samiam
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:59 pm
Location: chicago burbs

Perennials for acidic shady area

I have two huge pine trees in my front yard with a wood chipped area. I am looking to find any other perrennials to fill in some areas. I have some ground cover plants (I don't know the name), plenty of hosta, and a few ferns. Normally I plant some begonias (annuals) in pots out front as well, they love the pine needles. Any other ideas on perennials, preferrably some with colors? I have tried Columbines and they just don't do well there at all.

MaineDesigner
Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

Could you tell us a little more about the site and maybe post some photos?

Off hand I'd be tempted to try Bergenia, Epimendiums, Polygonatums (Solomon's Seal) and maybe Geranium phaeum or Geranium macrorrhizum. I don't know anything about your soils, how wet or dry the spot tends to be or how shady it actually is so these are little more than semi-educated guesses. Alchemilla (Lady's Mantle) might go if it isn't too shady.

samiam
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:59 pm
Location: chicago burbs

I don't have any pics right now and am pretty computer illeterate. The soil is good, really workable and nice and brown, just very acidic due to the pine needles. The entire front is mostly dense shade. We get plenty of water up there usually, it used to be a low lying area and the gutters drain up front there as well. I did pick up some geraniums yesterday:)

I have found that some shade plants just hate it or love it. Coleus (though they are annuals) love it and I usually plant a bunch of them as well. I was just looking for some more perennials to fill the area up.

beachbum757
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:41 pm
Location: Tidewater, Virginia

I have 2 beautiful Hydrangeas, a Cardinal and a Lacecap growing under my Loblolly pines. They are thriving.
You don't say how large of a space you need to fill.
I also have some Azaleas, Nandina Heavenly Bamboo and Camellias growing right at the base of the pines. At first, I couldn't get anything to grow under and around them.
I have lots of shade and acidic soil due to pines.
It took some experimenting but over time I had more success.
I also grew plants in front of and around the flowering bushes.
My Bleeding Heart is doing well and I have several varieties of Sedum, which have done really well. Last summer I added Hens and Chicks and they are thriving.
I guess just experimenting to see what works for your area is the thing to do.

biwa
Senior Member
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:15 am
Location: Virginia, zone 7

Viola flowers grow well in acidic soil and in the shade. So does moss. I think periwinkle will grow well too, but I'm not positive.

beachbum757
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:41 pm
Location: Tidewater, Virginia

My vinca vine [periwinkle] has done too well. I am constantly pulling it like weeds but doesn't get many blooms. I wish I would have planted it in an easier to manage area.

MaineDesigner
Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:17 pm
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

Samiam, given your comment about under pines I made the apparently incorrect assumption that you were talking about dry shade. If the area is relatively moist you can disregard my earlier post.
Aruncus (Goatsbeard), Chelone (Turtlehead), and Mertensia (Virginia Bluebells) along with sedges, hostas and ferns would be a good start for moderate shade in a moist area. Where there is more sun the list would be a very long one.
Last edited by MaineDesigner on Thu May 01, 2008 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

samiam
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:59 pm
Location: chicago burbs

Thank you! You guys have given me some great ideas! The area I want to fill with perennials is about 5 feet deep and about 10 feet long so I have a decent area to fill. My front shaded part is much bigger but I usually just plant the annual begonias there as I also have garden statues and what not and the kids like to play in there.

wood_fern
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 6:36 pm

I’m updating a north side entry way always in shade. While looking for ideas, found an 8-page article on color for shade in current issue of Garden Ideas magazine (Spring 08). Shows and describes many brightly colored shade plants, colors available, growing conditions, appropriate zones, etc. Might be worth looking at for ideas.

Return to “Perennials”