Detral
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Location: Alberta /zone 2-3

Full shade perennials in autumn reds/oranges?

I'd like to make my front yard really pop in the autumn. I have planted an apple tree and some blueberry bushes (that will turn red in fall). I have a Virginia creeper going up my large spruce tree that will turn bright red.

Id like to plant some other perennials under the spruce. I'm not too picky about what goes there but would love to continue with autumn colours - perhaps leaves that change in the fall or are bright all year. I'm zone 3 so many brilliant coloured plants don't do well here. There will also be some dryness under the tree but I can try to water regularly.

Thanks for any tips!!!

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Lindsaylew82
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Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Full shade perennials in autumn reds/oranges?

Heucherellas do pretty well in MOSTLY shady spots.

Bleeding hearts are on the pink side of red, but red.

Astilbe can be found in red and various shades of peach and orange. Some have rusty or bronze foliage.

I'm sure there's more, but those are the first to my mind! :()
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Full shade perennials in autumn reds/oranges?

Wow... you don't ask for much! Perennials that can make it through a zone 3 winter are few enough. Perennials that can tolerate dry shade under a tree are few. Perennials that can handle all of that? And then you want them to be brilliantly colored, knowing that shade perennials tend towards silver, white not colors?? It's a challenge!

Heucheras are grown for their beautiful foliage colors and variegation. Many are fall colors. This image is a mix of heuchera and the heucherella Lindsay mentioned:

Image

heucherella is a hybrid of heuchera and tiarella (foam flower) which is another hardy shade perennial grown for foliage colors. Tiarella var. Crow Feather:
Image

hosta is the classic shade plant and there are golden hostas that might fit your color scheme:
Image

Christmas rose hellebore is an extremely cold tolerant shade perennial:
Image

heartleaf begonia is a very tough hardy shade perennial. It is green leaved in spring and summer with pink flower spikes in spring. In fall and winter the foliage turns all different shades of red/ bronze/ purple and it keeps the leaves all through the winter:
Image

You could fill out your shade garden with some annuals like coleus (another foliage plant):
Image

and impatiens which will pump out flowers all through the growing season
Image

You will have to amend your soil and water....
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