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Acid & Shade Loving Perennials

Acid & Shade Loving Perennials

Acid & Shade Loving Perennials. Add color, texture and interest to the shady areas of your landscape by planting shade-loving perennial plants. Shade-tolerant perennial plants usually prefer slightly acidic soil that is moist and well drained with high organic content -- as they would experience under a forest canopy.

Add color, texture and interest to the shady areas of your landscape by planting shade-loving perennial plants. Shade-tolerant perennial plants usually prefer slightly acidic soil that is moist and well drained with high organic content -- as they would experience under a forest canopy.
Types
Shade-loving perennials include spreading ground covers, clumping plants and vines. Common ground covers are ajuga and ivy. Hostas offer an example of a favorite clumping plant with more than 100 varieties.
Features
Plants growing in the shade require less water and maintenance than full-sun plants and their slower growth rate requires less fertilizer. Larry Hodgeson, in his 2005 book, "Making the Most of Shade," also notes that the color of flowers in the shade appears more intense and the flowers last longer than those blooming in full sun.
Expert Insight
A slightly acidic soil helps survival and growth for many shade-loving plants. If your native soil tends toward alkalinity, adding lots of compost helps reduce the pH toward neutral. You can obtain further pH reduction by adding elemental sulfur. Compost also helps soils that are too acidic -- pH below 5.5 -- by raising the acid level toward neutral.

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