Shade Perennials Ohio or

Shade Perennials Ohio or

Shade Perennials Ohio

What plants grow well in shade? Do any flowers bloom in shade? Are there colorful annuals and perennials for shade, or is everything just green? We get these questions a lot here in Northeast Ohio, where we’re fortunate to have amazing park systems with shade-filled forests that connect us with nature. Many of us also live on beautifully wooded properties dappled with trees and shrubs that create excellent habitats for birds and wildlife. But what’s an eager gardener to do in all that shade? We’ve got answers. If you have a shady space, be excited about it! Shade offers a unique type of gardening to explore and there is no shortage of plants that will flourish in shade to lighten & brighten those areas. Plenty of options for flowers, color, and texture are available. It’s just a matter of getting familiar with shade plants and how to care for them!



One of the toughest shade-tolerant plants, bigroot geranium doesn't mind heat or drought. And deer and rabbits typically pass them by in search of tastier morsels. Not to be confused with zonal geraniums that are grown as annuals, these colorful perennials put on a spring show with pink, purple, or white flowers; some varieties also offer outstanding fall color in their woodsy-scented foliage.There's little wonder why old-fashioned bleeding heart is a favorite shade perennial. Its finely cut foliage looks almost fernlike, and in late spring and early summer, it produces pink or white heart-shape shade flowers that hang from elegant, arching stems. By midsummer, bleeding heart usually goes dormant and loses its foliage. Plant it with astilbe or hosta so you don't end up with a bare spot in your shade gardens.

Among the showiest and easiest-to-grow shade perennials, hostas come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes. Choose from miniatures that stay only a few inches tall or giants that sprawl 6 feet across or more. Look for leaves in shades of green, blue, white, chartreuse, and gold, with many cultivars boasting pretty variegation. Some hosta flowers are very fragrant, too.First, we hope to clarify what the plants are that are already in your perennial shade garden. Hostas are natives of Japan, China and Korea, large-leaved, beloved of snails and slugs the world over. Nettle, we're a little more puzzled over. There is Lamium maculatum (Spotted deadnettle), a herbaceous plant native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. It bears a superficial resemblance to the unrelated stinging nettles, but do not have stinging hairs and so are harmless or, apparently, "dead." We trust it is the Lamium and not real stinging nettles you have in your garden. The myrtle is another question altogether. In warmer climates, there is the Morella cerifera (wax myrtle), a North American native widely used as either a shrub or small tree, but not normally hardy enough for Ohio. Then, there is Myrtus communis, a culinary herb from the Mediterranean often used in Greek food. Again, doesn't sound hardy enough to be in Ohio. (Source: www.wildflower.org)



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