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Splendid Shade Perennials

Annuals & Perennials, Shade Perennials

Splendid Shade Perennials

That shady spot in your garden doesn’t have to be bare. There are shade perennials that will thrive without sun. Plant them once and they will come back every year. Most feature colorful foliage but some will produce flowers. Most need a moderate amount of water and well-drained soil. Plant these shade-loving perennials in beds, borders and containers for great garden color. You’ll have it made in the shade. And the part shade, too.

As a guide, partial shade refers to those areas that are shaded for 4-6 hours per day. Morning sun or east facing locations are typical or dappled light obstructed by trees. Afternoon sun is not considered within the partial shade parameters because of the intensity of afternoon sun, these areas can become quite hot and require more sun loving annuals. Full shade areas receive no direct sun only indirect light. North sides of structures or under fully leafed out trees are examples.

Anemone

Japanese Anemone are outstanding plants for the late summer and fall garden. The branching stems of poppy-like flowers are superb for cutting. Grows 2 to 4 feet tall.

Acanthus

Also called Bear’s breeches, they are large growing plants with glossy green leaves and tall spikes of flowers. They are always touted as architectural plants. Often grown for their foliage alone, although the flowers are quite nice themselves. Grows 1 to 3 feet tall.

Astilbe

In mid-spring, the graceful, feathery plumes in pink, red or white complement light green fern-like foliage. Plant in masses for maximum impact in the garden.

Bleeding Heart

It’s hard not to love rows of miniature dangling “hearts” in spring. The ferny foliage is beautiful but short-lived; place bleeding heart where its yellowing foliage in midsummer won’t be a design buster.

Bergenia

This plant is noted for its beautiful bronze fall foliage. Its leaves are rounded to heart-shaped and sometimes puckered, growing to about 12 inches. It bears pink to rose-red flowers on red stalks in late winter to early spring. Grows 1 to 3 feet tall.

Bletilla

This relatively easy-to-grow orchid produces slender, pleated leaves. In late spring, arching stems of pink orchid flowers appear. A real curiosity, treasured in the shady rock garden. Grows 8 12 inches tall.

Siberian bugloss (Brunnera)

Known for its often colorful, heart-shaped leaves, brunnera is a carefree plant that thrives in partial shade. The airy sprays of bright blue flowers appear in early to mid-spring.

Columbine

It blooms in a variety of colors during spring, which emerge from its attractive dark green foliage that turns maroon colored in fall. The bell-shaped flowers are also a favorite to hummingbirds

Canary Feathers Corydalis

Spikes of soft canary-yellow flowers are carried above a bed of feathery blue-green foliage.

Fern

There are several varieties of fern that are hardy in Oklahoma. Fern aresurprisingly easy to grow while adding grace & charm to your shade garden. The combinations of fine textured ferns are stunning with bold-leaf Hostas, colorful Heucheras, or huge-flowering Hydrangeas.

Japanese Forest Grass

The cascading golden and green foliage of variegated Japanese reed grass creates a bright splash for the shade garden.

Hellebore

Nodding flowers in rich hues of cream, white, pink, maroon, rose and green appear in early winter to early spring, depending on the variety. The dark-green evergreen foliage remains attractive all year.

Heuchera (Coral Bells)

Dazzling array of foliage color and texture with dainty tubular flowers held aloft on airy stems. Excellent for borders with nearly evergreen foliage in neat clumps. Grows in shade.

Hosta

Easy to grow in shade. Large leaves can be white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged – the variations are virtually endless. White or purplish lavender flowers in summer.

Leopard Plant (Farfugium)

Forms a mound of large, rounded leaves, dark green in colour, with unusual bright yellow polka-dots. Short spikes of yellow daisies may appear in late fall. Superb as a foliage accent, particularly with gold-leaved companion plants.

Peony

Glossy green foliage creates rounded shape 3 feet tall with large 3-6 inch wide flowers in several colors. Long flower stems are good for cut flowers. Grows in sun to part shade.

Black Stockings Thalictrum

Meadow-rue has beautiful, lacy foliage that produces rather tall clumps, with near-black stems that bear huge clusters of bright lavender-magenta flowers in midsummer.

Toad Lily (Tricyrtis)

Clusters of unique speckled flowers dance along tall, arching stems. Valued in cut flower arrangements due to its extra-long flowering stems. Late summer to fall blooming.

Sweet Woodruff (Galium)

Sweet woodruff ground cover, with its star-shaped whorls of leaves and lacy white flowers, can add interesting texture and spark to a deeply shaded part of the garden. Leaves and stems have a vanilla-like fragrance when dried.

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