Year-Round Shady Evergreens

No, I’m not talking about cedar and spruce trees. I’m referring to plants that stay green year-round – specifically those that thrive in shade.

When planting a shady area, I suggest planting shrubs that will be your foundation plants in the area. Then add smaller evergreen perennials and leave spots for spring/summer seasonal annuals.

So what are some smaller evergreen perennials to plant in shade?

1. Autumn Fern – a fern that is green all year. It’s name comes from the new growth coming in as a burnt orange autumn like color which changes to green as the frond matures.

2. Holly Fern – another fern that is bright green all year. The leaves on the fronds resemble the shape of a holly leaf. The new growth gracefully unfurls from the center of the plant.

3. Fox Tail Fern – the fronds on this plant resemble an upright fox tail. The color is a deeper green with an occasional white tail appearing. Good for containers also.

4. Coral Bells (Heuchera) – grown for their brightly colored foliage. It has large leaves that are either solid colors or patterns of contrasting colors. Colors range from dark purple, burgundy, red, bright orange, green, chartreus, yellow, and two toned patterns. Low growing mounding plant, has flower spikes in the summer.

5. Berkley Sedge – low growing ornamental grass that stays green year-round.

6. Dusty Miller – annual that grows in shade too. It will be a grayish/green color instead of bright silver in low light situations. It is known for it’s light foliage color that is a great contrast to the greens in your containers or garden beds.

7. Helleborus (Lenton Rose) – lower growing perennial that flowers in the winter in a variety of colors and patterns. Usually available in late fall or early winter.



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