Fortunately, there are many plant varieties that prefer living in the shadows. You may have to look hard to find them in nurseries and garden centers, but they do exist.
Common annuals that do well in the shade include begonias and impatiens. They are the well-known stand-bys to bring colorful blooms under patios, balconies and spreading shade trees. But because these flowers are annuals, they must be replaced every growing season. That's an annual investment in both plant material and the time it takes to plant them.
As more shade creeps into our urban areas, we're starting to get acquainted with perennials that prefer the shadows. Most are known for their interesting foliage-for their varying shades of green and silver and also for their shapes and texture. Plus with perennials, you plant once and they come back year after year.
Here are a dozen perennials that are excellent for shady spots in Colorado:
- Dwarf bleeding heart
- Jacob's ladder
- Lungwort pulmonaria
- Lady's mantle
- False forget-me-nots
- Prim rose
- Lilly of the valley
- Sweet Woodruff
- Coral bells
Early fall is an excellent time to plant them because temperatures are cooler and there's still time left in the growing season for roots to establish before winter. At the time of planting, avoid fertilizers high in Nitrogen as they promote top growth rather than root growth. Instead, use a root stimulator product to get the roots growing strong right away. If shade gardening is a new concept for you, work with a landscape designer who can select the best plants for your areas.
Information courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado-sponsors of the 9News Kitchen Garden and the 9News Water Wise Garden. For help with your landscape needs, go to www.alcc.com and click on Find a Pro.
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