Read these 14 Shade Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Lawn tips and hundreds of other topics.
Everyone's favorite shade plant and for good reasons are Impatiens. Plants grow 15 to 37 centimeters tall and bear brilliant flowers in profusion right through the entire season. Fiery reds, pinks, oranges and whites in single and two-tone colors are available, although not all varieties are shade lovers. Check with your local nursery before purchasing.
There are many advantages to gardening in the shade. Shade loving plants have a lower metabolic rate and grow at more leisurely pace than sun loving plants. Because of this, they require less water and fewer feedings. Without the bleaching rays of the sun, flowers emerge more slowly, last longer, and provide more vibrant color over a longer period of time.
If your soil contains either too much sand or clay, it can be conditioned using the same process for both problems. Spread 2 inches of soiless mix, compost or a 3 to 1 mixture of peat and vermiculite over the surface. Dig deep; dig again; and rake to a smooth, finely particled surface. Next, set a small wide-mouthed jar in the middle of your garden, turn on the sprinkler, and don't turn it off until the jar has 1 inch of water in the bottom. Then, wait a day or two before planting.
There are many shade plants to choose from. Try planting my favourite, Coleus, which does well in dappled or medium shade. Coleus comes in a tremendous range of foliage colors, shapes, and sizes. Leaves may be velvety or rough, and deeply notched, round or full on plants that range in height from 15 to 90 centimeters! Remember to remove the pale blue flowers as they appear and pinch out stems to encourage bushiness.
Most of your color in a shade garden will depend on plants with colored foliage. But don't worry, many plants such as hostas, ( Hosta spp.) and Japanese maples ( Acer japonicum ) actually show their best color in the shade. And don't forget plants with variegated foliage to add color to a garden. Variegated foliage can be overdone, but when used as highlights throughout the garden it can bring the appearance of light to dark corners.
The best soil condition for shade gardening is a porous, well draining growing medium--a loose woodsy-type soil. Without exposure to the dehydrating rays of the sun, soil stays wet longer and since few plants tolerate pooled water at their roots, the water must drain easily into the subsoil.
Shady gardens can be challenging not just in getting plants to grow properly in them, but to have them look fresh and interesting. Begin by mapping on paper (or in your head) the areas of sunlight in your yard… there has to be some! These areas can be used to plant flowering plants that do well in “partial” shade.