Mature landscapes may need shade-tolerant plants Email
Tuesday, March 07, 2017 05:00 AM

Pretty Lady Maria AnemoneAs the population in Colorado grows and housing increases, our urban landscapes may see less on the ground. Trees will mature, giving much-appreciated shade in the warmer months but blocking sun from flowerbeds. High-rise housing will leave more land in shadow, too. Our landscapes must respond to this reduced light exposure, but it doesn’t mean we need to give up color altogether. These four perennials do well in shady areas and performed well in CSU’s perennial trial garden.

Anemone ‘Pretty Lady Maria’ (Pretty Lady Maria Anemone) from Blooms of Bressingham

The growth habit of this plant is very dense and fills in well. Plants start to bloom in August and peak in September with many pink flowers. This anemone variety is quite adaptable – there was 100% survival of plants after three growing seasons. It is an excellent fall blooming perennial for a semi-shaded to shaded location.

Alexander’s Great BrunneraBrunnera macrophylla ‘Alexanders Great’PP25,789 (Alexander’s Great Brunnera) from Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.

This unique brunnera of monster growth proportions makes it an excellent choice to add structure to the garden. The large size also helps show off the heavily silvered leaves resulting in a dramatic statement for the garden. It can be an attractive groundcover that is about knee high, but also makes a striking specimen. It makes a great foliage plant for shady areas and also offers a showy display of blue flowers that creates a light, airy appearance.

Forever Purple Coral BellsHeuchera ‘Forever Purple’ PPAF (Forever Purple Coral Bells) from Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.

Aptly named, Forever Purple’s leaves are a deep rich purple color that holds all season without fading. Plants have good vigor and a very uniform growth habit. The glossy foliage seems to make color bounce off the leaf. Forever Purple makes a great choice for shady areas or combos.

Carnival Silver Streak HeucheraHeuchera x hybrid ‘Carnival Silver Streak’ PPAF (Carnival Silver Streak Heuchera) from Darwin Perennials

With its dense, uniform and vigorous growth habit, this plant is one of the better in the Carnival Series. In June, its heavy white flower coverage contrasts nicely with the dark foliage color. The plant is beautiful from a distance but even gets more impressive up close as the leaf coloration comes into focus. Use in mass plantings or as a specimen in the shade.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Immigration enforcement: what does it mean for business owners?
Brian Carlson named to 40 Under Forty in Boulder Valley
Teachers went to class—and more--at ProGreen

Four strategies to mechanize your jobs