5 Easy-to-Care-For, Shade-Loving Plants

June 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

When you’re planting a shady area (say, on the north-facing side of a house or structure), it is important to select plants that will happily reside in a location that gets little or no direct sunlight.  Sun-loving plants tend to steal the limelight, but shaded-areas can provide  more subtle interest. Here is a list of perennial plants that grow well in shady conditions:

  1. Hostas. Provide nice, lush foliage from the spring through the fall.  Very hardy plants that are easy to divide and transplant, meaning you only have to invest a little money and some patience to increase their number.  Some hostas are admittedly expensive, but you can grow it happily in a pot and set to work dividing from your original plant.
  2. Astilbe (False Spirea)- Vibrant, showy flowers add interest to the green dominated color palette of shade gardens.
  3. Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra spectabilis)-  Elegant-looking, flowers and stems.  It is worth noting that this plant is poisonous.
  4. Ferns- Sword ferns (Polystichum) in particular because they are hardy and evergreen, which will provide  interest and color come wintertime.
  5. Japanese Maples (Acer  palmatum).  Slow-growing trees that are happy in partial shade and grow successfully in the Pacific Northwest climate,. Since these trees tend to top out at 20 feet in height, their compact nature makes them ideal to plant in smaller spaces. *

There are certainly plenty of other options for shade gardens, but these plants thrive in shady locations without requiring too much fussing over.

* Given Japanese Maples do enjoy a little sun, consider your location carefully and get advice from an expert.  I had an informative conversation with a knowledgable staff member at my local nursery, Molbaks, before entering into a committed relationship.

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