Plants for full sun in summer & full shade in spring/fall/winter

soleilgirlSeptember 9, 2012

I have a 4' x 8' area in the north side of house that is full shade most of the year, but receives blazing sun all day long during the summer (from mid-May to mid-August). Does anyone have suggestions for low-growing (up to 2 feet) and low maintenance perennials, shrubs or ground covers for Zone 5? Vinca minor seems to be doing well in the nearby area, but I would like something different. The area becomes very dry in summer but wet otherwise. So far I have tried hosta 'gold standard' (my research suggested it is sun-tolerant), tulip, knockout rose, salvia 'may night', and ajuga 'burgundy glow', but none of them were happy there.

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I live in Northern IL - Kane County.

we have over an AC and the lot is split between full sun and full shade. Due to water issues in the area, we have to choose plants that are drought torrent to survive in our yard!

Balloon Flowers have done very well in both shade and full sun. At fist, I wasn't that happy with them as the flowers don't last for a long time, nor do the spread quickly. The GOOD NEWS is this yr. they did very, very well with our sever drought conditions............. I have several that seeded down and were in a location I didn't want them so I really didn't water them and they survived!!!

Black -eyed Susan same as above! However, they will wilt down if they don't receive some form of water occasionally. The good news is once you see them start to wilt, give them a little water and they will come roaring back! They will also seed down for you!

Another favorate is Purple Cone Flowers, and they come in White, Yellow, RED, and Pink. They have a very nice decorative flower head. And if you deadhead them, they will continue to flower all summer with Little to no maintenance. Just added the Red one's this yr and I love them!!!!!

A few other to consider are; Jacob's Ladder, Lavender,Speedwell, Yarrow (long lasting but get tall and gangly, but the bee's and butterfly love it)

Best of wishes with your garden! - AL

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Turn it into a rock garden display to improve drainage for a varied sedum planting.

I've liked:
taller ones like Autumn Joy, Autumn Charm, Purple Emperoro
groundcover types Fuldaglut & Tricolor

Get starts from other gardeners. Sedums root easily.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 10:42AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Can sedums and other succulents do well in total shade? I don't have this problem now, but in an old home, as the sun traveled back south and shade returned to the area north of the garage, nothing would grow well. We planted a raspberry patch there that did well and produced great berries. I wonder if strawberries would also do well, since their heaviest growth and fruit-production occur when the area would be sunny. Probably worth trying a few plants, especially if you can get some donations from someone with an established patch. You could also start annuals from seed indoors or try wintersowing by placing your containers in an area that gets more sun in the spring, and then planting out in your northern exposed spot once the sun shows up. Good luck.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 3:30PM
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