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What will grow in dry shade?

10 years ago

Posted by Andree McEwen - 4: I have a 1 acre property just
north of Toronto, Canada in zone 4. I would like to plant a
woodland type garden under a grouping of five maple trees.
Most of the area is dry and shaded except for the outer
edges which receive some mid-day sun. Any suggestions for
perennials or low growing shrubs?

Follow-Up Postings:

MRDan - 5: Maples are hard to grow under because their
surface roots rob nutrients of everything else. I would try
removing some lower limbs for a little more light, and
watching for signs of needed fertilizer. Try hosta,
lily-of-the valley, dicentra, aquilegia, hellebores.

Deb Lux - 6: I would try a ground cover such as Epimedium.

Bruce - NH 5: How about trying Dodecatheon amethystemum
--amethyst shooting star. It is a native of the northeast
and likes a shady spot in woods that dry out in the summer.
The lavender flowers closely resemble those of the florist's
cyclamen, but much, much smaller. Check nurseries that
specialize in prairie species.

Lise Beausour - 3: I have good success with Lysimachia
clethroides in such a site. This plant in invasive in
moist soil but has a good habit in drier.

Susan-NC/Z7a: Try Phlox stolonifera. I have had excellent
success with the latter grown near tree roots.

Jeremy/MA/Zone 5: Here's a list of dry shade perennials for
zone 5. You'd have to look up whether they can take a 4.
Anaphalis/ Antennaria/ Artemisia ludoviciana/ Aster
divaricatus/ Bergenia/ Brunnera/ Campanula carpatica,
portenschlagiana, poscharskyana, punctata, lactiflora,
persicifolia/ Corydalis lutea/ Eupatorium rugosum/ Galium/
Geranium maccrorhizum/Helleborus foetidus/ Hemerocallis/
Heuchera/ Iberis/ Lamiastrum/ Mertensia/ Polygonatum/
Pulmonaria/ Thalictrum/ Vinca minor/ Viola. That should keep
you busy looking at catalogs!


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