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Thursday - April 22, 2010

From: Mannington, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for dry shade in West Virginia
Answered by: Anne Bossart


I live in Mannington, WV and I am wanting to do some landscaping. The area that I would like to plant in is very dry and gets little to no sunlight. I would like to plant something that will come back every year and is very low maintenance. I would also like to plant some kind of flowers for color. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Well, you are describing the growing conditions that are most challenging for plants and gardeners alike! But those conditions do exist in nature, so by choosing native plants you have a much better chance of success.  Because the plants are adapted to your area and conditions, they will also require little maintenance, but will still need to be watered until they are established.

Your plant selection will ultimately be determined by what you find in your local nurseries but you can start your wish list by visiting our Native Plant Database. If you do a Combination Search for West Virginia selecting dry and shady conditions, it will generate a list of 153 plants.  Each plant name on the list is linked to a detailed information page with images.  I find the process is simpler if I narrow the search further, selecting trees, shrubs, perennials (herbs) (and so on) to generate separate lists according to the plants I am looking for.

Here are a few plants from those lists that should work for you.


Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)

Rosa setigera (climbing rose)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)


Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Campanula rotundifolia (bluebell bellflower)

Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (roundlobe hepatica)

Lilium philadelphicum(wood lily)

Polygonatum biflorum (smooth Solomon's seal)

Pteridium aquilinum (western brackenfern)

Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)

Amelanchier arborea

Rosa setigera

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Viburnum acerifolium

Aquilegia canadensis

Campanula rotundifolia

Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa

Lilium philadelphicum

Pteridium aquilinum

Tradescantia virginiana




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