Shade Gardening Tips and Techniques

Reblogged with permission of the National Garden Bureau:

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How many hours of sunlight per day is considered shade?

Full Shade = less than 3 hours of sun/day
Part Shade = 3-6 hours of sun/day
See more on shade definition at

New Variety Showcase:

Coleus Fuseables ‘Under The Sun’

Heuchera ‘Apple Crisp’

Impatiens ‘Accent Premium Red’

Viola ‘Gem Frosty Blue Improved’ F1

Click here to see all NGB member new varieties.

Color in the Shade Garden

Do you live in a mature neighborhood with a lot of great shade trees?

Or do you live in an apartment or home where most of your garden space faces north?

Or does that big high-rise next door block a lot of the sun from reaching your balcony?

No problem! There are many garden plants that can not only survive, but thrive in the shade. This is by no means a complete list but a short list to get you started in the right direction if you wish to put more color in your shade garden.

Begonia boliviensis
Begonia, wax
Polka-Dot Plant
Sweet Potato Vine

Bleeding Heart
Heuchera/Coral Bells

And here are a few tips:
1) Shade gardening often means trying to plant among established trees and shrubs where digging around roots can be troublesome. In that case, starting with smaller transplants will be easier so you won’t have to dig as large a hole.
2) Just because it’s shady doesn’t mean you won’t need to water as often. Oftentimes, those trees can suck up available moisture leaving your color plants thirsty.
3) And yes, those trees can provide instant mulch in the fall but if you fail to shred the leaves before spreading them as mulch, you might end up with a matted mess that allows diseases and pests to thrive.
4) To brighten shady areas use light-colored flowers such as white, light pink or palest blues. Dark colors tend to get “lost” in shady areas.

Let’s Go Garden!

Any or all of this information may be reprinted, with credit given to National Garden Bureau.

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Founded in 1920, the National Garden Bureau is a non-profit organization whose mission is to disseminate basic instructions for home gardeners. NGB publishes and sponsors “Year Of The” fact sheets annually featuring flowers and vegetables, including new introductions, which are especially suited to home gardens. 


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