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Old 06-06-2012, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Central Midwest
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What plants would be good for a really shady yard in Zone 5 (Central IL)?
I have hostas and astilbe and iris planted in the shade, but want different types. And suggestions for a perennial grass which doesn't grow massive?
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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What tree species are shading the yard? This might make a difference in what is suggested.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
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I have a small zone 6 shade garden and have a few native plants - woodland poppies, ferns, oakleaf hydrangea. Sweet woodruff is not native but wonderful for a groundcover in a shade garden. Also pachysandra is lovely planted in mass and is low growing. Endless Summer hydrangea are wonderful and (at least in my garden) can take no direct afternoon sun). I also grow an Asian toad lily that is absolutely gorgeous and needs full shade - it produces the most amazing little purple spotted lilies. Google Image Result for http://d1l09yzckij9k9.cloudfront.net/images/products/small/9781.jpg
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
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Are all those hardy for zone 5, Cattknap?
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Central Midwest
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Thanks for those suggestions....we do have some black walnut which are not good for gardening due to the toxins, but I try not to plant under those trees and I have in places replaced the soil and in some cases use raised beds (near but not under the walnut trees). I also have an ash tree where I want to plant and an elm and an oak tree.

Some of the suggestions are really interesting and I'm not familiar with those plants....I will have to look them up. Fortunately, Burgess Seed and Plant company is about an hour away so I probably can find those plants there.

Thanks so much!
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:26 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
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Ferns, heuchera, brunnera, dicentra, primrose.
Liriope would make a great ground cover and a good substitute for grasses.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rural chick View Post
Thanks for those suggestions....we do have some black walnut which are not good for gardening due to the toxins, but I try not to plant under those trees and I have in places replaced the soil and in some cases use raised beds (near but not under the walnut trees). I also have an ash tree where I want to plant and an elm and an oak tree.

Some of the suggestions are really interesting and I'm not familiar with those plants....I will have to look them up. Fortunately, Burgess Seed and Plant company is about an hour away so I probably can find those plants there.

Thanks so much!
I suspected you might have some Black Walnut, which is exactly why I asked. You can plant some jugulon tolerant plants and flowers near and around Black Walnut trees.

Plants Tolerant Of Black Walnut Toxicity
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
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Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Are all those hardy for zone 5, Cattknap?
I have no idea about all of them but oakleaf hydrangea and toad lilly are acceptable for zone 5 - the OP will have to check that out but being only 1 zone apart and seeing that we have very cold winters with snow, I would bet the plants would work fine.

I think it is always a good idea to use natives when possible - plants are naturally adapted and less disease prone. I love local garden shows because there always seem to be several native plant booths. I've had great luck with the woodland poppies and ferns that are native to Kentucky.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:46 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattknap View Post
I have no idea about all of them but oakleaf hydrangea and toad lilly are acceptable for zone 5 - the OP will have to check that out but being only 1 zone apart and seeing that we have very cold winters with snow, I would bet the plants would work fine.
I asked because I HAVE tried many plants rated zone 6 here in 5a territory, and they all didn't make it through our winters.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Prospect, KY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
I asked because I HAVE tried many plants rated zone 6 here in 5a territory, and they all didn't make it through our winters.
Woodland poppies, oakleaf hydrangea (there are many varieties - they grow in New York City beautifully), toad lillies - all are rated for zone 5 or 4. Native ferns - just fine the natire fern for the area you live in.
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