20 Hardy Plants for Dry Shade

20 Hardy Plants for Dry Shade

Dry shade is usually found under large trees or other shaded areas with low humidity. These spots may be difficult to cultivate. But you can still create a beautiful landscape even in a shaded location that receives four hours or less of direct sunlight by choosing the right plants. Whether your garden is shaded by walls, fences, buildings, trees or large shrubs, these drought-tolerant perennials, ground covers and shrubs are the best plants for dry shade.

Hosta

Greg Ryan

One of the most tried-and-true shade plants, hostas are low-maintenance and have hundreds of varieties to choose from. Because hosta leaves vary in size, shape, and color, it's easy to mix and match. Small varieties can also make a beautiful garden border or fill the space around the base of a tree.

Growing conditions: Part shade in well-drained soil

measuring: It grows up to 3 feet tall and 8 feet wide

Regions: 3-9

pneumonia

David Macdonald

Another shade-loving plant that tolerates dry soil is the lungwort (pulmonary Prosecution.). These perennials have tough leaves that can be spotted or solid green. In spring, lungwort produces bright blue, pink, white or purple flowers. When used as a ground cover, lungwort helps suppress weeds with its dense growth. Some species deal with dry conditions by hibernating, but will return the following spring.

Growing conditions: Part for shade in well-drained soil

measuring: Up to 12 inches long

Regions: 2-8 (varies depending on species)

Bleeding heart

Peter Cromhardt

If you're aiming for a quality cottage garden in the shade, try Bleeding Heart (Decentra sp.). Its heart-shaped flowers appear in spring, and then the plant “plays dead” once summer arrives. Don't worry, he's just resting and will be back next year. Plant bleeding heart with other colorful plants that can take the stage later in the year.

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: Up to 3 feet tall

Regions: 3-9

Coral bells

Samantha Highdom

Native to rocky slope settings where water drains easily, coral bells tolerate dry shade gardens well. Although these perennials bloom, it's the foliage that really stands out. Varieties such as 'Marvelous Marble' grow beautiful, multi-colored leaves with a marble surface. Other varieties have leaves that look almost spray-painted while some have deep veining colors.

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: Up to 3 feet tall

Regions: 3-9

Hardy fern

Lynn Carlin

You might think of ferns as plants you find in rainforests or tropical regions. However, many ferns will grow well in dry shade. For example, drawing a Japanese fern (Japanese garden(shown here) has beautiful silver and burgundy leaves, while the autumn fern takes on a gorgeous golden-red color in the fall. Other than the occasional slug, pests tend to leave ferns alone.

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: Depends on variety (Japanese painted fern can reach 3 feet tall)

Regions: Depends on variety (Japanese painted fern is hardy in zones 4-9)

Wild ginger

Ian Adams


The low-growing, heart-shaped foliage produces wild ginger (Asarum The prosecution.) A beautiful ground cover for shady gardens. These plants spread slowly to form a dense mat that can keep weeds out. Native western wild ginger (a. Comet) is one of the most drought-tolerant options, and slugs also tend to be left alone. Other options such as Canadian wild ginger (A- Canadian) and European wild ginger (a. Europium) May need additional watering during hot, dry weather.

Growing conditions: Part to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: Less than 12 inches long

Regions: 3-9 (varies depending on species)

Large geranium

Denny Schrock

One of the best perennials for dry shade, the large geranium (Large geranium) It has deeply lobed leaves that resemble snowflakes. The foliage is slightly fuzzy, making it resistant to deer and rabbits. In the fall, the leaves turn a beautiful shade of reddish-orange. Over time, large-rooted geraniums will slowly spread out to form a dense carpet of foliage above the ground.

Growing conditions: Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil rich in organic matter

measuring: Up to 18 inches tall

Regions: 3-8

Sporge pillow

Matthew Benson

Although spurge pillow (Euphorbia multicolor) Often grown in full sun, it tolerates shade, especially in hot summer areas. In spring, cushion spurge produces small yellow flowers surrounded by showy bracts (much like its relative, the poinsettia, it presents showy pink, red or white bracts around the small flowers). Once they've finished blooming, count on their pile of gray-green foliage to remain attractive through fall, when they often turn reddish. 'Lacy' (shown here) is a variety with variegated foliage for some extra interest.

Growing conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry, well-drained soil

measuring: Up to 3 feet tall

Regions: 3-10

Sea hellebore

Carson Downing

Sometimes also called the Christmas rose or Lenten rose due to its early blooming season, hellebore (Helleborus spp.) is one of the hardiest shade-loving plants. With thick, almost leathery leaves, it's easy to see why. Hellebores are evergreen perennials that thrive in mild winter climates. In the coldest places where it grows, the foliage usually dies during the winter. Because all parts of this plant are highly toxic, it is very resistant to deer and rabbits. Hellebore flowers appear in shades of white, cream, yellow, green, red, and purple, and the flowers can be single or double (like 'Confetti Cake' shown here).

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil rich in organic matter

measuring: Up to 3 feet tall

Regions: 4-9

Foam flower

David Macdonald

Native to North America, foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia) uses runners to spread quickly to form a dense mat of foliage. In spring, it produces small, foamy wands of white or pink flowers. Some cultivars also have interesting foliage, such as 'Running Tapestry', which has a purple spot in the center of the leaves, and 'Susquehanna', which has distinctive, heavily lobed leaves in dark purple.

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil rich in organic matter.

measuring: Up to 12 inches long

Regions: 3-9

Barnort

Marty Baldwin


barnort (Epimedium spp.) is a low-growing perennial with heart-shaped foliage that can have a reddish and/or golden color especially when the leaves appear in spring. In late spring, the plants produce clusters of small flowers in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, purple and white. Hardy plants are drought tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant, and look good during the spring, summer and fall. A few species are evergreen, so add some winter interest as well.

Growing conditions: part Shade in well-drained soil

measuring: Up to 12 inches long

Regions: 5-10

Hakone Golden Grass

Peter Cromhardt

The graceful, bamboo-like stems of Hakone grass, also known as Japanese forest grass (Hakoneshloa makra) It will add a touch of elegance to any shady place. Try planting it along a wall or raised bed where the plant's slender leaves can cascade over the edge. Some varieties present yellow discoloration on the leaves. These slow-growing perennials tolerate dry conditions well, although they prefer consistent moisture.

Growing conditions: Part to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: Up to 18 inches tall

Regions: 4-9

Lilyturf

Doug Hetherington

When you want to plant a border garden, try planting nightshade grass (Liriobi The prosecution.) In your landscape. Its masses of belt-like, dark green leaves will remain true to its color in summer and winter. Purple flower spikes rise above its leaves in late summer. This herbaceous ground cover makes excellent edging for paths or driveways due to its tolerance of heat, moisture and drought.

Growing conditions: Part shade in well-drained soil

measuring: Up to 24 inches tall

Regions: 5-11

Korean viburnum

Denny Schrock

When you want a fragrant shrub that doesn't require a lot of watering (once established), rely on Korean viburnum (Viburnum Charles) To beautify your garden as a flowering hedge, border or centerpiece plant. The flowers can be pale pink or white, and the berries come in shades of blue, red and even black. The berries will attract birds to your garden.

Growing conditions: Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil

measuring: It grows up to 6 feet tall and 7 feet wide

Regions: 4-7

Oregon grape

Cynthia Hines

Known for its colorful flowers and leaves, it is an Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium) It is an evergreen flowering shrub that grows wonderfully as a ground cover in rocky and coniferous forests. Its bright yellow flowers bloom in spring and ripen into edible blue-black berries by early fall. You'll marvel at how the holly-like leaves turn red in spring, mature to dark green by summer, turn purple hues in fall, and develop burgundy-bronze tones by winter.

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: It grows up to 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide

Regions: 5-8

Beautiful box

Ashrafoj Jaman/Getty Images


Very fragrant winter flowers make a sweet box (Sarcococca hockeriana) A natural choice for a shady spot in your garden. Whether you want an evergreen hedge or a ground cover, Sweet Box's resilient evergreen foliage will not disappoint you with its glossy foliage. Create a stunning bouquet at home with its wonderfully fragrant stems.

Growing conditions: Full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: It grows up to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide

Regions: 6-8

Japanese aralia

Lori Black


A showy evergreen shrub known for its glossy, dark green, lobed leaves is the Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica). Whether you grow it as a container plant in a shaded yard or plant it as a hedge, you'll be attracted to its high-quality foliage. Its small cream flowers bloom in the fall followed by blackberries.

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: It grows up to 16 feet tall and 16 feet wide

Regions: 8-10

Buckeye bottle brush

Rob Cardillo

If you love beautiful flowering shrubs, you'll love the bottlebrush (Aesculus parviflora). Its mid-summer bloom of white flowers with red anthers is stunning. Easy to grow as a mass planting in shrub borders or woodland areas, this compact shrub attracts butterflies. Its impressive display continues into the fall when its leaves turn yellow.

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: It grows up to 12 feet tall and 15 feet wide

Regions: 4-8

Japanese Kiriya

Denny Schrock


It's easy to add a shrub border to the shaded area of ​​your garden using Japanese kereria (Kerea japonica). Also known as the Japanese rose, this ancient shrub is beloved for its bright green stems and small yellow flowers in early spring. It blooms on the previous year's wood so be sure to prune it in the spring after it blooms.

Growing conditions: Part shade in well-drained soil

measuring: It grows up to 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide

Regions: 4-9

Tree jumping

Denny Schrock


When you want to plant a large shrub or small tree for a large, informal privacy screen, consider planting a hops tree (Petelia trifoliata). Also called chip ash or water ash, the hop tree was named after its seeds, which were used as a substitute for hops in beer making. Its glossy, dark green leaves turn greenish-yellow in fall.

Growing conditions: Part shade to full shade in well-drained soil

measuring: It grows up to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide

Regions: 4-9

When you design your shade garden using these plants as a base, you will have no problem filling the bed. To help get your plants off to the best possible start, keep them well watered throughout the first year. After that, they will likely be fine with any rainwater they get. Once you master these plants, you can use that confidence to try more varieties.

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