Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Monday - June 22, 2009

From: Milwaukee, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for a shady garden in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a shady garden in southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee) and am interested in introducing more native plants of all sizes and heights, hopefully with lovely flowers. I would love to know what you might suggest. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Please see our Recommended Species page and choose Wisconsin from the map or the pull-down menu.  This will give you a list of more than 170 native plants that are commercially available for landscaping in Wisconsin.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to find plants suitable for the shade by selecting 'Shade - 2 hrs or less' under Light Requirement.  You can also make selections under Soil Moisture and General Appearance.  Here are a few suggestions from the list:

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood)

Dicentra cucullaria (dutchman's breeches)

Dryopteris cristata (crested woodfern)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Lilium philadelphicum (wood lily)

Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)

Ostrya virginiana (hophornbeam)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

There are many more choices from the Recommended Species list for Wisconsin.


Aquilegia canadensis

Arisaema triphyllum

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Cornus alternifolia

Dicentra cucullaria

Dryopteris cristata

Hypericum prolificum

Lobelia cardinalis

Lilium philadelphicum

Mertensia virginica

Ostrya virginiana

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Plants for shady area in Brenham, TX
February 19, 2008 - I have an area which receives shade all day, but gets a lot of sun just before sunset. What sorts of plants would do well?
view the full question and answer

Plants for Georgetown with shade in the AM and sun in the PM
September 30, 2015 - Hi, I live in Georgetown and I would like a recommendation for plants (shrubs and flowering perennials) that can handle deep shade until 1 or 2 pm and then have full sun blasting them til sun down. T...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for large pot in light shade in Austin
March 30, 2007 - For an Austin yard, please suggest a shrub or a mixture of plants for a 15 gallon clay pot. The area has dappled light and deer. I would prefer a deciduous plant if possible.
view the full question and answer

Butterfly plants from Austin TX
December 17, 2012 - I have a butterfly garden in the front part of the house facing the south side. However it is also mostly under a few Oak trees that cast shadow over half of the front yard starting early afternoon. ...
view the full question and answer

Small shrub for shady area
March 06, 2010 - I would like to find a shrub to plant on the north, northeast side of my house, but it will be in mostly shade. It needs to get between 21/2' to 4' tall. Do you have any suggestions please?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.