Best Plants for Dry Shade Areas
If you plan on planting in shady areas with dry soil, you have two strikes against you. But there are some plants that can tolerate a lack of water and sunlight. These are good options for problem areas such as under trees and beneath the eaves of north-facing walls. When planting under trees, keep in mind that tree roots suck up much of the available water and give a fair amount of shade once the leaves fill in. Meanwhile, house eaves often shelter plants from rain, and not in a good way.
Fixes for Dry, Shady Plantings Tolerating dry shade is not the same as thriving in it. The fact is that most plants that are suitable for dry shade will grow better if supplied with average amounts of moisture. Some will flower better in at least partial shade than in full shade. Before planting in dry-shade areas, you can improve your chances by mixing organic matter (for example, compost) into the soil, thereby increasing the soil's water retention. Sandy soils are like sieves and are notorious for quickly losing whatever water may come their way. Mixing compost into such soil is rather like adding pieces of sponge to it. Below we list one of our favorite shaded plants.
If you want more than greenery from a short ground cover, Vinca minor may provide the answer for you, with the adorable blue flowers it yields in spring. But this plant has the potential for becoming invasive if not tended to consistently. It becomes 3 to 6 inches tall, and its individual vines can reach out 18 inches. Grow it in zones 4 to 8.
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