Best native plants for shaded areas
As a garden matures it changes. As trees and shrubs mature, shade is cast over areas that were once full sun.
Don’t worry this change opens opportunity to grow a selection of different plants, specially selected for their shade tolerance. There are now more plants released to tolerate shaded areas than ever before. With urban infill and the construction of multi-level properties on areas that were once a backyard, selecting plants for shade growing has never been so important.
One of the most rewarding practices for a gardener is to have success in difficult to grow areas and dry area shade is on the top of the list.
It’s a challenge to embrace as once you have the correct varieties to grow the next part is easy, planting and caring is like any other areas of the garden.
Many gardeners give up attempting to grow plants in shaded areas because plants either become weak and stretched, refuse to grow or even worse, refuse to flower.
Most of the failures are caused by improper plant selection, but the premium range of plants – Nativ by Plantrite clearly states which plants can tolerate shady areas.
Before you select plants for the shady areas of the garden the first task is to identify the type of shade:
Dry Area Shade – are those areas that are shaded by foliage or the canopy of established trees. The soil in these areas is usually full of roots from the established trees and creating gardening beds can be a challenge, but not impossible. Any fertilising needs to be as a foliar application to minimise the potential of established roots to rob the nutrients. This is where the installation of a root barrier is worthwhile and particularly when the source of the root competition and shade is from the neighbour’s property. In dry shaded areas dripper irrigation is recommended so water will be delivered directly to the young plant’s roots rather than to the large trees. Wetting agent is crucial in this growing environment.
Shaded areas under eaves – these areas dry out quickly and are often forgotten about in the winter when its raining. If garden beds are established under eaves, ensure watering continues through winter. Keep soil damp in winter, even when the irrigation system is turned off and fertilise at the beginning of spring and autumn with controlled release fertiliser for natives
South side gardens – these areas are often in full shade in winter and as the sun rises in the summer months bear the brunt of the searing summer heat.
Shaded by a fence – Usually the easiest are to grow when it comes to shade classification because even though its shaded, there is sufficient light around the plants and most plants will get through.
The first indicator the area may be too shady for the plants selected is when plants develop a lean towards the light source.
Think of shade as an asset in the garden, rather than a hinderance. Nativ by Plantrite’s top shade loving plants include:
Marianthus paralius – this robust little ground cover, will cope with all that you can throw at it. Rare in its natural habitat due to land clearing this beauty will keep thriving in dry area shaded conditions. Tubular orange-red flower and dark green foliage ensures this plant is hard to walk past.
Adenanthos sericeus – ‘Pencil Perfect’ – is the top selection for the shaded side of the fence. Soft foliage, neat compact grower and easily trimmed, this hardy treasure looks great mass planted in narrow garden areas.
Chorizema cordatum – is ideal for those garden areas which experience dappled shade or for the south side garden.
Scaevola sp – If you haven’t grown these before they come with a gold star recommendation. With many different species in the Nativ range they can easily be scattered around the garden. With flowers appearing nearly all year round the Nativ by Plantrite team can guarantee you’ll never tire of them.
Orthrosanthos polystachyus – A small perennial, neat and compact that will thrive in the shaded areas under the eaves.
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