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Saturday - February 07, 2009

From: Dunn, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native plants for part shade in North Carolina
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I'm thinking about planting a border in front of my house. It's on the north side, so it's fairly shady. One of the main problems with this is that I don't like many common shade plants, so it's hard to find anything good. I haven't firmly decided on a color scheme, but I'm leaning toward blue and yellow. Are there any shade flowers in an indigo color? Actually, are there any shade flowers in any bright color? Color is good! Oh, and low- to no-maintenance would be a plus.


We went into our Recommended Species section, clicked on North Carolina on the map, did NARROW YOUR SEARCH, selecting on "Herbs" (flowering herbaceous plants), part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day), and shade (less than 2 hours of sun a day) and got a list of 31 plants that fulfilled those requirements. From those, we selected several that satisfied your color preferences, but threw in some other tints of pink and red, just for variety. You can follow the same procedure and make your own selections. Follow the plant links to our webpage on each plant to find out more about propagation, height, etc.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends only plants native not just to North America but to the area in which they grow naturally. Native plants already habituated to a climate and rainfall will require less fertilizer, water and maintenance. These plants are all commercially available, and if you have difficulty locating them, go to our Native Plant Supplier section, type in your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape and environmental consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you can check availability before you go shopping.


Achillea millefolium (common yarrow) - perennial, blooms white, pink April to September

Amsonia tabernaemontana (eastern bluestar) - perennial, blooms blue, purple March to May

Conoclinium coelestinum (blue mistflower) - perennial, blooms blue, purple July to November

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed) - perennial, blooms yellow April to June

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) - perennial, blooms pink, purple April to September

Gaillardia pulchella (firewheel) - annual, blooms red, yellow, brown May to August

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) - perennial, blooms red May to October

Lobelia siphilitica (great blue lobelia) - perennial, blooms blue July to October

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine) - perennial, blooms May and June

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells) - perennial, blooms pink, blue, purple March to June

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot) - perennial, blooms white, pink, purple May to September

Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox) - perennial, blooms white, red, pink, purple March to May

Achillea millefolium

Amsonia tabernaemontana

Conoclinium coelestinum

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Gaillardia pulchella

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia siphilitica

Lupinus perennis

Mertensia virginica

Monarda fistulosa

Phlox divaricata



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