When gardening in partial shade, you have a lot of options. You can grow violets, Siberian campanula, Dead nettle, and Lobelia. Each one is low maintenance and easy to grow. Violets also do well in any soil, as long as it’s well-drained. Here are some tips to help you choose the best plants for your garden in this type of growing environment. You can also get a cutting of the violet you’d like to grow, and you’ll have beautiful flowers in no time.
If your garden lacks full sun, you can grow lobelia in part shade. Its compact, mounding forms are best suited to bed fronts and borders, while trailing varieties are best suited for containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets. There are hundreds of cultivars to choose from, and most will require bottom watering. Most cultivars grow best in moist soil, but if you are growing lobelia in a cold climate, you will need to remove the mulch when temperatures rise.
A hardy annual, lobelias bloom profusely during spring and fall. They tolerate a wide range of light conditions, so they are great for a shady garden. Other good shade-loving annuals are torenia and lobelia. They are surprisingly resilient and disease and pest-resistant, and provide year-round interest. You may also want to consider growing lobelia in containers to make sure you get the maximum enjoyment from your plants.
You can start lobelia plants by sowing seeds indoors in early spring. The seeds should germinate in about 14 days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At a lower temperature, they may take longer to germinate. Once the seeds have germinated, transplant them outdoors after the last spring frost date. Perennial lobelia plants will self-sow and bloom the year after they are planted from seed. A 12-plant trays with divisions makes transplanting easy. Home Depot sells six-packs of trays for this purpose.
The showy, fragrant spires of ‘Samantha’ Campanula flowers are quite hard to miss. This plant blooms from early spring through late summer, and one plant can produce up to 450 or 460 flowers. This plant is very easy to care for, and is happy to grow in a shade garden or in full sunlight. This plant does best in rich soil, so a slightly shady spot is ideal. The foliage is grey-green and the leaves are attractive in shade. It is listed as a zone 5 plant, but I’ve seen it thrive in zones 4 and 3.
This plant is closely related to Scilla siberica, but is more compact and strappy. It has white or pink blooms in late spring. It is a good choice for a woodland garden, as it is a naturalizer. If you’re growing plants for bees, consider growing Scilla campanulata. Its blue coneflowers attract honeybees and other native pollinators to your garden.
The fairy thimble is native to mountainous regions of Europe. This plant tolerates alkaline soils better than other Campanula species. Its short, low-growing stems and narrow leaves make it a good ground cover plant. The flowers are a dazzling shade-tolerant blue, lavender, or white. A popular cultivar is called Bavaria Blue. The species name refers to the shape of the tiny basal leaves.
Plant dead nettle flowers for shade and shady areas as groundcover. Dead nettle is a low-maintenance plant that can grow to be a small shrub, ground cover, or flower bed. This plant is also good for edgers and hanging pots. The flowers of dead nettle are white or purple. Some species are considered weeds, but they are a great addition to shade gardens, flower beds, and cottage gardens. They are very disease-resistant, but they may attract aphids, slugs, or snails.
When planted in the shade, the spotted variety can be divided and transplanted. It grows well in partial shade, but it will burn if exposed to full sun. If you plan to grow it in the shade, cut it back to promote new growth. Its bright yellow leaves can brighten a shaded area. If you want more flowers, you can plant multiple plants and divide them every year. Dead nettle flowers are edible.
You can also plant ‘Shell Pink’, which blooms in the spring. It has a clear pink flower, and was the only cultivar to receive a five-star excellent rating in a dead nettle trial conducted at the Chicago Botanic Garden. ‘White Nancy’ is another cultivar with white flowers and thin green leaves. These plants will grow in full sun or partial shade, but they won’t spread as well as the others.
Lobelia in flower arrangements
Whether you need a plant to fill a pot or a blooming mound in a flower arrangement for shade, lobelia will do the trick. These plants are often grown in containers and enjoy full sun to partial shade. They thrive in a well-drained potting medium with plenty of water. Choose ceramic containers as they won’t dry out as quickly as plastic ones. Cutting back lobelia plants by half in fall will encourage more blooming.
For best results, keep lobelia plants moist but not soggy. They may not flower properly in hotter temperatures, so pruning followed by deep watering will remedy the problem. Also, use a layer of organic mulch to keep the soil moist. The foliage and flowers of lobelia plants are both attractive and deer and rabbit resistant. They thrive in partial shade. Soil pH should be between six and 7.5. Water lobelia plants regularly in the spring and fall and once a day if they’re in pots.
Whether you’re looking for a flower arrangement for shade or a container garden, lobelia is a perennial plant that will thrive in shade. It produces dainty flowers and blooms from spring until fall. Lobelia flowers are also container-friendly, and they’re easy to grow and care for. A lobelia is a beautiful choice for any outdoor area, whether it’s a patio, a porch, or a rock garden.
Plant foxgloves in a spot with filtered light, preferably in a partial shade. Foxgloves can be hardy in USDA zones four through nine. You can seed them in a pot and replant them each year, providing they are given a good soil mix. These perennial or biannual plants can bloom in late Spring or early Summer. The flowers are attractive and fragrant. Be careful not to eat the berries, however; they are highly poisonous!
Once the blooms have finished, you can harvest the seeds. You can harvest the seeds by tapping the capsules over a paper bag. They may stay dormant for a few years, but they will sprout again when the weather cools off in early fall. In addition to flowering in the fall, foxgloves can also be used in moon gardens. While you’re gardening, you can make a bee-line for your foxgloves!
While many foxgloves do well in full sun, some prefer partial shade. Some perennial foxgloves may be more susceptible to powdery mildew if they are in full sun. A good rule of thumb is to plant foxgloves 12 to 18 inches apart. You can also divide your foxglove plants in the spring or autumn and start fresh seeds. They will self-sow if they’re given the right soil conditions.
Sweet alyssum is an annual or short-lived perennial that is a great ground cover plant. It grows 4 to 6 inches tall and produces small, beautiful flowers. Sweet alyssum is perennial, but usually grows as an annual in most areas of the United States. During the summer months, it blooms profusely and forms a dense mat. The blooms range from white, pink, salmon, and reddish copper to bronze. Sweet alyssum is a hardy, perennial, but not one that thrives in extreme heat or drought.
Although sweet alyssum does best in full sun, it can also thrive in part shade. Aim for six hours of direct sunlight per day. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy that it dries out. Water alyssum sparingly – it can be susceptible to leaf blight and root rot if too wet. The plants are self-fertile and will reseed quickly, so keep an eye on them.
‘Snow Princess’ is a heat-tolerant hybrid with profuse white flowers. ‘Snow Cloth’ has shorter, lighter blooms, and ‘Snow Crystals’ has larger blooms in white. ‘Easter Basket’ is another heat-tolerant variety, with rose to dark pink flowers. ‘Tiny Tim’ is a compact white variety with smaller flower clusters.
The striking purple leaves of Oxalis Triangularis make it a very attractive flower for the shade garden. This species is photophilic, meaning that the leaves open and close in response to light. If the plant is not given enough light, it will eventually die back to its bulbs. While many other species are hardy and require constant attention to stay alive, Oxalis is relatively low maintenance. This versatile flower is often used as groundcover, in containers, and in hanging baskets. It is also called butterfly shamrock, and the flowers will bloom at various times of the year, depending on the intensity of the sunlight.
There are several varieties of oxalis. The purple variety is less invasive and has the added benefit of not taking over your garden. The plain green variety, however, can spread aggressively, taking over your lawn or garden. If you’re not sure which one to choose, consider the various varieties. This plant can be found at a number of local nurseries and online. Oxalis is not invasive, so it won’t spread to other parts of the garden or lawn.