deep shade

michele_1November 3, 2006

MS zone 7. One side of my house is in deep shade. If possible, I would like to plant some hollies there. I know they do best in full sun. Is there any holly that will grow well in deep shade?

I am at a loss as to what to plant on this side of the house. I have lots of azaleas already, and that's the only plant I can think of that would grow well there.

I would appreciate your suggestions! Not many everygreens like that much shade.

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You have azaleas that do well in deep shade? Do you have any that get some height to them? I would be quite interested as I'm looking for things to plant in pots around a fountain that I have. They'd be lucky to get 2 hours of morning sun there.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 12:49PM
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I have no trouble growing azaleas in semi-shade or deep shade here in MS. My problem is finding other plants that will do well in deep shade.

Also, shade / part-shade / full sun are real tricky designations where I live. If you put hydrangeas is part-shade here, they could very well burn to a crisp. I had to move mine back further in the shade.

All too often, part-shade should be labeled shade here and full sun, part-shade.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 11:56AM
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This is a question I get asked often and the list of suitable plants - especially for a fairly mild climate, like zone 7 - is really quite extensive. A factor to keep in mind is whether this area is considered dry shade - a heavily shaded area that doesn't receive direct rainfall (under eaves or overhangs or within the dripline of large conifers) does complicate the issue and your selection declines unless you can provide consistent irrigation.

Broadleaf evergreen shrubs:
Fatsia japonica - Japanese aralia
Aucuba japonica - Japanese aucuba or laurel
Leucothoe species
Euonymus species
Elaegnus species
Nandina domestica - Heavenly bamboo
Sarcococca species - Sweet Box
Ilex crenata - Japanese holly
Daphne laureola - Spurge laurel
Mahonia aquifolium, repens - Oregon grape holly
Skimmia japonica - Japanese skimmia
Gaultheria shalon - Salal
Gaultheria procumbens - Wintergreen
NOTE: various other broadleaf evergreen flowering plants will often grow well in deep shade but flowering is sporadic or very light. Most flowering plants need some light sun or other brighter (reflected) light to produce flowers - that would include rhododendrons and azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, etc.

And there are lots of perennials that are suited to deep shade - ferns, hostas, dicentra (bleeding heart), Iris foetidissima (Gladwyn iris), trilliums, Solomon's seal, tricyrtis (toadlilies), vinca, lamium, sweet woodruff, hardy ginger (among the groundcovers), Euphorbia robbiae, Geranium macrorrhizum, most native and exotic woodland plants, etc.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 9:03AM
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Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. Your list is a big help. Gardening books don't talk a lot about shrubs in deep shade, usually it's part-shade.

I'll print out your list and keep it with my garden journal.

Thanks again for taking the time to give such a helpful thorough answer! Much appreciated.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 9:24AM
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