Document Type

Landscaping - Planting

Publication Date



Gardening in the shade can add interest and color to the restful recesses of your landscape, but it can be difficult and challenging. Shade gardening presents a new set of problems as compared to gardening in the sun. Both the homeowner who instructs his or her builder to leave “every tree possible” and the gardener who one day looks up and finds that the maple and oak saplings planted years ago now flood much of the landscape with shade have trouble finding suitable plants which can add color in these areas of their landscapes.

Perennials, plants which flower year after year, have traditionally been the plants of choice for shade gardening. Columbine, ferns, bleeding heart, sweet woodruff and hostas, to name a few, have been useful in adding color to these areas. However, unlike the short blooming period of many perennials, shade-loving annuals, plants which flower for one growing season and then die, can provide color throughout most of the growing season.

One advantage of growing plants in the shade is the shade itself. The chore of preparing the beds, planting, fertilizing and watering can all be done in the relative coolness provided by overhanging branches. Later in summer when heat is blanketing the lawn, one can find that gardening chores do not necessarily include heat stroke.

Publication Number

PB1585-2.5M-9/04(Rev) E12-5115-00-003-05 05-0082

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