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Perennials for Dry Shade

What to Plant in Dry, Shady Areas

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Snowdrops (photo) are outstanding perennials for dry shade.

Snowdrops photo.

David Beaulieu

The next four selections for perennials for dry shade are quite different from my choices on Page 1. All have two characteristics in common: they are short and, to varying degrees, considered invasive. Out of these four plants, only English ivy is such a vigorous grower that its invasiveness may pose a serious problem to the average landscape.

5. English Ivy Plants

English ivy vines may produce insignificant, greenish-white flowers in the fall, but these perennials for dry shade are grown primarily for their foliage. A popular plant for many years, a growing number of homeowners now choose not to grow English ivy, due to its negative impact on forests in some regions (when it escapes from cultivation). If you do choose to grow English ivy, don't plant it near your trees. The vines climb up tree trunks and may eventually engulf the whole tree, drastically reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches the leaves of the host tree. For more information on English ivy, please consult the following resource:

English Ivy Plants

The next three perennials for dry shade are safer choices. They're also all deer-resistant, to boot.

6. Japanese Pachysandra

Pachysandra terminalis produces white blooms in spring but, like English ivy, is grown primarily for its robust green foliage. To learn more about Japanese pachysandra, please consult the following resource:

Japanese Pachysandra

7. Vinca Minor Vines

But what 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. To learn more about vinca, please consult the following resource:

Vinca Minor Vines

8. Spotted Dead Nettles

Or perhaps you're content with nice foliage, only you'd prefer its color be something other than green? Well, these perennials for dry shade provide an interesting silvery foliage. To learn more about spotted dead nettles, please consult the following resource:

Spotted Dead Nettles

The final two entries in my list of perennials for dry shade are spring-flowering bulbs.

9. Snowdrops

These precocious bulb plants are as impatient for spring to come as you are. Sometimes, they can be seen pushing up through a recalcitrant layer of snow. To learn more about snowdrops, please consult the following resource:

Snowdrops

10. Scilla Siberica

The bulb, squill is also called "scilla," because its Latin name is Scilla siberica. If the white blooms of snowdrops aren't what you want after looking at the color, white all winter, then the blue of these perennials for dry shade may be more to your liking. Scilla does need a good deal of water during its growing season, which is spring. But considering the abundance of moisture in many regions during spring, this usually isn't a problem. For more information on squill, please see the following resource:

Scilla Siberica

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