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Shady Shrubs

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April 18, 2021

A group of plants that I don’t think gets enough attention are those that love to grow in the shade to partial shade. They’re not as flashy as those colorful annuals but still are outstanding landscape plants. What do you get when you cross two unrelated plants, the big leaved fatsia with the viny English ivy? You get this fantastically curious inter-generic hybrid plant, called fatshedra. This is the Angyo Star selection that is a slow growing plant having beautiful richly variegated green sweetgum-like leaves with creamy white borders. Because of its ivy heritage, it’s a semi-upright grower that looks great supported on a trellis. Variegated Shell Ginger is beautiful herbaceous perennial plant that has an overall rounded form. The gorgeous foliage is variegated with irregular stripes of yellow and green and the arching habit gives it a tropical feel. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Another shady plant I love is called Mahonia bealei and it’s easy to see why it is commonly called leatherleaf mahonia. Fragrant yellow flowers in loose, spreading racemes, bloom in late winter to early spring. Waxy green fruits follow the flowers and hang in grape-like clusters and mature to blue-black in late spring to early summer. The fruit is attractive to birds. When planning your landscape, don’t forget these great shady plants. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman and I’ll see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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