Using shade perennial beds in your Nashville, Tn garden is easier than you think. There are so many shade loving plants to choose from. Here in the Mid South, even plants that are considered full sun actually appreciate a little afternoon shade.
Perennials are a great choice for any garden because they come back each year…if they live that is! That’s why it’s important to know which ones thrive in Nashville.
To get your perennials to thrive, one trick to planting a shade perennial bed is to choose a spot that has little competition from trees that have surface roots such as maples, sweet gums, and dogwoods. Assessing your site before you plant is essential.
The exception might be the Lenten Rose, also called Hellebores.
Below are some tips for assessing your site for a shade perennial bed in Nashville, Tn and the Mid South.
Assessing Your Site
- Assess your planting area and identify light and shade levels for that area. To do this, take a walk around your yard and observe what areas get full sun and which areas are truly shady areas. (Remember, light levels change throughout the year as the seasons change and as trees leaf out or grow to maturity. Keep notes in a journal as to what areas receive shade in the morning, midday, and early afternoon.)
- Decide if the area is full shade, partial shade, or full sun. Those terms may be a little confusing. Here’s what those in the landscaping business mean.
- Full shade areas have a dense canopy where no direct sunlight penetrates, or perhaps the plant is in the shadow of an evergreen tree or building all day.
- Partial shade means that the garden receives dappled shade throughout the day. This simply means that you can see some portions of the sky through the leaves above you.
- Another type of partial shade is the garden that is more densely shaded for a part of the day but receives bright sunlight for two to six hours.
- The third type of area is full sun which means the area receives at least six hours of direct sunlight during the day. As mentioned earlier, many plants considered full sun plants in northern climates, actually appreciate some afternoon shade here in the Mid South.
Shade Loving Perennials For Nashville, Tn and Mid South
- Italian arum (Arum italicum)
- Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) ∗
- Green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) ∗
- Cardinal flower (Lobelia Cardinalis) ∗
- Solomon’s seal (Polyanatum odoratum) ∗
- Spiderwort (Tradescantia x Andersoniana)
- Lenten rose (Helleborus spp.) ∗
- Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)
- Astilbe (Astilbe x Arendsii) ∗
- Toad lily (Tricyrtus formosana)
- Carpet Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)
- Bluestar (Amsonia Tabernaemontana) ∗
- Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) ∗
- Bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia, D. spectablilis) ∗
- Snowbank boltonia (Boltonia asteroides ‘Snowbank’)
- Woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) ∗
- Hardy begonia (Begonia grandis)
- Native columbine (Aguilegia canadensis) ∗
- Creeping Jennie (Lysimachia Nummularia) ∗
- Meadow rue (Thalictrum aquilegifolium)
- Jampanese anemone (Anemone xhybrida)
- Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) ∗
- Coralbells (Heuchera sanguinea) ∗
- Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpiodes var. semperflorens)
- Calla lilies (Zantedischia spp.)
- Spiny bear’s-breeches (Acanthus spinosissimus)∗ Part-sun, sun
- Ginger lily (Hedychium coronarium)
- Chinese ground orchid (Bletilla striata)
- Epimediums (Epimedium spp.)
- Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia)
- Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis)
- Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis)
- Agapanthus (Agapanthus africanus)
∗ One of our favorite perennial plants.
This list should give you a good idea of which shade perennial plants grow well and thrive in Nashville, Tn and the Mid South.
Do your research and see which ones you want to try. If you need any help, contact us at Acer Landscape Services contact page. We’re glad to come and consult with you. Or, you may want to use our design-buid and grounds installation services.
Call us today at 615-350-8030. We’d love to talk.
“At Acer we’re planting relationships.”
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