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Shade-loving Perennials for your Garden

Posted on Thursday 12/23

TN Nurseries best selling perennials

Purple coneflower

Bishops weed

Wild Aster

Milkweed

Anemone

How to Use Shade-Loving Perennials in your Landscape Design

Not everyone’s garden has ample sunshine, which can be a limiting factor when selecting plants for your landscape design. However, many perennials will grow quite well, even in the shade.

Before you decide to plant, evaluate your landscape for sunshine. Some parts of the garden may receive the sun, but it may only be for a few hours. Thus, it would be best if you chose your plants accordingly.

Areas of medium shade often only get sunshine in the early morning or late afternoon. However, medium shade is ubiquitous in most homes in urban areas. Besides, large buildings may block the landscape from the sun from large trees or fences.

How to Design a Landscape with Medium Shade Conditions

If you have medium shade, then the best plants are astilbe, corydalis lutea, or a variety of aquilegia hybrids. These low-growing perennials are easy to grow, need minimum maintenance and produce beautiful flowers.

What to Grow in Very Shady Landscape Designs

If your garden has even less sunshine and is dark, you can still grow some perennials like the Japanese spurge and the periwinkle. Both produce flowers with dense green foliage. Another option is the Lilly of the valley, which produces lovely fragrant flowers. You can even grow a variety of shrubs in medium light. These include azaleas, rhododendron and hydrangeas.

If you want ground covers to fill in large areas of your garden, the choices are Sweet woodruff, pachysandra, evergreen candytuft, and Vinca minor. Some of these will even grow under the trees. You may even want to go with annuals, foxglove, begonias, and pansies to brighten up your dull landscape. The surprise Lilly, Madonna, and calla are other flowering bulbs that also thrive in low sunlight.

If you are unsure what to grow, speak to a gardener or a landscaper first.

 

Coneflower Plant - TN Nursery

Coneflower Plant

The coneflower perennial is known for its distinctive daisy-like, purple flowers with a prominent cone-shaped center. These flowers attract pollinators and add color to gardens. Take Advantage of This Perennial With TN Nursery Coneflowers, which resemble daisies, typically bloom in the middle to end of summer. Certain types may begin blooming earlier or continue into the autumn. They are available in a rainbow of hues, from yellow to deep pink, and with both single and double blooms that are extremely vibrant. Magnus Superior variants bloom from the end of spring until the end of summer with rosy-violet rays that can reach a diameter of seven inches. These plants respond exceptionally well to deadheading.     Enjoy a Naturalizing Effect With a Coneflower Plant They spread gracefully, like wildflowers, thanks to their abundant seed production and self-sowing capabilities. Their delicate branches and colorful flowers make them perfect for gardens, where they provide visual interest without drawing attention to themselves. This naturalizing effect makes the plant look better and also works well for filling in gaps between flower beds. Add Diversity to Your Garden With This Perennial Because of their unusual shape and composition, cones are a great way to add variety to your landscape. Their unique cone shapes also make them eye-catching accents among other garden plants. They provide textural variety to a garden by growing erect, which contrasts wonderfully with trailing or mounding plants. In expansion, they can adjust to a broad range of soil types and light levels, so you have more alternatives for planting them. Invite Pollinators to Your Yard  Since they produce both nectar and pollen, many pollinators rely on these flowers for sustenance. Each of the 250 to 500 blooms that make up its black, cone-shaped flower head serves as a little cup of nectar for the pollinators. Bees and hummingbirds are just a few of the pollinators that love it. This variant can grow up to three feet tall and typically blooms between the middle of summer and the beginning of September each year. Because they produce seeds, they are a popular nectar source for birds as well.

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Milkweed Plant - TN Nursery

Milkweed Plant

The milkweed plant is known for attracting monarchs. It is a native perennial with clusters of showy, pink to mauve flowers and lance-shaped leaves. The plant attracts a host of pollinators while thriving in moist, wetland habitats. It boasts numerous benefits when incorporated into landscaping designs. Its unique features contribute to outdoor spaces' aesthetic appeal and ecological value. With clusters of vibrant and captivating flowers, it adds a burst of color and charm to gardens while also serving as a vital component in supporting local ecosystems. Most people think of the common milkweed when the term ‘milkweed’ comes to mind. It is a tall plant noted for its pink to purple flowers. It’s one of 115 species of plants in the Asclepiadaceae family. The genus Asclepias is named after Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine. This is appropriate because it is known for containing high levels of cardiac glycosides, which are used in some treatments for heart disease. This same substance also serves as the only source for Monarch butterfly larvae. Where Does Milkweed Grow? It is native to the midwestern and eastern regions of the United States and Canada, but it can be found further west as well. It is most commonly found in more open habitats, such as pastures, prairies, fields, and roadsides. It needs total sun to grow but can tolerate light shade as well. You’ll normally find it commonly clustered together into large patches, which are called colonies. Description  It can grow to be over five feet tall. The foliage can grow up to 8 inches, elongated nearly four inches wide, and is somewhat thick. The upper part of the oval-shaped leaves is usually darker greenish in color, while the underside is much lighter green and sometimes even white. When cut, both the leaves and the stems reveal a milky latex. The flowers themselves can grow to be nearly an inch long and half an inch wide with a midrib that runs beneath them. They have a pink to purple coloring over them with a greenish tint and are very sweetly scented. Why Gardeners Like TN Nursery The pink-to-purple colors contrast well against lush green fields and dry yellow prairies alike. Gardeners like it for its distinctive appearance and sweet, fragrant aromas. Another reason why gardeners often like it is that it serves as the host plant for the beautiful monarch butterfly. These butterflies will lay their eggs on it, and as mentioned previously, the nectar also serves as the only source of food for the Monarch larvae. Gardeners who like monarch butterflies or are otherwise concerned about their declining population can grow it to provide these butterflies with a natural habitat. The Milkweed plant is a flowering perennial named for its cardenolide-bearing latex, which is beneficial to butterflies and other insects. Monarch butterflies use and require specific species, including Asclepias syriaca and Asclepias incarnata, as host plants. Their genus name, Asclepias, honors Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine.  Asclepias contains hundreds of species native to Africa, North America, and South America. Asclepias syriaca and Asclepias incarnata are native to the American continents and common across the central and eastern United States. The sun-loving Asclepias syriaca grows naturally in fields, prairies, and pastures, while Asclepias incarnata grows along creeks, ponds, and bogs. Their flowers typically bloom from June through August. Asclepias produces complex blossoms that have similarities to orchids. Their large, spherical clusters of five-petaled blossoms are found at the top of it's thick stems. Each Asclepias growth usually carries two to five clusters of flowers. The individual blossoms are about three-quarters of an inch long and emit a strong, sweet fragrance. Asclepias syriaca has greenish-pink to rosy pink blooms, while Asclepias incarnata's flowers tend toward a brighter purplish-pink hue. It can grow up to five feet tall. Their thick, bright green leaves are six to eight inches long and two to three-and-one-half inches wide. The leaves' upper surfaces are darker than their whitish undersides. In nature and in landscapes, Asclepias plants form colonies and need room to spread out. Asclepias incarnata is highly ornamental and fairly easily contained, making it well-suited to perennial, butterfly, and pollinator gardens. Asclepias syriaca works well in meadow gardens without defined borders. They grow easily from seed and spread as their rhizomes expand. They can be propagated in the late fall or early spring. Ecology Of The Plant Asclepias syriaca and Asclepias incarnata are the required food sources for monarch butterflies, beetles, moths, and other insects that evolved to feed on their nectar. In the midwestern and northeastern regions of the United States, their leaves are the most important source of nourishment for monarch caterpillars, and their presence helps to fortify and increase monarch populations. Planting This Perennial Will Bring the Butterflies to Your Garden If you want to encourage monarch butterflies and other pollinators to make your garden home, you'll surely want to add Asclepias to your landscape.

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