what are good plants for heavy shade?

cajun-qn81(8)August 14, 2014

I have a heavily-shaded backyard (maybe 2-4 hours of sunlight) with slightly sandy soil. Thus far, the only plants that have had success back there are hostas. The ferns and gardenia--there when I moved in--seem to be struggling, and grass won't grow at all. Any suggestions as to what else I could try?

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seems ( to me ) like the ground it hard and there are alot of roots present creating a hard layer of soil which is nutrient deficient in the toplayer. i think you need to improve your soil.

Remember variegated forms often need more light

From the top of my mind :

Fatsia japonica
Bergenia cordifolia ( purpea is also a good one )
lysimachia nummularia '' aurea''
Skimmia japonica
Pachysandra terminalis ( variegated form is also nice)

Most ferns can be grown in shade, asplenium scolopendrium is good looking and reliable. shield ferns ( polystichum setiferum ) are evergreen and shade tolerant.
Athyrium niponicum pictum
Cyrtomium fortunei clivicola
Dryopteris erythrosora
Matteuccia struthiopteris

Stephanandra incisa
Prunus laurocerasus
Waldsteinia ternata
Ajuga reptans ( burgundy cultivar is good looking )
hedera helix purpurea
Hedera helix buttercup

Many carex species can be grown in shade. carex morrowii , '' ice dance is a good looking cultivar.

epimidium species ( difficult in sandy soil but possible)
salomons seal ( prefers humus rich soil)
Tiarella species ( tiarella cordifolia )
asarum species (asarum europaeum)
Hops can grow in shade , silver lace vine as well
Liriope muscare
luzula sylvatica
Mahonia species.. especially Mahonia ÃÂ media
certain Eonymus and berberis species can grow in shade
Vinca minor , major etc
Certain bamboo species ( clumping species are less invasive )
gynostemma pentaphyllum ( need humus rich soil and full shade )

certain viburnum species ( especially evergreen ones ) can grow in shade.. viburnum tinus flowers in winter and is evergreen.

certain Cotoneaster species
Fallopia aubertii
Aristolochia macrophylla
Jasminum nudiflorum ( can grow in shade but needs half shade )
Lonicera nitida
Parthenocissus species
Phyla nodiflora
Celastrus orbiculatus ( invasive )
groundcover Geranium species
Helleborus species

some stuff is invasive like vinca , so check it out if its invasive or not

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 3:53PM
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    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Some good news, two and a half of those trees will be going away over the course of the next several months, and the rest will be getting thinned out a bit. Hopefully that will improve the light situation a bit. Then we can worry about improving the soil where it needs it...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:08PM
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I'm trying to make these cages out of hardware-cloth to keep the leaves from burying stuff. It's kind of a pain but I'm hoping moss and stuff will grow there if I don't have to rake that one spot.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 8:45PM
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saw a mention above for Bamboo...OMG stay away from that LOL. it takes over Everythign and comes up Everywhere..including from under driveways, sidewalks, and so on.

Glad you posted this as I was trolling for some good ideas also as I have some great open places..but they are pretty much 100% shaded except for about 30 minutes at 630 am in the middle of the summer. =P

    Bookmark   September 17, 2014 at 12:44PM
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Re: the bamboo. There are both clumping and running forms of bamboo. Clumping bamboo spreads no more than any other sort of ornamental grass and since it blooms so infrequently, of no issue with setting unwanted seed. And even running bamboo can be easily contained using the correct planting methods.

Horror stories or expressions of extreme aversion to planting bamboo usually originate from situations where the bamboo variety was not thoughtfully selected, not planted properly or just through lack of knowledge.

That space does not appear to be as heavily shaded as to prevent the growth of many shade loving plants. I'd suspect the lack of growth or establishment of other plants is due to excessive root competition from the large trees. These hog soil nutrients and any available soil moisture, starving smaller plants. Removal of the trees should open things up considerably.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2014 at 1:29PM
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great garden

Here is a link that might be useful: phim hay

    Bookmark   December 3, 2014 at 5:38PM
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I love bamboo but if you order it from out of the country there can be problems I've heard. It might end up in quarantine or something like that.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2014 at 5:51PM
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