Flower bed under shade tree

Old 09-19-02, 08:55 AM
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Question Flower bed under shade tree


I have a beautiful old oak tree in front of my house. It's a great shade tree but maybe a bit too great as it blocks the sun & rain from anything that is planted under it, therefore making an ugly spot. So I'm looking for idea for plants that will grow in the GA heat (or even ideas for fall plantings) that will be low to the ground, drought tolerant, shade loving, & colorfull would be nice too. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Old 09-19-02, 10:43 AM
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Smile Shade loving plants

Hi LoriB Welcome to DIYs Garden Forum

A great big Southern Oak? Well two plants jump to mind one is Coleus & the other is the double or single Impation.

Coleus is a folage plant that comes in many colors & Impations are allmost everblooming small profus bloomer.

Both need some water & use a very low Nitrogen, flower food or compost or just compost.

Easy to grow , many choices in colors & both do well in low light like the Great oak.

Just a tip> remove all old oak leaves from bed & put some limestone or Garden lime in soil to sweeten the soil. Oaks have Tannic Acid in their leaves so this & not light will cause problems growing under Oak trees.

If you are in Southern GA and cover your plants with light fabric not plastic they may do well all Winter.

Good Growing, Hope it turns out like you plan
Old 09-19-02, 04:17 PM
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Well, that was my thought too, so that is unfortunatly what is looking very sorry under that tree. I do feel better though, since we are both thinking along the same lines. So thanks for that.

Old 09-19-02, 05:02 PM
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Smile So what now?

Where will you go from here? With at least a dosen or more wild shade loving plants. Have you thought about the basics?

When you can't get tame plants to grow under extreme conditions use native plants. Wild tough & for the most part deep rooted to need very little water.

Did you water your plants at all? Check the soils PH & bring in extra humatic materiel.

If I read you right you asked a question, more as a fishing expedition. Right?

Why did you not just ask about the name of plants that would thrive where the plants you tried failed?

Don't give up. There are many plants that will grow in GA that have evolved there. They may not be as pretty as the store bought however they will be better than a bare spot.

I have a friend who lives in Augusta & uses Caladiums under her big shady Oaks right in the sand. She doesen't know one end of a hose from the other so I know they don't get water.

You can't give up on something that will grow right out of the rocks on the side of a Mountain. (A Plant) There are plants for everywhere we just have to find them.
Old 09-20-02, 04:35 PM
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Have you watered?

Aren't you going thru a drought, also? Have you watered the plants?

Other plants coming to my mind are ferns, lily of the valley (tho only really nice in the spring), and hostas.

Also visit a nursery and ask them. They will carry plants that do well in your area.

Last edited by BobF; 09-21-02 at 01:02 PM.
Old 09-20-02, 07:53 PM
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Hi Lori,

Epimedium comes to mind. They love dry shade and have lovely heart shaped leaves. Some others for dry shade would be
Chasmanthium latifolium - northern sea oats (native grass for part shade)
Bergenia crassifolia
Cerastium tomentosum - snow in summer
Erigeron karvinskianus - Mexican daisy will take part shade
Viola labradorica - Labrador violet (native)
Geranium macrorrhizum
Geranium palmatum
Helleborus species including argutifolius, foetidus and orientalis
Heuchera maxima
Iris foetidissima
Oxalis oregana
Polygonatum commutatum - Giant Solomon's Seal
Tiarella - foamflower
Euphorbia species including cyparissias, robbiae, epithymoides, perralderianum, pinnatum colchicum and x warleyense

Ferns for dry shade would be Dryopteris, Polypodium and Polystichum munitum.

You can research any of these by going to www.google.com and put in quotes like this: "Polygonatum commutatum". You can also click on 'Images' and often get pictures as well.

Hope this helps. Don't hesitate to get back to us if you have any questions about these plants. I grow several of these mentioned.

Good luck,

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