The Difficult Spot
Dry shade is usually considered a very difficult spot for plants. Under Maple trees, with their heavy shade and shallow roots, or under overhanging eaves next to a building, these areas are less than ideal. We may want to mulch them with stones or shredded bark.
But if you decide to try planting a dry shady place, try some of the plants listed here. They may be a short spurt of bloom, or contribute a groundcover effect.
Be aware if a wildflower is chosen: it may be ephemeral and disappear after going dormant in summer. Many wildflowers of the woods do that.
The most popular of the persistent perennials is probably the hosta. Hardy geraniums are also choices to try. Each perennial has its features from which to choose, one is sure to work for your spot.
Plants That Tolerate Dry Shade
- Aquilegia canadensis zone 3
- Asters: Blue wood aster (Symphyotrichum cordifolium) zone 3, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum
- Bergenia (Bergenia spp.) zones 2 to 6
- Bleeding heart (Dicentra spp.) zone 3
- Cimicifuga zone 3 to 5
- https://www.ilonasgarden.com/hellebores-christmas-and-lenten-roses/Helleborus spp zone 3 to 6
- Crested iris (Iris cristata) zone 3
- Cyclamen spp. zone 5 to 9
- Chrysogonum virginianum zone 4
- Geranium macrorrhizum zone 3
- Heuchera spp. zone 3
- Hosta spp. zone 3
- Ladyâ€™s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) zone 3
- Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) zone 1
- Lamium maculatum zone 2
- Phlox divaricata zone 3
- Lungwort (Pulmonaria spp.) zone 3
- Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) zone 3
- Solidago flexicaulis zone 4
- Tiarella spp. zone 3
- Thalictrum spp. zones 2 to 6
- Violet (Viola spp.) zone 2 to 9
It should be noted that although all the listed plants tolerate dry shade, that does not equate to liking or thriving in it. Most plants need some regular moisture when first planted, until they are established.
How to Improve Soil Moisture Retention
Give a bit of care in preparation for better growth:
Add soil amendments such as peat moss, compost, or other humus building materials ( like shredded plant bark). Use mulches if possible to conserve what moisture is available.
With a bit of care, you may encourage these plants to fill in those dry shady parts of the garden.