Best Bulbs for Shade
By: Brent and Becky
"The shade hugs my heart."
- Candy Polgar
Many of us are a little fearful and weary of that shady spot in the yard. It’s the bane of some of our gardens, and an irritating empty space that can feel plain tricky to fill. We’re not sure where this notion of the impossible shady spot comes from, though. There’s actually a wide variety of plants that not only tolerate the shade, but will thrive in the more sheltered and cool conditions it offers! We have a few of our favorites that we’re excited to share with you and your garden:
These blooms are delightful early bloomers that are the perfect fit for shady spots. Their delicately drooping, bell-shaped blooms actually prefer the cooler conditions that a sheltered area will give them in the early spring. But, as Zone 3 flowers, you don’t have to worry about their hardiness, since they will tough it out through extreme weather and pests to dazzle you with their adorable white blooms.
These flowers are early risers, so plant your own Snowdrops in the Fall just before your first hard frost to get them ready for blooming in the Spring. Plant in rich, but well-draining soil and water them weekly, if Mother Nature doesn’t do the job, and these cold- and shade-loving beauties will shine.
Planting in a shady spot doesn’t have to be an aesthetic compromise for your garden, as you can still get show-stopping blooms with Scilla. These flowers show off with their sensational star-shapes in shades of blue, pink, white, and purple. And these Spring bloomers are hardy to Zone 4, making them a realistic option that is resilient to pests and doesn’t require too much babying.
Scilla are the perfect low-maintenance flowers that will give a show in the shade without much extra work from you. The trick to success with these blooms is avoiding wet feet. Plant them in well-draining soil, and water regularly. They won’t need much more TLC than that, and sometimes actually thrive on a little bit of neglect!
For those that love to embrace some of the mysticism of the shady corners of their garden, Lily-of-the-Valley is the ideal choice. There aren’t many other species of flower that can match this bloom’s simultaneous allure from their delicate blooms to the heavenly fragrance! These flowers bloom in tiny, nodding white bells that contrast against their rich, dark foliage. They look so pure and smell so sweet that everyone will love them along your woodland path!
These late Spring bloomers are hardy to Zone 5. While they can tolerate a little dryness and a few weather extremes, they’re much happier with consistent moisture. Plant in rich and well-draining soil and mulch to keep the moisture locked in, watering once a week if needed. You’ll know that they’re doing well if they start to spread. So keep the pruners handy to keep these gorgeous and mystical blooms where you want them. Or let them go. Hey, more bang from your bulb buck!
These sweet and tiny blooms are also known by their other name: Wood Hyacinths. They are hardy plants, willing to perform splendidly in either sun or shade, but we have to confess that we love their lovely blue, pink, or white bells in the shade.
These bells are hardy up to Zone 4, and will thrive in nearly all conditions with almost no love and care from you. Simply pick your favorite color and pop it right into the ground - preferably in rich and well-draining soil. Your Bluebells will thrive just fine with almost no intervention on your part, only requiring a bit of water if they don’t get some weekly rain.
Leucojums, or Snowflakes, are a MUST HAVE! Their pendulous, pure white bells with green tips are the Baby’s Breath of the bulb world! Imagine it, these beautiful, small white blooms go with everything and make everything better. And if that doesn’t wet your whistle, they love shade, sun, wet, dry, and they’re pest proof! Hardy to zone 4, these will become a fast favorite!
That shady spot doesn’t have to be an annoying empty spot in your yard. There are lots of plants to fit any fancy, so finding the right plant for your yard is easy! Instead of a headache, or more hostas, the shady spots in your yard can be a place to explore new, fun, and more colorful varieties. We carry a wide selection of our favorite shade-dwelling plants that are suitable for yards across the United States. For the perfect fit for that darker corner of your garden, have a look at our full list of shade loving bulbs here in our catalogue!
View our selection of shade-loving bulbs:
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