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Unusual Shade Plants

*Note: Ignore the line saying "Uploaded by Osprey Antiques." The links are still there! Click on the pic and then on Website.* Intro: My back garden has gotten increasingly shady: it now gets 2 hours sun per day, 2-3 hours high shade, and deep shade the rest. So I've been experimenting with plants that bloom well in these conditions. Many sun-loving plants will grow fine in shade, though they may bloom less profusely. I'm in MD, zone 7a. --- Lucy

Unusual Shade Plants

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Primula veris 'Sunset Shades' ---- Yellow to terracotta to scarlet tones. One of the more perennial and unfussy.primroses. Native to moist but well-drained soil in dappled woodlands. Charming in spring with yellow columbine & blue forget-me-nots. z. 4-8

Primula veris 'Sunset Shades' - Buy Online at Annie's Annuals & Perennials

Growing Herbs & Veggies in part Shade

Veggies for the Shade | February 2015 eNewsletter

Helleborus Berry Swirl --- A double orchid pink hellebore. Likes good drainage in fertile, humus rich soil. z. 5-8

Helleborus PDN Violet --- Great new hellebore selection in violet, mauve, lavender tones.

Darmera peltata in fall

Darmera peltata --- Umbrella plant is a bold accent, growing 3-5ft. tall by wide. Leaves are 8-18" wide. Native to the NW, it prefers moist to wet conditions & will tolerate heavy soil. Pink blooms in April; leaves turn gold to red in fall. Striking with ferns & hostas. Part to full shade, z. 5-8.

Siberian iris, hosta, Western shield fern, brunnera, and darmera peltata ---- a great composition of greens

Aucuba japonica Picturata --- Tough and easy -care. Aububas dislike heavy or damp soil.

Aucuba japonica Picturata --- a great selection of the evergreen shrub, with a large golden blotch in each leaf. Aucubas like fertile well-drained soil and are very drought -tolerant. Slow-growing to 5' tall by 4' wide. To 3/4 shade, in z. 7-9.

Picturata Aucuba - Monrovia - Picturata Aucuba

Lychnis coronata Orange Sherbet ---- A darling plant grown in UK but not much here. Small flowers begin in May and continue much of the summer. Likes a humusy, well -drained soil in light to 3/4 shade; good in a woodland garden. Forms a 1' by 1' mound. z. 5-9

Trachelospermum asiaticum Ogon Nishiki' --- Japanese Star Jasmine, stunning in a large pot. Another variety is 'Summer Sunset,' with best color in dappled to part shade.

Trachelospermum asiaticum ‘Summer Sunset’ — Pépinières Rouxel

Trachelospermum asiaticum 'Ogon-nishiki' --- Golden Star Jasmine is a lovely vine with shades of gold, green, and rust. Will grow up a fence or trellis, but also makes a nice groundcover if allowed to sprawl. Fragrant white spring flowers. Grows 6-12" by 10'. Best in a warm slightly sheltered spot. z. 7-10

Astilbe Ostrich Plume --- One of my favorite astilbes, now in bloom. Tall, gracefully arching plumes (36"). Color is hard to photograph: coral rose with hints of lavender. Likes a rich, moist, acid soil in part to full shade. Dramatic in groups; plumes handsome in winter. z. 3-8

Astilbe thunbergii 'Ostrich Plume' - De Groot, Inc.

Stylophorum diphyllum (Celandine poppy) z. 4-8

Celandine poppy or golden wood poppy is one of the easiest wildflowers to grow. Native to eastern moist woodlands & hillsides, it has large yellow blooms in April & May. 12-16" tall by 12" wide in humusy soil in part to full shade. May seed about a bit unless deadheaded. Lovely with Virginia bluebells. z. 4-8

a plant i'd order: stylophorum diphyllum - A Way To Garden

Campanula portenschlagiana --- One of the most shade tolerant campanulas. Will bloom much of the summer in cooler zones; here in z. 7, it quits about July 1. Likes well -drained average soil. Unfussy & low -care. Great for miscellaneous areas along the sidewalk or around the tool shed; will spread. 6-8" high by 10-14" wide. z. 4-9

Packera aurea in back, with Primula x polyantha 'Old Brick Reds' in front. Golden groundsel is a strong bloomer in shade. It self-seeds to spread moderately. Also sometimes listed as Senecio aureus. z. 3-9

Packera aurea --- Golden groundsel has profuse yellow daisies in late April to mid June. Vigorous & tough, it forms showy drifts. Likes moist, shady spots, but very tolerant. Good under trees. Native food source for bees. About 8-12" foliage, 18-24" in bloom, by 12" wide. z. 3-9

Packera aurea Golden Groundsel from American Beauties
  • Humberto Dutra
    Humberto Dutra


Astilbe chinensis Amber Moon --- Spring leaves have a narrow red outline & sometimes a rosy tinge. Blooms in early July here in MD. z. 4-9

Astilbe Amber Moon --- Golden chartreuse leaves with rose-pink flowers in midsummer. Foliage is about 30" tall by 18" wide, with 12" blooms. Heat & drought tolerant (for an astilbe). z. 4-9

Clematis paniculata Sweet Summer Love --- Gorgeous new variety of sweet autumn clematis blooms Aug.-Sept. with hundreds of small cranberry -violet flowers. For average, moist but well-drained soil in sun to 3/4 shade. Grows 8-12 ft. z 4-9

Clematis Sweet Summer Love -- Bluestone Perennials

Chelone obliqua --- A taller turtlehead with mauve or lilac -pink blooms. Grows 3ft. by 2 ft. I've found it more vigorous & spreading than chelone lyonii. It also needs less water & more sun. Both are great for butterflies & hummingbirds. z. 4-9

Chelone obliqua - Hallson Gardens

Chelone lyonii Hot Lips --- Turtlehead is native to eastern wetlands, useful for damp sites. Pink blooms in Aug.-Sept. are very popular with hummingbirds & butterflies. Likes a moist rich soil in light to 3/4 shade. Grows about 2ft. tall by 18" wide. Easy-care. z. 3-8

Hot Lips Turtlehead - Monrovia - Hot Lips Turtlehead

Tradescantia Sweet Kate, heuchera Creole Nights, campanula Jelly Bells

Clematis virginiana on a fence. A native substitute for the sometimes invasive Asian sweet autumn clematis. Very vigorous; if you want to keep it smaller, cut back sharply in early spring. z. 4-9