Hosta make the perfect perennial for a container or a border for shady driveways or garden paths. With proper care, hosta will come back for many years and multiply each year. You can separate the plants in early spring and replant the divided hosta to cover more ground. Deer consider hosta to be the salad bar of the forest. If a herd of deer happens upon your hosta, they will eat the leaves down to nubs. Be sure to plant these in areas where deer do not hang out.
There is no shade plant quite as recognizable than a big Boston fern. These beauties hang from front porches and decorate decks all across America. Since they are so easy to care for, this is a good choice for a beginner gardener. Just make sure it gets plenty of water and sits in a shady spot, and a Boston fern will last all season long. You can even plant them in the ground to bring plenty of color and texture to a shady corner of your yard.
While it's true that most succulents are sun lovers, hens and chicks can tolerate quite a bit of shade. In very hot climates, they may actually prefer the shade, especially in the afternoons. Their colors will range from a deep purple to a hot pink to a light green, depending on sun conditions. They are extremely hardy plants that are hard to kill, making them another top choice for beginner gardeners searching for shade plants. Plant them in sandy soil with good drainage to keep them happy. Depending on your climate, Hens and Chicks might need to be brought inside during the winter. Sit them in a sunny windowsill and keep them watered, and they can go right back outside as soon as temperatures begin to rise.
If you're looking for a quick way to brighten up your shade garden, look no further than these beautiful plants. Caladiums come in a wide variety of colors, from white to red to chartreuse to dark green and every combination of the four. They loved filtered sunlight or full shade, and at times the paper-thin leaves can seem almost translucent. They resemble miniature elephant ears, and but they only grow to around 1 to 3 feet high. Although typically considered an annual, Caladium tubers can be dug up in the fall and planted again around mid-May or when soil temperatures are warming up for Summer.
Hydrangeas are the queens of the shade garden. Depending on the variety, these flowering shrubs can grow to four to six feet in height and width! Some of the most easy to grow varieties include the mopheaded Nikko Blue or Endless Summer or the US native Oakleaf hydrangea. Hydrangeas need a little sun to bloom well, so try to find a spot where they will get morning sun and afternoon shade. You can change the color of your hydrangeas blooms by altering the pH of the soil. For deep periwinkle blue blooms, increase the acidity of your soil by adding aluminum sulfate or garden sulfur to the soil around your plant. For pink blooms, add garden lime. Follow the instructions on the bag for best results.
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