Plants and shrubs for shady areas

Written by callie barber
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Plants and shrubs for shady areas
Hosta plants thrive in full to part shade. (hosta image by andrew chambers from Fotolia.com)

Don't worry if the garden does not receive any sun, rather embrace the shady landscape with shade-loving shrubs and flowers. Available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, their cheerful blooms provide another layer of colour to the often colourless and dark landscape. Plant a mixture of shrubs and flowers together to create a bold display in beds and borders. Tuck shade-tolerant plants into containers to nestle over shady porches and patios.

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Chinese astilbe

Chinese astilbe (Astilbe chinensis "Purpurkerze" Purple Candle) is an herbaceous perennial flower that thrives in full to part shade. It has a clumping growth habit and features fernlike mounds of compound foliage that are sharply toothed. The small, dark purple to red, plumelike, arching, thick, 105 cm (42 inch) tall panicles on Chinese astilbe emerge in early summer to create a vibrant garden display. As the flower ages, the flowers cast a pale shade of purple. Chinese astilbe grows best in well-drained, organically rich soil that is moist. Do not allow the soil to dry out.

Alexandrian laurel

Alexandrian laurel (Danae racemosa) is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that thrives in full to part shade and grows 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 feet) tall and wide. Alexandrian laurel has a fine texture and open habit that features the slender, arching branches that shoot up and out of the centre of the crown. Alexandrian laurel bears green and yellow, 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) wide, spring-blooming flowers that are followed by the orange and red berries in fall. The lustrous, emerald-green foliage is tapered at the end and grows up to 10 cm (4 inches) long. It grows best in well-drained, moist soil that is nutrient-rich.

Hosta

Hosta (Hosta -- Tardiana Group -- "Blue Blush") is a shade-loving perennial plant that has a clumping growth habit. It grows up to 15 cm (6 inches) tall and 30 cm (1 foot) wide and features flat, thick, blue to green foliage that is lance-shaped and noted for its wavy margins. The bell-shaped, lavender, summer-blooming flowers on hostas grow along the 27.5 cm (11 inch tall) racemes or scapes that appear to be emerging from the foliage. Hosta grows best in full to part shade and well-drained, moist soil that is rich in organic matter. Plant hostas along shaded borders and beds for a burst of vibrant colour.

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