Home & Garden Trees & Houseplants

Plants for the Shadows

    Shaded Locations

    • Shady locations may feature partial shade, with morning sun and afternoon shade, dappled sun with some tree shade, or indirect light. Plant vegetables and flowers in sites with quick drainage, good air movement and at least some partial or indirect light; full or deep shade restricts growth and blooming.

    Soil and Nutrition

    • Give the plants, vegetables or shrubs the nutritional support they require with rich organic compost amendments at planting. Dig the compost into the natural soil to loosen and nourish it, and add granular fertilizer for more nutrients. Use balanced 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 fertilizer for vegetables and complete 5-10-5 fertilizer for flowering plants.

    Vegetable Selection

    • Most summertime vegetables require full sun for growth and fruiting and fail in even partial shade. Leafy and cool-weather vegetables, though, thrive in partial, filtered or indirect light. The Colorado State University Extension recommends lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, radicchio and endives for shady vegetable plantings. The Extension notes that root crops like beets, radishes, potatoes, carrots and turnips do well in moderate shade as well.

    Flower Selection

    • Some flowering plants and shrubs require partial shade or indirect light, and they burn in too much bright sun. Plant shade-tolerant shrubs like hydrangeas, azaleas and rhododendrons in partial shade. The University of Minnesota Extension recommends annuals like impatiens, wax begonias and salvias, as well as bulbs flowers like crocus, snowdrops, tulips and standard begonias. Ferns and ivies thrive in shade, as do shade-tolerant herbs like mint and spearmint.

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