Plants for shade, here's 10 plants for dark and gloomy places
In some respects, plants are rather like people. But far less vocal. Many British folk seem to be obsessed by the weather and a multitude feel unable to contend with rain, gloomy skies, shade, or indeed, winter in general. Their inability to cope could be compared to the way that plants behave when they are placed within an environment that is alien
to them. Place a sun-loving succulent in a damp, gloomy corner and it will fade away. Bright and beautiful flowers in the garden often need sunshine. The same principle applies indoors. The position of house plants
needs to be matched to their temperament if they are to thrive. In fact, the most common cause of death to house plants
is over-watering, followed by lack of light.
Aren't plants amazing? Who would think that a fern could exist in such a seemingly hostile environment?
All plants have preferences, and some are more flexible and tolerant than others. Much like people.
Many people experience anger issues and much of it can be blamed on the weather - apparently!
Therefore its vital to look at the needs of your plant (husband/wife/partner) before trying to settle it in. We all know that pushing a square peg into a round hole is a bit tricky. It's far better to hunt for a suitably-shaped orifice in order to save long-term angst!
Let's not try to hammer any square pegs into round holes!
Perhaps the trickiest places in the home and garden are the shady ones.
Every garden has a few dark, shady and possibly damp corners. There will always be a north or east-facing wall or fence. Perhaps a wind-tunnel and some bleak areas where nothing seems to thrive. There could also be some dry shade under trees. Indoors many rooms have only small windows and there could be dark corridors. All these places need careful planting consideration. There is always something that will grow, provided you choose wisely and prepare your site before trying to establish the plants.
Not everything is happy in a shady place.
Which plants love shade?
Fortunately for all who seek them out, there are dozens of beautiful examples that will thrive in seemingly inhospitable environments. Many plants have evolved some clever characteristics which enable them to survive in the shade. If only these positive traits could be transferred to humans!
Not everyone is happy with gloomy weather and cloudy skies.
10 plants that delight in dark places
Ferns can survive in damp and dark places. In fact many of them are even happy to grow in dry shade.
Ferns are really well adapted
to living in the shade. They have a light-sensing pigment called neochrome that helps. This is also common to the moss-like plants called hornworts. Whats more, ferns are incredibly beautiful, although they can be so easily overlooked by many. Ferns planted en-masse can look stunning and they also lend themselves rather well to being used within vertical planting systems
where irrigation can be regulated. They provide delightfully cool contrast to the more effervescent plants that inhabit sunnier places.
Dozens of different Heuchera are happy in shade. These foliage plants are equally as attractive as colourful flowers.
are happy in shade and these team highly effectively with ferns, enabling some stunning colour combinations. Their vibrant foliage is every bit as impressive as colourful flowers as the leaves come in many different shades of purple, red, yellow, coral and green. In common with many shade-loving plants, these are slow growers as plants need plenty of light if they are to grow fast.
Brunnera is a great, shade-loving perennial that has highly attractive foliage. This plant makes a lovely groundcover in otherwise gloomy places.
Other groundcover plants are equally stunning, including Brunnera varieties
such as Jack Frost; Alexanders Great and Silver Spear. These have areas on the leaf which are lighter than others and this helps the internal reflection of light.
Hellebores provide graceful winter flowers at a time when most plants are dormant.
Then there are glorious Hellebores
that have beautiful nodding flowers in winter when most things are dormant.
Hardy geraniums form a neat mound and can be invaluable in a shady garden.
Hardy geranium varieties
will also be happy in shady places and they will give flowers during summer months, right into autumn.
Masterwort, or Astrantia
which is also known as Hatties pincushion, is a shade-tolerant, summer-flowering perennial with a multitude of attractions, not least its delicate beauty and the fact that it is slug and snail resistant.
The low-growing Vinca is another brilliant groundcover that will not only hug the shady soil and decorate it with attractive foliage, but will also produce a happy bunch of purple flowers during spring, summer and autumn.
Who could resist Japanese anemone, with its tall stalks in late summer, bearing flowers that wave in the breeze?
This deserves a place in every garden and it is happy to decorate shady areas where a bit of height is required. The flower stalks can reach more than 100cms high where the cheerful white or pink flowers add grace and charm particularly when they nod in the breeze.
Asters bring a vibrant splash of colour to the late summer and autumn garden.
Even some of the Aster
varieties will be happy in shade, and theres no doubt that this tops the vibrancy charts for late summer or early autumn purple and mauve colour.
Beautiful Hakonechloa 'Aureola' ornamental grass will be happy in the shade or the sun. It has bright, lemon-lime foliage which is deciduous.
Last but not least in our top 10 plants for shade is ornamental grass. There are dozens of different varieties and several are suitable for areas without much sun. For example, the variegated Hakonechloa
Aureola turns a subdued yellow in shade and achieves a brighter shade in sunshine its certainly worth having in either situation.
Or how about a tree fern? Watch the video to find out more.
Perfect Plants Ltd is an on-line supplier of garden plants, house plants, garden equipment, furniture and gifts for all seasons. www.perfectplants.co.uk