10 Plants for Dry Shade

If you have a dry, shady area in your yard and think this means you will not be able to grow any plants, think again. Not all plants require constant sun and water. In fact, some plants, like the ones described in this article, can tolerate areas with fairly waterless, low-light conditions. Note that “tolerating” dry shade is not the same as “thriving” in it. These plants will, of course, grow better if supplied with average amounts of moisture.

This article from About.com provides 10 examples of plants – perennials, biennials and bulbs – for dry shade. They include:

1.   Hosta: Hosta presents a choice that is quite distinct from the other 9 choices of plants for dry shade in this list. They have greater mass than the rest, standing a foot high or taller, with a slightly greater spread. Hosta forms a leafy garden dense enough to choke out weeds. If planted in rows, they are impressive enough to serve as borders.

2.   Liriope Spicata: Liriope spicata also has a feature that distinguishes it from the other plants for dry shade in my list. For liriope looks like a grass (its common name is “border grass”, or “lilyturf”), even though it’s actually a member of the lily family. But liriope also has a spikey flower, ranging in color from white to lavender. In autumn it bears a dark berry.

3.   Foxglove: Foxglove, like the next entry (daylilies), is distinguished by its showy floral display. It is also the tallest of the plants for dry shade discussed here. But don’t grow foxglove around small children: it’s quite poisonous!

4.   Stella de Oro Daylily: While “Stella de Oro” truly is a “daylily,” in the sense that its individual flowers last only a day, don’t be fooled into thinking that you won’t get much of a show out of this perennial. Another bloom will be along shortly to replace yesterday’s departed beauty. In fact, its ability to re-bloom over a long period makes Stella de Oro daylily perhaps the most popular of the daylilies. Its popularity is also due to its ability to adapt to a wide range of planting zones and conditions, including dry shade.

5.   English Ivy Plants: English ivy vines may produce insignficant, greenish-white flowers in the fall, but these perennials for dry shade are grown primarily for their foliage. A popular plant for many years, a growing number of homeowners now choose not to grow English ivy, due to its negative impact on forests in some regions (when it escapes from cultivation). If you do choose to grow English ivy, don’t plant it near your trees. The vines climb up tree trunks and may eventually engulf the whole tree, drastically reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the leaves of the host tree.

6.   Japanese Pachysandra: Pachysandra terminalis produces white blooms in spring but, like English ivy, is grown primarily for its robust green foliage.

7.   Vinca Minor Vines: But what if you want more than greenery from a short ground cover? Vinca minor may provide the answer for you, with the adorable blue flowers it yields in spring.

8.   Spotted Dead Nettles: Or perhaps you’re content with nice foliage, only you’d prefer its color be something other than green? Well, these perennials for dry shade provide an interesting silvery foliage.

9.   Snowdrops: These perennials for dry shade are as impatient for spring to come as you are. Sometimes, they can be seen pushing up through a recalcitrant layer of snow!

10. Scilla Siberica: The bulb, squill is also called “scilla,” because its Latin name is Scilla siberica. If the white blooms of snowdrops aren’t what you want after looking at the color, white all winter, then the blue of these perennials for dry shade may be more to your liking. Scilla does need a good deal of water during its growing season, which is spring. But considering the abundance of moisture in many regions during spring, this usually isn’t a problem.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you improve the aesthetics of your yard, especially in areas of low-light and little moisture. Of course, if you would like additional information or if you have any questions, contact Rhine Landscaping by calling 410-442-2445 or click here today!

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