Do you picture yourself lounging in a shady area of your yard, your favorite book and a drink in hand? As much as we all love warm weather, too much sunshine can be brutal, and we tend to crave a shady, cool spot to relax outdoors. If you’re considering a new landscaping project, adding shade to your yard or around your porch might be just what you need to get ready for summer.

As you decide upon a spot to grow your shade plants, keep in mind that a few factors will help to determine the best placement:

  • Soil quality
  • Adequate water
  • Proper drainage
  • The time of day or year the yard is in shade
  • Existing structures, walls or fences
  • Existing trees or tall hedges

Keep in mind that plants compete with one another for sunlight and nutrients, and someone will always be the loser in those situations. So you never want to over-plant any particular area. Don’t choose a spot that is already overrun with tree roots, or your new shrubs could suffer a lack of nutrients. On the other hand, keep in mind that shady plants will block sunlight from shorter plants nearby, so don’t plant them to closely to those that need full sun.

Aside from those factors, the most important thing about choosing a spot to grow shade plants is to ask yourself where you want to relax and enjoy outdoor time!

To choose the right plants, ask yourself if you want them to serve a dual purpose. Most likely, you would appreciate those that also add beauty to your landscaping. Keep in mind the flowering season of various shrubs that you consider. You might want to choose several different ones, so that something is always blooming in your yard.

Remember that it will take a few years for most shade plants to reach their full height and width. They grow more slowly than their full-sun counterparts. Plan carefully to leave them enough room to grow, based on each species’ average full size. In the meantime, leaving space between your shrubs can make your landscaping look bare, so fill in the space with some shade-loving perennials or even annuals for a pop of seasonal color.

Consider the following plants to provide shade to your garden or patio area:

  • Camellias
  • Azaleas
  • Hellebores
  • Ivies
  • Lilacs
  • Chinese lanterns
  • Heuchera
  • Liriope
  • Clivia lilies

Come visit our nursery and view our lovely selection of shade plants, and we’ll be happy to offer some advice on growing and caring for your new plants.

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