Choosing Shade Plants For Your Garden: Part Sun, Part Shade?
Shade plants are perennial plants that thrive in full sun or partial shade. They need a place where they will get enough sunlight year round but not too much light during hot weather. These plants have a long growing season so it’s best to plant them near your house if possible. If you live in an area with mild winters then these plants would do well there as well.
These plants are great for containers because they grow quickly and don’t require a lot of water. You can keep them in a pot with some pebbles or rocks to give them extra support. They’re easy to care for once you learn how to take good care of them.
There are many types of shade loving plants available, such as ferns, sedums, dahlias, azaleas and others. Some of these plants are hardy and can survive winter temperatures down to -20 degrees F (-4 C). Others may only tolerate moderate cold.
The main thing to remember when choosing a shade plant is that it needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. A few plants like the bright morning sun but most prefer the afternoon sun.
If you want a plant that grows fast, choose one that doesn’t flower and blooms rarely. However, if you want a nice showy plant then choose one that grows slowly and blooms profusely. You may have to sacrifice some of their foliage to enjoy their flowers.
Most trees and shrubs that grow in the shade are small in size. The leaves of these plants are also smaller than most plants and often have a softer texture. These plants also don’t have many blooms or bear small fruits.
If you have a large yard or plan to put a large garden in the shade, then these plants can make your yard look nice and lush. You can also group them together to make an area that is 6 – 8 feet wide.
Shade plants should be divided every 3 – 5 years depending on how fast they grow. Fertilize them once during the early spring and prune them back after they finish blooming.
Partial Shade Plants
Ajuga – Also known as bugleweed, this plant has small blue and purple flower spikes. Place them in a shaded rock garden or near stones. They grow best in a damp area.
Anemone – A very elegant looking spring flower that can also survive in partial shade. The flower has brownish-green leaves that are divided into fern-like segments. It has a small white flower at the tip.
Astilbe – A hardy plant with fern-like leaves that can grow up to 6 inches tall. The flowers are in a complex cluster of spikes in colors of red, pink, purple or white. They do well in part shade and are easy to grow.
Baby’s Breath – A popular summer blooming annual that can also survive in partial shade and is deer resistant. The flowers have a sweet scent and grow up to 6 inches. They do well in dry soil and hot temperatures but not drought conditions.
Bee Balm – Also known as bergamot, this plant grows wild in most parts of the United States. It has a minty smell and It’s slightly frost tender. It has divided leaves that are round and wide. The flowers are pinkish-white and bloom from July through September.
It can grow to be 2 feet tall.
Sources & references used in this article:
Interdisciplinary analysis of homegardens in Nicaragua: micro-zonation, plant use and socioeconomic importance by VE Méndez, R Lok, E Somarriba – Agroforestry systems, 2001 – Springer
Leaf weight per area and leaf size of 85 Estonian woody species in relation to shade tolerance and light availability by U Niinemets, K Kull – Forest Ecology and Management, 1994 – academia.edu
Are Bryophytes Shade Plants? Photosynthetic Light Responses and Proportions of Chlorophyll a, Chlorophyll b and Total Carotenoids by M Marschall, MCF Proctor – Annals of botany, 2004 – academic.oup.com
Leaf xanthophyll content and composition in sun and shade determined by HPLC by SS Thayer, O Björkman – Photosynthesis research, 1990 – Springer
Selecting plants for screens and hedges by P Dinius, CA Brun – 2015 – research.wsulibs.wsu.edu