Shade Gardening

Cinnamon Fern Plant

How to Garden in the Shade

Lots of trees in your yard and little sunlight? Got a northern exposure that doesn’t seem to support any plant life? No need to despair that your yard is a plant-less, barren wasteland. No need to cut down those beautiful shade trees. Shade gardening is the perfect solution. Shade gardening focuses on selecting plants that require little sunlight, to brighten up the darkest areas of your yard.

If you’ve ever traipsed around a woodland forest, you’ll notice the thick, overhead canopy created by the trees offers little, or no, direct sunlight. Yet, Mother Nature has provided a lush variety of plants that thrive on the forest floor. Those, my gardening friends, are shade-loving plants!

What’s the key to a successful shade garden? Simple….don’t try to grow sun-loving plants in shady areas. There is a wide variety of plants to choose from. They include ferns, flowers, flowering bulbs, bushes, and even trees. Just when you thought there was little to choose from, along comes a wealth of choice and selection to brighten up those dark nooks and crannies of your yard!

Varying Degrees of Shade

There are sometimes confusing terms that define the amount of shade. This is very important, as you select the plants to grow in your shade garden.

See Types of Shade Definition

Pachysandra Ground Cover

Type of Shade Garden Plants

Most gardeners and homeowners aren’t fully aware of the huge range of plants, bushes, trees, and shrubs that will grow well in partial to full shade. Here’s one you may not have thought of….houseplants. Few people think about houseplants as shade plants. After spending several months in your house (from fall to spring), houseplants are well acclimated to low light levels. And, if you plant them in a shady spot in your yard, they will suffer fewer leaf drops when brought back indoors in the fall.

Types of shade plants  

Shady Habits

That shady spot in your yard may or may not be in ideal condition for shade-loving plants to thrive. However, like any plant, improving the environment of the plants will help to promote a healthy, vibrant shade garden. The conditions are different from those enjoyed by sun-loving plants. The key elements are lighting, soil condition, moisture, and air circulation.

More information on shade garden habitat

Common Shade Loving Plants

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