Caring for Flowering Shade Plants Caring for Flowering Shade Plants

What You'll Need
Flowering shade plants (hydrangeas, rhododendrons, etc.)
Alkaline soil
Soaker hose (optional)
Wind break (optional)

If you want to fill your yard with hydrangeas and rhododendrons, you’ll need to learn much about caring for flowering shade plants, as these floral examples are two of the most popular shrubs in the shade plant category. Although it’s true that most flowers need plenty of sun to flourish, with the right attention, you can successfully grow flowers in the shade as well. With that being said, once you take one of the major growing elements – the sun – out of the equation, you’re left with a much greater gardening challenge.

Step 1–Choose Your Flowering Shade Plant

Your first step is to choose the flowering shade plant for your garden. Hydrangeas are one of the most popular flowering shade plants, and grow just fine in the shade. When they’re out in the sun, they require a whole lot more water. Consistent watering is necessary, but even if you neglect to water hydrangeas for a few days, you can many times revive the plant simply by resuming watering. The color of your hydrangea flowers is determined by the soil. For instance, metals in the soil can transform the crown of blossoms into a deep blue shade. No matter what color your flowers turn out to be, all hydrangea bushes have stalks with a head of little flowers, which are about 1 to 2 feet across. Hydrangeas make for great cut flowers, and their blooms can often last in excess of a month.

Step 2–Prepare Soil Condition

You’ll need to know about the soil condition of your shade plants. These plant varieties prefer a more alkaline soil than sun loving plants. You’ll also want to make shade plants’ soil a rich, humus type soil, high in organic matter. More than likely, the soil around your house contains little organic matter. Either that or it consists mainly of sand, clay or sub-soil. Therefore, be sure to add a lot of organic matter.

Step 3–Make Sure You Have Appropriate Moisture

A high percentage of shade plants are taken from environments with moist soil, and drainage conditions differ in many cases. Also, many plants from this type of environment are fairly tolerant of plant mildews and fungus disease. However, other varieties are not so tolerant, and may be susceptible to these dangerous plant diseases. Any moisture that gathers on leaves can lead to mold and fungus diseases, so it’s recommended that watering be done at the ground level, or that soaker hoses be employed.

Step 4–Monitor Air Circulation

In wooded areas in particular, air circulation is sparse or not occurring at all. Such conditions can lead to plant disease. On the other hand, high winds can damage delicate woodland plants. Therefore, depending upon the plants you’ve chosen to grow, a wind break might be required.

Successful flowering shade plant gardening is a challenge. If you know the right plants to choose from, such as hydrangeas and rhododendrons, as well as the right soil conditions, moisture and air circulation, you’ll be well on the way to having a wonderful garden, made in the shade.

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