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I have one part of my yard behind the fence and next to my carport, that is about 90% shade. Can anyone tell me of some

ype of ground covering or flowers that I basically have to do nothing to them so that they can grow & survive? The most work I basically want to have to do in that area is to keep them from spreading into my neighbors back yard?

25 comments
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    360 Sod (Donna Dixson) Buford, GA
    on Feb 14, 2012

    I think Mondo grass is a good option. Once established very low care. Might need to check your planting zone though.

  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    on Feb 14, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas.Also, I live in York, PA and off the top of my head can't remember what zone it is. I believe it is 6 though. If the Mondo grass doesn't work, is there anything else that you would suggest?

  • 3sonscrazy
    3sonscrazy Fort Collins, CO
    on Feb 14, 2012

    I have some chinese evergreens and some hostas that grow in shady areas despite total neglect on my part. I know that's not very specific because dozens of plants fall under each of those names, but it can help you narrow down your options at your local nursery. Good luck.

  • Carol S
    Carol S Woodstock, GA
    on Feb 14, 2012

    Your local county extension service is a great source for native plants suitable to your zone. Just call or e-mail and they will provide you with lots of ideas.

  • Garden Rebel / Sims Landscaping, Co.
    Garden Rebel / Sims Landscaping, Co. Orlando, FL
    on Feb 14, 2012

    I think Steves suggestion of Hostas is great as you will have a big selection of contrasting foliage that does well in shade. A good form of English Ivy is another choice and if the area is big enough then accents of lavender and white Impatiens can be incorporated for summer color.

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Feb 14, 2012

    Hostas are an excellent choice if you do not have deer. If you do, it is like setting out a salad bar. Perhaps my favorite plants for a shady situation are hellebores. They bloom early in the year when you most need to see blooms and the foliage will last much longer than that of the hosta, which will be gone with the first hard frost. The only maintenance they require is cutting back any foliage that looks tattered in the spring. Another excellent option for shade is astrantia, a summer bloomer that, in my experience has also proven quite deer-resistant.

  • Erica Glasener
    Erica Glasener Atlanta, GA
    on Feb 14, 2012

    Terri, Doug is right about hellebores, a good choice. Hostas do not like todry out and for that matter, anything you plant will need to be watered. If you can prepare the soil ahead of time (add compost or soil conditioner) and water when needed (at least weekly while plants become established) you will have better results. Pachysandra terminalis is another evergreen groundcover that will do well in your shady spot.

  • Donna McCrummen
    Donna McCrummen Bernardsville, NJ
    on Feb 14, 2012

    Whatever you do Do Not plant Ivy - it is invasive and in my opinion should not even be sold. Pachysandra will spread quickly and can take over but very slowly and it will not climb.

  • Erica Glasener
    Erica Glasener Atlanta, GA
    on Feb 14, 2012

    I second that Shabby Daze, I would not suggest ivy unless surrounded by concrete and even then, it is very aggressive

  • Cheryl S
    Cheryl S Metamora, IL
    on Feb 15, 2012

    I use Hosta's and they come in many colors and varities.

  • Charlene S
    Charlene S Lawton, PA
    on Feb 15, 2012

    If you go on a flower site you will find many varieties of shade loving flowers. If you want color added to your space, Astilbe is great.

  • Flowerscapes Garden Design & Landscaping
    Flowerscapes Garden Design & Landscaping Suwanee, GA
    on Feb 18, 2012

    Once the last frost date has passes, Impatiens. A great annual that reseeds great, but not invasive. Amend the soil well, put a bit of Osmocote or Dynamite slow release fertilizer in each planting hole, and you're off to a stunning floral display in the shade.

  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    on Feb 19, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas. I love color, and variety of plants. Please keep more answers coming. I appreciate all the ones I have gotten so far!

  • Charlene S
    Charlene S Lawton, PA
    on Feb 20, 2012

    Terri...have you thought of planting Astilbe? They are primarily a flower, but branch out and grow to about two feet. They come in many colors and do exceptionaly well in shade. Again, check on some flower sites online and you will be able to see more about them. You could even mix them with Hosta which comes in different varieties. Good luck..hope all goes well.

  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    on Feb 20, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas, and no Charlene, I hadn't thought of Astilbe. I am starting to think along the lines of wild flowers that may do well in the shade too. I am just hoping for a couple more ideas and then it will be off to a nursery to see what they have. Wish me luck on the nursery trip, b/c everytime I go to the one by me, they always tell me that they have what I want and then I get there and it is not what I asked for. Oh well, no one is perfect!

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Feb 20, 2012

    Another thought, Terri: You could make a colorful tapestry for shade using heucheras, whose foliage seems to come in every color in the rainbow these days.

  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    on Feb 24, 2012

    Thank you to everyone who responded to this post. Ya'all have given me some great ideas and just in time for York's Flower Show. It should be a lot easier to shop their!

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Feb 25, 2012

    Happy shopping, Terri!

  • Cheryl S
    Cheryl S Metamora, IL
    on Apr 2, 2012

    yesterday a gentleman suggested Thyme ground cover it is purple in winter and green in summer. Not the herb.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    360 Sod (Donna Dixson) Buford, GA
    on Apr 2, 2012

    Thyme does not do well in shade.

  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    on Apr 2, 2012

    I forgot to mention that the land back there is very acidic because of the pine trees. I have started shopping for plants, but w/ the insane weather, nothing has been planted yet. I am trying to chose plants that will match the sunny side of the area too.

  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    on May 8, 2012

    May 8th - we are getting April showers. The past two weekd are the only time we haven't been dropping to mid 30's at night. Now it's time to start planting here. Saw lots of beautiful flowere/plants but glad I held off b/c of above reasons. I am getting some free helebores, and will add from there as I can. Thank you everyone for all the different suggestions.

  • Erica Glasener
    Erica Glasener Atlanta, GA
    on May 9, 2012

    Free plants are always great Terri. Enjoy your shade. I wanted to add that I have an area of dry shade and in addition to hellebores, Christmas fern is evergreen (Polystichum acrosticchoides), native and tough. Here is a photo of Christmas fern with wildflowers (Phacelia and trillium) in spring.

    Christmas fern and wildflowers

    Christmas fern and wildflowers

  • Terri J
    Terri J Annapolis, MD
    on May 9, 2012

    Erica, thank you for suggesting Christmas fern. I only have one spot of shade - by my carport. I love things that stay green year round, and have golden thread juniper bushes out front for that reason.

  • Erica Glasener
    Erica Glasener Atlanta, GA
    on May 9, 2012

    Your welcome Terri. It is a tough and satisfying plant.

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