Plants for Very Shady Sites

Shady areas, often under the canopy of other much larger plants may also be particularly dry and are often considered difficult areas in which to have colour and interest with shrubs, hedges and ground cover plants.

There are in fact many plants that will tolerate, or even thrive in these conditions. All of the plants below are suitable but do remember that even the most drought resistant species will need regular watering during the early stages to get established. Dry shade areas that are sheltered by walls miss out on natural rainfall whilst areas shaded by mature trees with shallow roots are constantly having any rainfall or naturel moisture absorbed by the root system of the established trees.

However many plants can cope with these conditions in fact will often thrive if a little forward planning is applied. Ground preparation will help new shade loving plants get established quickly adding copious quantities of well rotted manure or compost digging well into the existing soil will help as will a good layer of mulch around your plants after planting.

Bergenia, Geraniums, Cotoneaster, Mahonia, Pyracantha and Viburnum are just a few that will cope with the dry shade site and selecting those with colourful foliage and or those that produce berries will also help to lighten the area.

Damp shade can be found in woodland areas where there are thick layers of mulch from the falling leaves of existing mature trees. Removing and trimming lower growing branches or foliage can allow in more light. Planting shrubs or ground cover that enjoy the damper conditions will give colour and brightness to a dull corner.

A few of the plants that can thrive in damp conditions are Bergenia, Sweet Box, Viburnum. Aucuba,Common Box and Hydrangeas.