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Shade Tolerant Grass-like Plants

Looking for grass-like plants that tolerate the shade?  Many of our native and ornamental sedges thrive in shady conditions.

Pennsylvania sedge is the grass-like plant you see growing in the forest. It tolerates full to partial shade and dry soils. Or consider one of several cultivars of Silver Japanese grass. Most grow one to one and a half feet tall and tolerate full to part shade and moist soils.  Palm sedge and the dwarf cultivar Little Midge (Carex muskingumensis ‘Little Midge’) will tolerate moist to wet soils, partial shade or full sun and are hardy in zones 4 to 9.

Sweet flag (Acorus) is another option.  The long narrow leaves give the look and feel of a grass and these plants tolerate wet soil and part shade.  Variegated varieties with creamy stripes running the length of the leaves help brighten the shade in zones 3 to 9.

A bit more information:  Pennsylvania sedge is starting to appear in scattered home lawns and public areas.  You’ll enjoy its evergreen foliage during mild winters or the quick greening of dormant plants in spring.  Purchase plugs and plant in spring or fall for best results.

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