Glossy, jewel-like foliage blends lots of yummy colors on this amazing tender evergreen shrub. Thegardengranny sends up white flowers in late summer.
We especially love the cool, bluish green ‘Sagae' (pictured); it grows 2 feet tall, and makes a stunning accent in a blue-green glazed container. Grow this little perennial beauty in a shaded rock garden or as a groundcover in a woodland corner. ‘Electric Lime' heuchera is the perfect accent for a mostly green garden; its big maple-like leaves add a pop of bright lime that's guaranteed to wake up darker green shrubbery.
Yet it pumps out big mophead flower clusters—in shades of pink, blue, and white—that can reach 10 or more inches across. Bell-shaped blooms of yellow, white, pink, orange, or red dangle in clusters among maple-like green leaves that are sometimes variegated with white. Translucent as stained glass, caladium's large arrow-shaped leaves on long stalks are banded or blotched with various combinations of red, rose, pink, white, silver, bronze, or green.
‘Beacon Silver' has silvery gray leaves with green edges, and pink flowers. ‘Ann Greenaway' has green leaves edged in yellow, with a silver stripe down the center, and pink flowers. It grows 18 to 36 inches tall.
But we grow it in a big caramel-colored pot that basks on a lath-covered patio in summer, then gets moved indoors for winter. More colorful than many flowers, copper plant is hardy only to 40°, so it's often used as an annual. Bronze-green, red, and orange hues splash these long oval leaves like watercolors that have run.
These begonias grow best in filtered shade and rich soil; water them enough to keep the soil moist but not soggy, and mist regularly. Amethyst flower has star-shaped blooms of brilliant blue and sky blue, as well as violet and white; they nearly cover the 1- to 2-foot-tall plants. Your local County Extension Office can supply you with additional materials on specific shade -tolerant plants.
No doubt you'll choose a combination of different types of plants to create the effects you desire in the shady areas of your yard. In dense shade and problem areas where it's hard to tend plants, there are several perennial groundcovers that can be used effectively. Many perennials bloom reliably in light shade, but some will blossom in fairly dense shade.
Spring flowering bulbs can be planted in deep shade provided you treat them as annuals, planting new bulbs each fall and then digging them up and discarding them once they've bloomed. Plants grown for any length of time on a bright windowsill are inevitably stretched out and slow to flower. Browallias, coleus, wax begonias, dwarf salvias, and other shade tolerant annuals will begin blooming soon after frost danger is past if you start with robust young bedding plants.
If you're looking for a continuous display of color from late spring till frost, annuals will work well except in dense shade. Which plants will be the showiest in a shady situation? Containers should be replanted each spring with annuals, since bulbs or perennials cannot be expected to survive winter's cold.
Yet adequate fertility is an absolute must for all your plants because without it they are bound to be small and their growth will be weak. Trees and shrubs fill the soil with feeder roots that greedily use up nutrients as readily as they are applied. Light is not the only major concern when gardening in shady areas.
First, assess how much light the plants will actually receive. You also have to be willing to experiment a bit to find which plants grow best in your particular locale. In light shade you might even be able to grow a few herbs or leafy vegetables.
Grow it from fresh seed, or scatter seeds that are just falling off the plant on the ground, and new plants will come up on their own. This soft-textured, ferny, mounding perennial herb is a delight in the shade garden. Companion Plants Plant wild bergamot with wildflowers such as mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum, wild ginger (Asarum canadense), or columbines (Aquilegia).
Growing Tips Wild bergamot likes partial shade in rich, well-drained soil'it's prone to mildew if grown in dry soil.