Brown Thumbs
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What will grow here?

Someone put this together years ago, but it's in a horrible place for growing flowers. Soil quality is poor, it is on a hill under part shade from several big oak trees, and it gets dry fairly quickly. We added some mulch, but it still gets dry and needs constant watering. Tried growing day lillys and as you can see they can't handle dry, shady spot. It gets sun during mid day but only a few hours worth.

Please let us know what might work. We would like a low maintenance plant that can tolerate these conditions that will look nice around our bird bath. I have some cast iron plants available, but we didn't think they would look good there since they grow as tall as the bath. Thanks for any tips...we're in MS.
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Brown Thumbs

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applestar
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Re: What will grow here?

Maybe heuchera (coral bells). They come in myriad of leaf colors and hummingbirds love the flowers, which despite the common name are also available in white and darker red.
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catgrass
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Re: What will grow here?

Dwarf Katie Ruella. It gets crazy though. I have it come up everywhere! Even on the opposite side of the house it is planted on. Makes a good ground cover, though, and is pretty in bloom. Spreads by itself, very low maintenance.
zone 9 Southwest La.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What will grow here?

Things that can handle dry shade include: sweet woodruff, epimedium, liriope, lamium, ajuga, lamb's ear, bergenia.

But dry and shady is already two stressors, don't add poor soil on top. It's a very small area, it would not be hard to amend the soil with good compost, well aged composted manure, bagged potting soil, or whatever.
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imafan26
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Re: What will grow here?

To help with the dryness and root competition, it might help to add more organic matter to the area to help retain moisture. If you plant under story shrubs it might be better to plant them on mounds.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: What will grow here?

Such a small area! I agree, turn in some bagged compost or potting soil. 2 big bags would probably work for that space! Then you could plant anything that does well in shade!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

Brown Thumbs
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Re: What will grow here?

Thanks for the info. I'll dig out the dirt, which seems a bit sandy, and add 2-3 bags of soil/compost. This part of our yard is dry due to being on a hill and having several oak trees that I'm sure take up most of the water.

I'll look at some of the suggested plants. Main goal is to have a fairly low maintenance plant that'll look nice around our bird bath. The suns hits it for a little while in the middle of the day. Will that bother shade loving plants since it's "hot" sun instead of morning sun?
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: What will grow here?

My favorite shade plant is hosta, but it does have a dormant period. And it looks like craaaaaaap when it's going dormant. But when it's on, it ON! I love it!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: What will grow here?

I have some shade plants that are out in full sun. They don't look as good in the sun and they get tip burn or paler in the sun, but if they are eased in by planting in the cooler time of the year like the fall, they get used to it. If you put a plant that has been in full shade out in the sun, it will burn.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Brown Thumbs
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Location: South US

Re: What will grow here?

We tried hosta under one of the oaks but it never really did well. Started out nice but it seemed to stop growing and never flowered. I wondered if the oak did was to blame. We kept it watered and mulched.
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: What will grow here?

Mine are under oaks. Really LARGE oaks! Strange.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

Susan W
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Re: What will grow here?

Just suggestions here.....Big one is to wait until spring to plant. Selection of plants is low now, even though good time to plant! Look around and see what others are doing around trees etc. Figure if you want year 'round, evergreen, or seasonal with flowers.

Even though space looks smallish, can hold lots of fresh dirt/compost,bagged poo etc. You don't have to dig out what is there, just mix in with new. I'd say 5 bags min, can hold more. I'm working on my birdbath area also, coming up by just one brick on edge and amazed at how much the space can hold.

Once it is filled in and planted, I would shy away from mulching. As you freshen the birdbath every day or so and have splashes, no telling what would love living in/under mulch. Slugs for sure!
Have fun!
Susan



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