Flowers in the shade???

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by Creeping Jenny, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Creeping Jenny

    Creeping Jenny Active Member

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    Location:
    Mission, BC, Canada
    Hi all! I have a huge tree in my backyard that is pretty shady underneath. Some light gets under it, but not a lot. I would love to plant a bunch of flowers under it. Would anything grow under there?? There is some Ivy, I would love to add some color though.
     
  2. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Hostas! They come in a huge variety of sizes and colors (I like the variegated) and do have nice blossoms.
     
  3. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    Hostas are always beautiful -- but even they might struggle beneath, for example, a Norway maple. Everything depends on the kind of tree and the depth of shade. And also with shade sometimes you get very poor, dry soil -- anything planted there will have to compete with the roots of the tree itself for water and nutrients.

    On the other hand, there are many trees -- oaks, for example -- with deep roots and lighter shade, under which you can grow many things like astilbe, anemone, heuchera, cimicifuga, perennial geraniums, and a whole variety of spring flowers and bulbs that will bloom before the tree has fully leafed-out.

    So that's where we have to start: What kind of tree is it? Got a picture of the spot?
     
  4. Dunc

    Dunc Active Member

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    Location:
    Port Alberni B.C. Canada
    Impatients and wax begonias will do well under trees in your area, even under conifers. Morning glory will also work but, its so invasive you will hate it for years to come.
     
  5. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Location:
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    Primulas would be another option. They would also survive the winter on the west coast if it wasn't too cold.
     
  6. Yubalover

    Yubalover Member

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    Location:
    Sierra Nevada Foothills
    What about this shade loving ground cover?

    Baby's Tears, Angel's Tears, Mind-your-own-business
    Soleirolia soleirolii
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  7. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    I have seen Forget Me Nots in partial shade garden areas. The blue colour stands out in the shade.
     
  8. evolo

    evolo Member

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    Location:
    Kelowna
    here is a list for medium to dense shade:
    vinca (lesser periwinkle)
    convallaria majalis (Lily-of-the-valley)
    primula (primroses)
    Rodgersia (Rodger's flower)
    Arenaria (Sandworts)
    pachysandras
    Galium odoratum (Sweet woodruff)
    Trilliums
    Mertensia pulmonarioides (Virginia bluebells)
    Hostas
    Lilyturfs
    Gentiana (gentians)
    Helleborus
    Persicaria affinis (Himalayan fleeceflower)

    And of course there are a multitude of groundcovers and shrubs as well, but you asked for flowers. If you would like some more just ask.
     
  9. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Violets.
     
  10. evolo

    evolo Member

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    violets are for light to medium shade.
     
  11. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    Location:
    philly, pa, usa 6b
    heuchera, hardy geranium (for the more bright spots), lily of the valley (can be invasive, though), daylily/ditch lily (the ones with the orange flower), ferns - the japanese painted are very colorful.
     
  12. Teddybear

    Teddybear Member

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    Location:
    Waterloo, Ontario
    What about something unique - Toad Lilies (Tricyrtis sp. ) they have orchid like flowers ( not overly large, but interesting). I believe they are from Asia. They are available at most nurseries now.
     
  13. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Evolo, Jenny stated that she was intending to plant under a huge tree---"some light gets under it, but not a lot". I have a bed full of blooming violets which are thriving under these very conditions.
     
  14. Dirt Diva

    Dirt Diva Member

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    Location:
    Langley, B.C, Canada
    toad lillies may not be entirey suitable if soil is dry as they require moist soil. I have mature fir trees on the east side of my place (shade for most of the day) sucking every ounce of moisture from soil. After adding soil amender (compost) if required, try bergenia, solomon's seal, spring bulbs, lily of the valley, hostas, spiderwort, centauria, heuchera, colombine, foxglove, periwinkle. Have fun, you have lots of options.
     
  15. Teddybear

    Teddybear Member

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    Location:
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    I agree all the advise given for toad lilies suggest moist conditions, although I have grown them in a nutrient poor, dry soil, for about 5-6 years and they flower each year for me and the bunch is larger each year.
     
  16. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    Location:
    Kansas City, Mo.
    Woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) is beautiful in my shade garden right now. It will die down later. Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) is a powerhouse of white flowers on a tiny plant in the spring. Columbine takes light shade in stride.

    However, I am not sure these of most of the other suggestions would fare well pitted against ivy (Hedera) in a battle for resources under a tree.

    Fern-leaf peonies. I have a red one that is awesome this year. Two fist-sized red flowers with centers of gold anthers.

    What did you put in there? Any success to talk about?
     

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