Using Tall Shade Perennials With Other Shade Plants and Flowers

Using Tall Shade Perennials With Other Shade Plants and Flowers

By Published April 15, 2013 Updated June 15, 2022

Gardeners find it much harder to find tall shade perennials than tall sun-loving plants. Many shade plants and flowers do not grow taller than 2' and require moist soil, which can be a problem if you have trees that create dry soil. You will want to add extra compost to the planting bed and water more frequently if this is the case.

Aruncus dioicus 'Whirlwind' (Whirlwind Goat's Beard) is a late spring bloomer that has white plumes reaching 5'. It has fern-like green leaves and resembles a large Astilbe when in bloom. Since the Aruncus prefers shady, moist soil areas, you can plant it near other shade plants and flowers such as Begonia, Dentaria or Dicentra.

Disporum longistylum 'Green Giant' (Green Giant Fairy Bells) grows to about 4', has large evergreen oval leaves and is topped in spring with terminal clusters of small white flowers. The blooming period is followed by black-blue fruit that lasts all winter. Some shade plants and flowers recommended as companion plants are Farfugium, Hostas and Epimedium.

Other tall shade perennials are Aralia cordata 'Sun King' (Sun King Spikenard) and Fatshedera (Tree Ivy). Aralia grows to about 6' tall and 3' wide and emerges in mid-spring with bright gold leaves, leading into summertime when it blooms with tiny white flowers followed by black ornamental fruit. Companion shade plants and flowers are Farfugium japonicum and Paeonia japonica. Fatshedera, a tree ivy, has sweet gum shaped leaves and grows to about 5'. Companion plants for it are Pennisetum and Polygonatum.

Borinda maccleureana (McClure's Hardy Clumping Bamboo) grows to a height of 20'. These tall shade perennials can be paired with Fargesia rufa (Rufa Clumping Bamboo) which only grows to about 6'. No matter your preference, Plant Delights Nursery has the shade plants and flowers that you will want to plant this spring. From tall shade perennials to sun perennials and everything between, we've got the plants for you!

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