Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport 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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 30, 2010

From: Lathrop , CA
Region: California
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Plants for shade in Northern California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What are good plants that grow and live in shade only?

ANSWER:

You can find these for yourself by going to our Recommended Species page and choosing Northern California from the map or the pulldown menu.  This will give you a list of almost 300 commercially available plants recommended for landscaping in California.  You can limit those results to shade plants by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and selecting "Shade – 2 hrs or less" from the LIGHT REQUIREMENT area.  You could also make selections in GENERAL APPEARANCE, LIFESPAN, SOIL MOISTURE, BLOOM TIME and BLOOM COLOR.  Limiting your choice to "Shade – 2 hrs or less" will give you close to 50 plants to choose from.  Here are some examples from that list:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Athyrium filix-femina (common ladyfern)

Claytonia sibirica (Siberian springbeauty)

Dicentra formosa (Pacific bleeding heart)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Solidago altissima (late goldenrod)

Here are some photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Athyrium filix-femina

Claytonia sibirica

Dicentra formosa

Lobelia cardinalis

Rhododendron macrophyllum

Rudbeckia hirta

Solidago altissima

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Plants for a Narrow, Dry, Shaded Site in Georgia
April 03, 2014 - I am writing from Valdosta, GA. Could you please suggest three perennial shrubs and/or plants that flower at different times of the spring and summer? Also ones that can be planted in a 2 ft. wide s...
view the full question and answer

Will Thunder Turf do well in shade from Iola TX
June 23, 2010 - Will the Thunder Turf do well in shady areas or is there a better blend of native grasses that would thrive better?
view the full question and answer

Ground cover plants for a shady North Carolina yard
March 20, 2016 - Ground cover erosion control for heavily shaded area in Cary, North Carolina. Current landscapers use strong blowers for leaf control. This blows away any seeds, loose soil and mulch. Tree roots ar...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant low shrub for Houston
September 28, 2013 - Please suggest a shade loving shrub that doesn't get more than 3' tall for a foundation planting along a front porch in Houston, TX. I prefer native, drought resistant if possible. No nursery person...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for Dallas in shade and partial shade
June 02, 2010 - What ground cover plants will grow in full shade- partial shade in the clay soil of Dallas?
view the full question and answer

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