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Shade tolerant plants for Tucson?

Posted by JackInTucson AZ Zone 8 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 19, 13 at 23:50

I live in the Armory Park downtown neighborhood of Tucson and have a north facing patio area with two ~8x8x10 triangular planting areas that get very little sun (at this time of year they get no direct sun). The two sides of each planting area are the walls of the house and a porch, the third border is a concrete/brick patio. I am able to amend the soil easily and irrigation is in place but currently capped. Whatever I plant I'd like to survive the winter (zone 8). I dont mind wrapping for the winter if necessary.

I had originally wanted to plant a small patio tree perhaps with some potted tropicals/annuals underneath but I think the sunless issue might prevent this. I am thinking of possibly banana plants?? Shade tolerant species of bamboo? Ferns maybe? What other ideas might you have? These areas will be closely viewed when sitting in the patio with glass of wine in hand.

thank you

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Shade tolerant plants for Tucson?

You might want to look into Bird of Paradise which can grow quite large, albiet "slowly". If it reaches for sunshine it might disappoint you as a centerpiece. These are related to banana plants. You can plant some gardenia. but 8x8x10 is a large area to be shaded, so it will probably get some summer sun. Unless this area is COVERED you should think about summer sun. Norther exposure doesn't equate to shade in my home. If it is UNCOVERED and will get some hardcore sun during the summer, any shade plants are out. Ferns will get toasted. Which is why I suggested Bird of Paradise.

A centerpiece would like great in that type of area, with some shade lovers underneath. Personally, if MY area fit the bill, I'd LOVE to plant a couple Japanese Maple.

Ideally, we would have a spot like yours which gets direct sun during the winter and very little during the summer. That would be so nice. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese Maple in Hot Climate

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