I am looking to plant somethin in containers 50' diam X 50' deep. Location
is shaded, beside a glass wall facing south to the lake, this location is
like a protected gallery without any winter heating. I was thinking some
hostas but i would like also something flowering. Do you think a hydrangea
can make it there? I would like to plant a perennial
Tahnks for any idea
Paulo (Toronto, 5B)
Fifty FOOT containers? Those are some big containers. You don't say your
zone so some of this might not be useful:
Hydrangeas need BRIGHT shade or dappled sunlight to flower well. If there
is any time during the day when it would get SOME bright sun, hydrangeas
might bloom well even if shaded most of the rest of the day. But
generally, in deeper shade they'll have nice foliage only, & if you get
one of the variegated hydrangeas, bright foliage may be enough, but
flowers will be disappointing without some sunlight. An exception might be
oakleaf hydrangea; it'll bloom well in considerable shade but isn't apt to
have such gorgeous autumn leaf color without sun, though deeper shade
oakleaf hygrangeas are sometimes semi-evergreen in protected spots, so
it's all a trade-off.
The floweriest shade shrub is Camellia sasanqua, but if you're not in zone
7 or 8, they probably won't do as well.
Old-fashioned bleedinghearts bloom spectacularly in the shade, but die
back in summer. Smaller Dicentra eximia or Dicentra formosa (native
bleeding hearts) do not die back in summer if they remain moist, bloom
fairly well in deep shade but better with indirect sunlight.
PJM rhodies can bloom in more shade than most rhodies but SOME sunlight
makes it more certain. The rhodies that always bloom well in shade are the
Korean Azalea 'Poukhahense' & a cultivar bred from it 'Purple Splendor'
Azalea (not to be confused with 'Purple Splendour' a pontus hybrid that
Aucuba shrubs get pretty big. Though the flowers are insigifnicant the
leaves are yellow & green & bring light to a dark location. If you're
careful to acquire only one male aucuba with one or moure female, they'll
produce enormous bright red winter berries so very, very colorful. If you
only have one aucuba even if it's female it won't have berries as it needs
a male. Garden centers don't make it easy to sex them, so get one with
berries already on it to be sure it's female, & for its male partner get
the commonly available 'Mr Goldstrike.'
Another evergreen shrub, Leucothoe, has small white dangly flowers in
winter with quite a fine vanilla scent that is most noticeable in enclosed
planting corridors where the perfume isn't too quickly dispersed.
A big perennial called rogersia blooms well in considerable shade.
For a front border, hardy cyclamens bloom spectacularly well in autumn
(Cyclamen hederifolium) & winter to early spring (Cyclamen coum) but die
back during late spring & summer. An evergreen for a front border would be
wintergreen, which has small white flowers & big red berries, quite a
nice groundcover mini-shrub for a shade garden.
Corydalis flexuosa has extremely wonderful fish-shaped blue flowers, an
easy & superior plant for Zone 8 in the shade, but delicate outside of
Possibly the floweriest of all large perennials for deeper shade would be
Japanese anemones, nice foliage then in early autumn bbursts into
-paghat the ratgirl
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