Newly Registered
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:46 pm
Location: New York

I am the ultimate plant slayer..... while not wanting to be


Love the blog, you def have a new follower.

I was wondering if you knew what kind of plants are good for heavily shaded gardens? we have a tiny tiny city garden, but it is surrounded by big oak trees which I suspect are sucking the life out of everything, couple that with it not getting an ounce of sun and me being a complete novice, I've no idea what to plant in there, everything from last year died.

thanks for your help!!

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

It's tough, not only shady, but big trees can suck up a lot of the moisture. Here's some things to think about: solomon seal, heuchera, bleeding heart, pulmonaria, wild ginger, tiarella, lily of the valley, sweet woodruff, lamium. All of them are shade plants and mostly pretty tolerant of dry shade, but you will likely have to provide some water to help them get established.

If you don't mind providing water on an on-going basis (not just while they are getting established), you could plant ferns, hostas, astilbes.

Have fun! I love shade gardens!

Senior Member
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:42 pm
Location: Lexington, KY.

The absolute best plant for dry shade is Epimedium. Liriope does very well too. Shrubs are a little more difficult because it can even be difficult to get them into the ground due to existing roots. Nandina is a very tough shrub that can take about anything you can throw at it. The Epimedium that I mentioned takes the cake though. I have never seen one die due to drought and have even layed them over maple roots and mulched them in with great results. In this case a first year watering schedule should be taken to get them established. Awesome plant.

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