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Viola tricolor Helen Mount
Flowers for Shade

Shade-Tolerant Flowers
by Diane Linsley

The question I'm asked most often is, "What will grow in the shade?" There are plenty of sun lovers, but shade-tolerant plants are rare. Your local nursery will probably recommend hostas and ferns. But what about flowers?

Most "shade-tolerant" plants actually prefer part shade. Very few plants can survive in full shade. A few hours of morning sun is ideal. Sunlight filtering through the leaves of deciduous trees is fine.

Other factors to consider are soil quality and water. Most shade-tolerant plants enjoy rich, moist soil. Only a few will survive in poor, dry soil. You may have to experiment to see which plants will work in your garden. Here's a list of plants that can be grown in varying amounts of shade.

Perennial Flowers for Shade

Allium cernuum
Aquilegia (Columbine)
Aubrieta deltoidea
Campanula (Bellflower)
Centranthus ruber
Cheiranthus allionii
Digitalis (Foxglove)
Echinacea (Purple Coneflower)
Eupatorium maculatum
Euphorbia polychroma
Hesperis matronalis 
Lobelia cardinalis
Lunaria annua
Lupine 'Russell Hybrids'
Myosotis sylvatica
Penstemon calycosus
Penstemon 'Husker Red'
Platycodon grandiflorus
Polemonium (Jacob's Ladder)
Ruta graveolens
Sidalcea malviflora
Tanacetum (Feverfew, Tansy)
Thalicturm (Meadow Rue)

Annual Flowers for Shade

Aster chinensis
Blue Woodruff
Bupleurum 'Green Gold'
Centaurea cyanus
Cynoglossum amabile
Impatiens balsamina
Monarda citriodora
Nemophila maculata
Pansy & Viola
Phlox drummondii
Verbena bonariensis

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