shady area perennial flowers

arabianqueen69(Zone 5)April 28, 2008

I have many trees surrounding my house and i've been searching and searching online to find perennial flowers that grow well in shade and bloom all season long. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :o)

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I'm in the same boat you are. We just moved to this shady lot 2 years ago, and I'm still trying to find long-season bloomers. My bleeding heart and astilbe are lovely, but they don't last long enough!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 1:15PM
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fernsk(z2 Canada)

I'm expanding a shade garden that has Ferns, Hostas, Ladies Mantle and Campanula in it. The campanula blooms a long time. How would ligularia perform?


    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 1:09PM
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Be sure to include Hellebore in your shady garden. They bloom very early in the season and the flowers last for many weeks.

The way to have season-long color is to have plants that bloom at different times. Very few perennials have blooms that last for a very long time. That's why we use annuals -- to add season long color. Maybe impatiens and begonia would work for you.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 1:49PM
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Try astilbe, jacobs ladder, bleeding hearts,toad lily,foam flower, fox flove, I forget all that I have. I am watching it all come up and remembering.I have SOMETHING blooming from April until frost.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 1:52PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

In shade, you probably won't find anything that will bloom spring-summer-fall. And, actually, that usually isn't possible in sunny areas, either. Look for things that flower as long as possible, and put in things that will have overlapping flowering, some early, some later. Fall is the most difficult......

I agree with the previous suggestions. Also look seriously at wood poppies. They bloom from very early spring to early/mid summer, and have great foliage after that.

Also look at Corydalis. They can bloom late May to almost Aug, but have nice foliage early May, and nice foliage continues to fall. The blues and others fancies are nice, but the yellows are the toughest and longest lasting.

If you have any room for tall patches, consider Jewelweed. Late spring to late summer blooms, in yellows and oranges. Not perennial, but they self-seed easily, and are simple to pluck out if they are in the wrong place.

If you don't need flashy flowers, think about black cohosh, goldenseal, gingers, etc.

There are perennials that will tolerate shade and bloom in Aug and after, but they generally look out of place in a 'woodlandish' garden. You might want to be happy with interesting foliage in the fall....

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 11:18PM
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arabianqueen69(Zone 5)

Thank you all for your suggestions, they are greatly appreciated. I have put begonias under the tree in my front yard so hope they do well, and i also plan on putting in some impatiens in one of my beds too. While i love all the annuals, it's alot of work each year to plant them and which is why i was trying to find perennials, and now with all of your suggestions i have something to go on now. thanks again!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 3:21PM
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jasenka(US 6b / Europe 7/8)

For autumn you can use tricyrtis (I have 4 of different kind) and they just started flowering (well the earliest one) and the latest one flowers in late october - early november...


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 9:17AM
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@Jasenka, wow - the tricyrtis are beautiful. I'll need to look for those in my local nursery.

@arabianqueen69, if you don't like the work that annuals require (I don't either), try azaleas and/or rhododendrens. They're shade loving perennials and have many choices of colors. Hydrangeas are good, too.

@Linda, great suggestion re: Corydalis. I'll need to get me some of those!

I just took out several large juniper bushes to clear a decent planting area under two medium size plum trees. You can see the picture at (and Photosynth at noticed that I've already transplanted over to this space a few hostas and hydrangeas, a couple of azaleas and ferns and hellebores, and a tall rhody. Not bad for a weekend's work. :-) But I still have lots of space to cover.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 2:36AM
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Impatiens bloom from early summer to frost for me in bright shade. It requires no work from me and it even self seeds where mulch isn't thick. I have been able to grow purple coneflowers in partial shade in my garden. They definitely don't bloom as heavily as in the sun, but they still grow quite nicely and bloom for at least one and half month in the summer for me. Similarly, you can try tawny day lily or other more shade tolerant day lilies. Tree peony also grows well in partial shade. I have also had good luck perennial geranium crane's bill in pretty much all shade once deciduous trees have their leaves.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 4:59PM
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Tuberous begonias(may need lifting for winter...treat like Dahlias), various (hardy fuschias), hostas (of course),heucheras,ferns,painted,osmunda,sword fern,lady fern, maidenhair fern(excellent for deep shade),shade-tolerant bulbs like "Spendor in the Snow", bluebells, ajuga for rockeries...that'll do for starters!

Here is a link that might be useful: Squamish Gardeners Club

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 12:12PM
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Wood violet, oaxilis or something like that its a shamrock with pink flowers. theres another i will try to find name of but i have them as short bed flowering plants and they bloom from early spring until frost.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 2:10PM
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Hi all! I'm new to this section of the forums, but I've been on Garden Web for a little while now. Nice to "meet" you all. :)

One of my shade favorites is pulmonaria (lungwort.) It blooms beautifully and prolifically (although not all season--that's actually a pretty tough bill to fill unless you're dealing with annuals) and the foliage looks great after the blooms have finished. I have pulmonaria 'Mrs. Moon' in my garden in nearly full shade under maples and it's quite the stunner. I get comments on it every year.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 1:49PM
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flowerchild59(z6b IL)

Look for hardy begonia. Mine blooms all summer on from june til frost and has pinkish small flowers on 2-3 foot clumps. It is my favorite shade flower by far.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:53PM
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