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No Sun Required: The Best Plants for the Shade

Far too many people begin landscaping their yards with the best of intentions, yet end up disappointed due to a series of simple mistakes. For example, the sun moves throughout the day, and different portions of your yard receive sunlight as the daytime hours wear on. Some yards have overhang from trees or other obstructions that prevent the sun from shining onto plants, flowers, and shrubs.

If your yard is shaded and you plan your landscaping without considering the sun, your plants could wilt, refuse to bloom, or die completely. There are certain types of plants and flowers that do well in the shade, so stick to varieties that can grow without direct sunlight.

Vines that Do Well in the Shade

You may think all plants need direct sun exposure to grow, but that is not the case. In a “shade garden”, landscapers often plant vines that creep through a shaded area and create a dramatic, lush effect as they spread.

It’s not an easy feat to track down vines that are both tolerant of the shade and provide a visually stimulating display of flowering. However, climbing hydrangea vines are an option many landscapers choose to remedy this issue.

Another kind of shade-loving vine is the Sweet Autumn clematis. This vine is able to withstand shade more than is its typical clematis counterpart. The great thing about using the Sweet Autumn as a ground cover for your landscape is that it can grow upwards of twenty feet if it’s left alone. When August rolls into September, the vine begins to bloom into a breathtaking display of pungent white flowers.

Shrubs and Flowers for Shaded Yards

If vines grow too out of control for your taste, there are still options. Select shrubs that will thrive in shaded areas to give your yard an aesthetic pick-me-up. If you’re looking for shade-loving shrubs that bloom in the spring, opt for rhododendrons or azaleas. Hydrangeas are shrubs you can plant for summertime blooms.

As for flowers that do well in the shade, there are choices in that department as well. Some varieties of perennials are the safest bet since they will bloom every spring instead of lasting for only one season. Perennials will produce like clockwork year after year instead of the need to replant.

A few perennial flowers that do well in shaded landscapes are bee balm, bleeding hearts, and forget-me-nots. If you want a flower with a great aroma, try the Carolina allspice. It grows beautifully in shaded areas as well and blooms with a deliciously spicy smell.

Never let shade be a deterrent from planting a garden or landscaping your yard – there are quite certainly options when it comes to landscaping without access to direct sunlight. It’s true that the plants discussed do well without direct sunlight, but you should still take your region and climate into consideration before selecting any shade-friendly plants for your yard.