En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 11, 2006

From: Milwaukee, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native flowers and ground cover for damp, shady area in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to plant some flowers and ground cover in the front of my yard near my home. This spot is usually damp and nearly always shaded. Any suggestions? Also I'm looking for blue flowering plants. Any suggestions? I currently reside in Wisconsin.

ANSWER:

Here are a few suggestions for plants for that will grow in moist soil and shade in your area and are commercially available:

Yellow marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris)
Closed bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii Griseb.)
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Jacob's ladder (Polemonium occidentale)

I am not sure whether you are looking for blue flowers for the wet shaded area, or whether your blue flowers are for a different area with sun and drier soil. The Jacob's ladder above has flowers that are blue, and the following list contains blue flowers that require sun. Some prefer dry soil and some prefer wet. You can check out the Growing Conditions for each plant from the menu at the top of each page.

Great blue flag (Iris virginica)
Narrow-leaf blue-eyed- grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium)
Sky-blue american aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense)
Blue larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum)

You can find more plants that fit your criteria by searching in the Native Plants Database. Choose Combination Search from the menu near the bottom of the page to select different criteria (e.g., Bloom Characteristics, Growing Conditions, etc.) for locating your plants. You can find sources for native plants in your area when you visit our National Suppliers Directory.
 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Deer-resistant plants for under cedar and oak trees in Austin
June 22, 2010 - I have about 1.5 acres in southern Travis county. It's full of mature live oaks and cedar trees, and the soil is full of limestone. I've been gathering the limestone and using them to create raise...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plants for shaded fence in Arizona
January 28, 2009 - I need to place a fence around my front yard (4-5 ft tall), in Arizona. What evergreen flower/plant can you recommend that would grow on this fence? (it would only get about 2-4 hours of sun daily and...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for a shady spot in IL
February 26, 2011 - I have a low-sun spot on the side of my house in Chicago, IL. I would really like to turn this spot into a wildflower garden. Could you suggest some native IL flowers that might work in this spot? ...
view the full question and answer

Suggestion for plants to replace grass in semi-shade in NY
February 01, 2008 - I have an area that is in semi-shade but gets about 4-5 hours of sunlight in the summer. Instead of grass I would like to perhaps use wild flowers or even prairie type grasses. Any suggestions??
view the full question and answer

Spring blooming plants for spring sun and summer shade
July 03, 2007 - I live in San Antonio. I'm faced with a dilemma. I've got mature native pecans. In the summer they provide beautiful full shade. However, in the winter and even into the late spring, my yard is ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center