Ground Cover for shade

Ground Cover for shade
Companion plants for ground cover that can grow in shade.
Please check on our website for details of varieties, sizes & growing conditions-www.Caths Garden
Some of the toughest situations for shrubs & perennials to survive is in very dry shade such as being planted under trees, under the eaves of your house or besides the foundations. To give your plants the best chance for survival
  • Add compost to the soil before planting.
  • If planting under trees dig the holes between the tree roots & add compost to the planting hole. Don’t raise the soil level above the roots too much.
  • After planting water well & add a layer of mulch to retain moisture & nutrients
  • Don’t plant too close to the tree trunk (no closer than 30cm & keep any mulch at least 15 cm away from the trunk
  • Water well during the first year to help the plant get established especially in hot, dry weather. Because these plants are able to survive in such tough conditions they can also become invasive so think carefully about where you are going to plant them.
Shrubs for dry soil & part-shade.
  1. Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ (Elderberry) – Can be cut down to the ground in autumn to control the shape & size. Fragrant pink flowers followed by black berries & maroon foliage, a lovely contrast to all the greens. Deciduous. Great for the back of the border or grown as a specimen in dry, shade gardens. Remove suckers to control spread.
  2. Kerria japonica (Japanese Rose) - Deciduous shrub producing a profusion of yellow flowers in spring. If pruned after the initial flowering will re-bloom. Stems provide winter interest. Suckers need to be kept in check. Humus rich soil in part-shade.
  3. Fatsia japonica (Japanese Fatsia) – Large leaved evergreen that can lose its leaves if badly frosted. Pruning unnecessary. Roots can be mulched for winter protection.
  4. Sarcococca ruscifolia (Christmas or Sweet box) – Shiny, evergreen foliage & small, beautifully fragrant flowers in winter around Christmas. Flowers followed by small berries. Grows quite slowly & can be grown in the border or container. Can be trained against a wall. Plant near a door or window to enjoy the perfume.
Perennials for dry soil in full or part-shade.
  1. Helleborus (Lenten Rose) – Disease resistant, evergreen leaves. Flowers from winter into spring with single or double flowers dependant on variety. Wide range of colours in cream, white, red, pink, yellow & dark maroon almost black. Flowers hang down on older varieties but newer varieties are being bred with more upward facing & more floriferous flowers. Water weekly until established. The only maintenance required is to remove the dead leaves. Think carefully before planting as they don’t like to be moved!
  2. Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove) – Biennial & self-seeds so either collect seed or leave it to seed round & about. Will not self-seed if deadheaded. Dappled or part-shade is ideal. Poisonous.
  3. Japanese anemone (Windflower) – White, light or darker pink flowers in this deciduous perennial sway in any breeze. Flower in late summer & autumn until the first frost. Easily grown & easily removed. Deer & rabbit resistant. Will grow in any reasonable soil in part-shade.
  4. Vinca minor (Periwinkle) – An evergreen, spring flowerer with blue/purple flowers that can spread rapidly so think carefully about the planting site. It can be difficult to contain once established & can take over even if planted in dry shade.
  5. Lamium maculatum (Spotted dead nettle) – An evergreen with attractive silver & green leaves & pink-purple flowers. A good edging plant or ground cover. Drought & shade tolerant. Cut back in winter, flowers all summer. Mildly invasive but easily removed. A good edging plant.
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