Perennials for Part Shade and Deep Shade!
Quite often the reason that plants struggle to thrive in shady places isn’t just the lack of sunlight but the lack of moisture created by roots of trees or large shrubs when they begin new growth from spring until autumn. To establish your plants in these places it’s may help to apply a mulch around them in spring, this will not only help conserve moisture but will enrich the soil too. When mulching around plants always remember to water them well first.
Heucheras are very pretty evergreen or semi-evergreen perennials that prefer moist but well-drained soils. They are mainly grown for their amazing foliage, rich colours and leaf patterns, most produce flower stems with tiny flowers, some are more showy than others. Heuchera ‘Can Can’ and ‘Obsidian’ will grow in full sun or part shade. ‘Can Can’ is a compact plant with reddish-purple ruffled leaves that are marked white with a deep veined pattern and produces stems with pale green flowers in summer. Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ is a very dark purple, almost black and produces red flower stems with tiny ivory white flowers. There are lots of Heucheras that will grow in full sun or part shade, but there are also many that will grow in more shade such as Heuchera ‘Amber Waves’, ‘Delta Dawn’, ‘Ginger Ale’ and ‘Lime Marmalade’. I have chosen these because they all have different coloured foliage and there names may give you a clue.
Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’ and ‘Sugar and Spice’ also known as the Foam Flower not only has attractively shaped and marked foliage but the first has wonderful frothy white flowers that are flushed pink, the latter has fragrant white-pink flowers. Both will grow in part shade to deep shade in most humus rich, well drained soils.
Some other perennials to suit conditions part-shade to deep shade are Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’, Epimedium x ‘Rubrum’, Hosta ‘Patriot’, Pachysandra terminalis, Geranium phaem ‘Raven’, Pulmonaria ‘Majeste’, Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon Seal), Iris foetidissima (also known as the Stinking Iris). Some useful ferns are Asplenium trichomanes (Maidenhair Spleenwort), Asplenium scolopendrium known as the Hart’s Tongue Fern.