Plants Tolerant of Full or Dry Shade

Full shade is found in woodlands and forests, where the rees provide a full, sheltering canopy. Here plants receive less than an hour of direct sun a day, though they often benefit from filtered sun during part of the day. It's possible to have a gorgeous garden in full shade by choosing shade-tolerant plants like hostas, bleeding hearts.

Deep shade is the bane of gardeners. In nature, look for deep shade in coniferous forests where direct sunlight seldom if ever reaches the ground. In the garden, deep shade occurs where walls and other solid structures completely block out the sun.

The following plants may be planted in an area with decidous trees such as oak and maple. In general, such areas are too shady for grass and may be covered in leaf litter. The higher the canopy, the more chance plants will succeed. Rain showers will likely not penetrate the canopy, and unless sufficient rain falls, plants must be watered by hand.

[Photo of Virginia Bluebell, Mertensia virginica]
Virginia Bluebell
Mertensia virginica

Anemonella thalictroides - Rue anemone

Asarum (all species) - Wild ginger

Arisaema (all species) - Jack-in-the-pulpit

Brunnera macrophylla - Brunnera

Epimedium (all species) - Barrenwort

Galeobdolon luteus - Yellow archangel

Heuchera americana - Alum root

Hosta (all species) - Hosta

Mertensia virginica - Virginia bluebell

Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum' - Fragrant solomon's seal

Stylophorum diphyllum - Wood poppy

Tiarella (all species) - Foam flower

Trillium (all species) - Trillium

Viola labradorica - Labrador violet

Dry, shaded areas are some of the most difficult sites to fill. The most difficult places are those where the shade is the result of large shade trees whose roots suck out all the available water from benethe and around the trees. No plants enjoy such conditions, but a few will tolerate them. Provide additional irrigation whenever possible.

Plants Tolerant of Dry Shade

Alchemilla mollis - Lady's-mantle

Epimedium versicolor "Sulphureum" - Barrenwort

Galeobdolon luteum - Yellow archangel

Lamium maculatum - Dead nettle

Polygonatum odoratum "Variegatum" - Fragrant Solomon's seal

Viola labradorica - Labrador violet

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