Colorful plants for the shade
Little Vision in Pink
Look for these new plants
Astilbe, Hostas, Impatiens
Improve the soil first
If you learn just one thing today, let it be this: Take care of the soil and the soil will take care of your plants.
Before putting plants in the ground, take the time to improve the soil. Remove rocks, weeds, and any other overwintered debris. Enrich the soil and add organic matter.
Astilbe 'Little Vision in Pink' An Astilbe just the right size for containers. This is a smaller version of 'Vision in Pink'. A rose pink focal point in a shade garden with 16" block of fuzzy, pyramidal plumes.
Astilbe 'Little Vision in Pink'new introduction from Vermont Wildflower Farm.
Astilbe is a show off in the shade garden
All astilbe prefer shade but will tolerate some sun. The more sun, the more water is needed. Astilbe is a good choice for a shade garden or woodland border.
Most shade-loving plants, are native woodland dwellers with shallow root system. Adding organic matter, peat moss or core will increase the water holding capacity of the soil.
Bloom time is a relatively short, but attention getting display. The green foliage is the key consideration when placing this plant in your garden.
Give your astilbe plenty of growing space. It will come back bigger and better every year. Mulch will help maintain a consistent water level and block weeds.
Astilbe is made for the shadeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Advantages of shade plants
Rust, bright reds, copper
Red, pink, peach, orange
Pure white, cream
Purple, orchid, lavender
Pink, coral, peach
* Astilbe foliage
** Hosta flowers
*** Impatiens leaves
New Shadowland™ 'Coast to Coast' - Hosta
Shadowland™ 'Empress Wu' - Hosta hybrid
A huge upright mound of thick, dark green leaves. Spiky pale reddish violet flowers rise above the hosta. Your plant will arrive in a quart size container. It may take more than 5 years for your plant to grow as big as the one in the photo.
Plant is where it will not outgrow it's shade. It must have a regular water source to achieve it's giant size.
Grown in average soil, Empress Wu will grow to 36 - 48 Inches high. Spreading up to 60 - 72 Inches. Plant in zones 3-9.
An Autumn Frost shines in the shade
Sizing up hostas
There is always a place for a hosta in every shade garden. Select the perfect plant by it's size, color and texture. Most gardeners do not choose hosta for it's flowers, but they are the main attraction for humming birds.
Leaves are cupped, curled,wavy, flat or furrowed. Always plant hosta where you want them to be in 5 years. The hosta plant gets more attractive every year as it naturalizes into the landscape.
Leaves of a young hosta plant may not be as variegated or as blue, for example, as it will be once it is established.
Flowers bloom once a year rising on tall spikes well above the plant. Usually a pale lavender, the tubular flowers are popular with hummers and pollinators. Some varieties have a mild fragrance.
Mini: Less then 6 inches tall (example Blue Mouse Ears Hosta)
Small: 6-10 inches tall (example Alakazaam Hosta)
Medium: 11-18 inches tall (example Autumn Frost Hosta)
Large: 19-27 inches tall (example Abiqua Drinking Gourd Hosta)
Giant: 28 inches and larger tall (example Blue Angel Hosta)
*Plant size and the hosta examples above are from New Hampshire Hostas. The site includes lots of good information about hostas and the best companion plants.
Impatiens (sometimes commonly called bizzy Lizzy) is the most popular annual bedding plant in the U. S. today. For easy-to-grow, non-stop flowering in shady conditions, it has no equal.— Missouri Botanical Garden
Rockapulco® Appleblossom Double Impatiens Impatiens walleriana
Impatiens is made for the shade
Is this the little black dress of the plant world?
The bright bold colors of impatiens can be planted en masse, in shady beds and borders. It serves as ground cover planting swaths of hot colors in hard to plant shady places.
Accent a woodland garden, interchanging the newest colors. Fill hanging baskets with mounding impatiens that spill over edges. Select shades of pink, rose, red, white, lilac, purple, orange, and bicolor versions of both single and double flowers.
Dress up cottage garden containers or sleek metallic window boxes. Plant a basket tumbling over with color. Edge a driveway, border a sidewalk, draw birds and butterflies to your yard.
Bring the floral festivities inside using Impatiens as houseplants.
With few pest or disease problems, there are impatiens for every shady spot. Keep an eye out for slugs.
Can it take a little morning sun?
What is your favorite shade plant?
Weeders and cultivators
5 new ImpatiensClick thumbnail to view full-size
New series of 5 Impatiens
Impatiens will deliver a pop of color to any shady area. They require part shade to shade. Choose for shaded landscapes and containers. Requires regular and consistent watering for continuous bloom. See Proven Winners for more information about these Impatiens.
- Bolero™ Blush - Trailing Impatiens - Impatiens hybrida - Little flowers of white burst open in clusters with little paint brush marks of fuchsia at the center of each flower.
- Bolero™ Orange - Trailing Impatiens - Impatiens hybrida - Intense orange impatiens are beautiful spilling over the edges of the containers.
- Bolero™ Orchid - Trailing Impatiens - Impatiens hybrida - Solid orchid color flowers crowds over the edges of the hanging basket.
- Bolero™ Fuchsia - Trailing Impatiens - Impatiens hybrida - Continuous fuchsia blooms non stop til frost.
- Bolero™ Bright Coral - Trailing Impatiens - Impatiens hybrida - Thrives in light morning sun and afternoon shade.
All 5 new impatiens are pictured directly above.