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FutureStarrFlowering Plants for Deep Shade
Daydreaming of next year's garden? Even if yours is mostly shady, you still can fill it with color. Many pretty plants will do fine under a large shade tree or in flower beds, hanging baskets, and containers throughout your garden. But before planting, pay attention to how much shade you have. Full shade means three hours or less of direct sun, while part shade is three to six hours. Some shade lovers, such as flowering shrubs, bloom best with some sun (preferably in the morning because the hot afternoon sun isn't a friend to shade lovers). And if you're planting shrubs or perennials, which come back every year, make sure they're suited to your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here). There's no sense investing in plants that won't have a fighting chance in your garden!
Debra LaGattuta is a gardening expert with three decades of experience in perennial and flowering plants, container gardening, and raised bed vegetable gardening. She is a Master Gardener and lead gardener in a Plant-A-Row, which is a program that offers thousands of pounds of organically-grown vegetables to local food banks. Debra is a member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board.A distinction should also be made between the terms surviving and thriving. Many plants can survive in full shade, but that is not sufficient for the purposes of most gardeners. Ornamental gardens are meant to beautify a property, and a plant that underperforms (for example, by not flowering as much as it should) is not helping the garden live up to this goal. A plant that is merely surviving is taking up space that is better occupied by a plant that will perform at its best in full shade. Therefore, the best examples of full shade plants cannot just survive in low-light conditions but rather thrive in them.
You might easily overlook shrubs when planning a shade garden (many gardeners gravitate toward annual and perennial flowering plants). But do not forget about shrubs, they provide structure and background for that planting bed you are so eager to fill with the smaller, more showy plants that tend to jump out at you at the garden center. The following shrubs are evergreens grown for their foliage and they can add great value to a shade garden.Is there a more cheerful flower than the garden pansy? With their big bold faces, brilliant colors ranging from bright yellow to deep purple, with new varieties that even include splashes of pink, these flowers are a favorite in most cool-season gardens. Pansies like the cold, and can actually handle light freezes and even some snow. They dislike hot, muggy weather and will quickly rot when the heat of a southern summer sets in. They love full sun but can take shade, and require regular water to flower their best. If you have difficulty with heavy shade, try planting some spring-blooming bulbs in the fall. (Source: www.familyhandyman.com)