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A client hired us to clear out brush and weeds from under an area of their yard shaded by trees -- and discovered the perfect garden area for shade-loving plants. After we lined the two gardens with rocks we found on-site and bringing in several bags of mulch, the clients asked for a list of shade loving plants that grow well in drought-prone central Oklahoma.
Below is a list of the plants we recommended and additional information about each one.
The hosta features green leaves that stays attractive from spring through fall. This low-growing plant is a good companion for astilbe, bleeding heart, ferns, caladiums and begonias. However, it can be like candy to deer. Read more about hostas.
Coral bells are easy perennials to grow in a wide range of conditions. They feature colorful foliage and flower varieties. Read more about coral bells.
These heart-shaped flowers are beautiful and grow best in partial shade -- but are sensitive to heat and toxic to humans and animals. Read more about bleeding hearts.
These delicate flowers are great for shady, moist conditions, and are low maintenance. Even better, these fast-growing plants feature colorful flower plumes that bloom for weeks. They grow 6-24 inches tall with fern-like foliage. Read more about astilbe.
Coleus features vibrant foliage and loves shade, but is sensitive to cold. It can be planted in pots outside and taken indoors to protect from frost. Coleus is also prone to insects. Read more about coleus.
Solomon's Seal features small flowers followed by blueish berries and a blanket of foliage that turns yellow in the fall. Most varieties grow to 1-2 feet tall. Read more about Solomon's seal.
Phlox varieties range from ground cover blooming in early spring to tall plants that bloom in summer and feature many colors. Creeping or moss phlox work well as ground cover and most varieties are low maintenance with a pleasant fragrance. (Tall varieties tend to prefer sun). Read more about phlox.
Impatiens feature bold flowers and are inexpensive plants comparatively. Even better, they're attractive to hummingbirds and can be grown in pots, which can be taken inside before the first frost. Read more about impatiens.
Helleborus aka Lenten roses
The Lenten rose blooms in late winter and early spring, featuring dark green leaves that keep their color all year (evergreen). Read more about helleborus.
Begonias feature colorful flowers that prefer shady areas. They can reach 1 foot tall or less with flowers up to 4 inches wide. In northern zones, begonias can be grown as annuals or in pots to be taken inside before the first frost. Read more about begonias.
The colorful, large globes of flowers bloom from spring through summer. The hydrangea bush quickly grows up to 15 feet tall. Read more about the hydrangea.
Caladiums are excellent for shady gardens, but can be sun tolerant depending on variety. They feature large, colorful leaves. Read more about caladiums.
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