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Perennials Made for the Shade

Brighten those shady spots with a few of these shade-loving perennials.

Grow bugbane (Actea racemosa syn. Cimicifuga racemosa hardy in zones 3 to 8) at the back of the border, near a building or fence for summer flowers. They add vertical interest for those shady locations. And include a few fall blooming varieties to extend your enjoyment.

The white (Corydalis ochroleuca syn. Pseudofumaria alba hardy in zones 4 to 8) and yellow corydalis (Corydalis lutea hardy in zones 5 to 7) are great weavers in the garden and combine well with other plants. Their wandering nature requires a bit of weeding, to keep them inbounds. But if you’re like me, the summer long bloom that requires no deadheading makes it worth a little thinning.

Astilbes are popular shade plants but can be a bit fussy. This Astilbe chinensis (hardy in zones 4 to 8) is more tolerant of sun and drier soils than other varieties. As you can see in the video, it has made itself at home the shady border. One or two plants reseeded and thrived there with minimal care.

A bit more information: Another perennial near the border of this shade garden at Heritage Flower Farm is masterwort (Astrantia major). The 1 to 3’ tall perennial is covered with pink blushed white flowers throughout the summer and fall. You’ll enjoy the sweet fragrance and long season of bloom on this zone 4 to 7 hardy perennial.

Upcoming Webinars & Appearances


Oct. 14-16
NARI Milwaukee
Home & Remodeling Show

Oct. 26

Webinar: Year-round Perennial
Garden Maintenance


Nov. 2
Webinar: Boosting the Beauty of
and Propagating Houseplants


June 3 – 11, 2023
“Castles & Gardens” Adventure in Ireland with Melinda Myers
Includes the Bloom Festival in Dublin!

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