7 Plants That Provide Summer Color in Shady Gardens

Jennifer Y. Ross
Published on June 17, 2019

7 Plants That Provide Summer Color in Shady Gardens

Shade gardens can be such a pleasant surprise. In that spot where you think nothing will grow, there are plants that will not only grow, but flower and thrive as well.

Depending upon climate, there are tropicals, perennials and annuals that will flower throughout the summer in a shady location.

Astilbe

If you are looking for plumes of color for that shady spot, consider planting astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii). These perennials are quite easy to grow and will bloom from late spring and through the summer.

Astilbe flowers are white, pink, lavender or red, and are striking when grown in bunches or along a shady walkway. Give the plant rich soil and water to keep the soil moist. Astilbe is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9.

Camellia

The only problem with choosing a camellia shrub (Camellia spp.) for your shady garden is trying to figure out which variety to grow, which color to grow and which flower form.

The Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) is the most popularly-grown species in the home garden. With more than 2,000 cultivars, gardeners can choose those that bloom in double, semi-double or single flowers, in shades of white, pink and red.

Although the young camellia will thrive in deep shade, as it ages it will need a bit of morning sun to produce the gorgeous flower show.

Camellia is hardy from USDA zone 6 or 7 (depending on variety) to 10. Watch the Grumpy Gardener’s Guide to Camellias video for additional tips.

Heuchera

The National Gardening Association’s “Perennial of the Year” in 2012, Heuchera (Heuchera spp.) is commonly known as coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea).

Heuchera is popular not only because it’s so easy to grow, but for its mind-boggling diversity in form and color – with nearly 50 different species.

Dainty flowers provide color to the shade garden, in white, pink and red hues. Learn more about Heuchera and get tips on choosing the right one for your garden at wimastergardener.org.

Hosta

Don’t discount the value of brilliant foliage in your shade garden. Hosta (Hosta spp.) is a favorite, across the country. Although they die back in winter, the gorgeous foliage appears again in spring.

Check out ‘Autumn Frost” to provide a pop of color along a walkway or wall in the shade garden.

Grow the hosta in well-drained soil amended with lots of organic matter. It’s hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9.

Hydrangea

Is there a flower lover on earth who isn’t impressed with hydrangea blooms? The mopheads, with their huge, round flowers or the panicles that drip from the shrub – what’s not to like?

Best of all (at least for the shade gardener), is that too much sun is brutal on the hydrangea. In fact, a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal.

Hydrangea is a deciduous shrub and, depending on variety, may grow from four to 12 feet tall. Learn more about the different types of hydrangea and their care at Clemson University’s website.

Impatiens

This African native is, according to horticulturists at the University of Maryland, the top selling bedding plant in the country. The reason: it’s very easy to grow.

Impatiens come in 15 colors, from white to bright and will grow quite well in the shade. They do require moist soil at all times to keep blooming.

Impatiens are also lovely in containers and hanging baskets. This cutie is hardy in USDA Zones 6b to 11.

Lungwort

If you prefer to carpet the soil with in your shady gardening spot, choose a groundcover. Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.) is one worth considering.

Flowering in shades of purple, red, white or pink, lungwort is a clumping perennial. Most varieties grow nine to 10 inches in height and spread two to three feet wide.

Lungwort prefers slightly moist soil at all times. If the roots get too dry the plant will wilt and it will rot if the roots get too much moisture. The experts at Iowa State University suggest watering it every week to 10 days if there’s no rain.

Lungwort grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7.

Happy summer gardening!

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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS

Jennifer comes from Platinum Drive to Compass as an experienced agent. She epitomized Platinum Drive Realty’s motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge. She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience. She often remains very friendly with her clients and welcomes the opportunity to be an ongoing resource as they settle into Westchester Living. Every step she takes will embody her core principals; integrity can never be compromised, clients’ interests always come first and character, commitment, and passion truly matter. For her buyer clients, Jennifer looks forward to the opportunity of being “Your NYC to Westchester” guide and real estate broker. For her seller clients, Jennifer is proficient at implementing an aggressive marketing strategy in order to obtain the best price possible in a highly efficient and seamless manner. Jennifer thoroughly enjoys assisting buyer clients in navigating the landscape of the Westchester residential real estate market. She is skilled at enabling clients to define where they see opportunity & facilitating the process from initial search through closing. Jennifer was awarded the Platinum Drive Star Award for Outstanding Performance in Sales & Client Services in 2014 & Platinum Drive Realty’s Superstar Award for Excellence in Sales and Client Services 2015 & 2016 for her outstanding performance in sales and client service. In addition to her passion for local real estate, Jennifer has a firsthand understanding of home renovation and new construction. Upon moving from NYC to Scarsdale, she and her husband performed an extensive renovation on their first home. After completion, they moved onto their second project in Larchmont, a full house renovation and expansion. More recently she is active with local developers who specialize in new home construction, home expansions and renovations. Jennifer has the ability to understand a home’s full potential and can help clients find or create their dream home. Jennifer was the Manager of Platinum Drive Realty’s Larchmont Office. Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University. Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane. She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale. Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools. Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families.

Professional Associations & Accreditation

Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS).  Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors. Jennifer’s

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