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Plants and coverage for a heavily shaded area

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by EricDerek on June 29, 2006 10:58 AM
I am looking for plant recommendations for an area of my lawn that is heavily shaded – and I mean zero sun. I live in Northern, NJ, Zone 6. Between tree coverage, the house, a deck and other obstacles, I have an area approximately 20 feet wide by 40 feet long that gets almost zero sun. On one long side is my neighbor’s chain link fence. The other long side is my house and deck. The ground is shaped sort of like a “U” meaning that the chain link side is high, the ground runs down hill, then starts to go back uphill toward the house. I can use the fence to put a vine or some type of hanging plant.

If possible, I would like some type of bushes next to the house and then a low height, low maintenance ground cover. At the extreme edges (the 20 foot sides), there is a little sun (1-2 hours a day?). So, planting something there that kind of breaks up or outlines the area would be nice. Deer, raccoons, rabbits, and other animals are abundant in my area. There would also be a lot of leaves falling in the area in the winter. The soil is pretty acidic with a high percentage of clay.

One final piece of information, while regrading the area, I put down a plastic liner to help keep water away from the house. 2 inches of soil went on top of that (although much has eroded away). I plan on adding more soil and then planting. I can punch holes in the plastic if needed, but the less labor, the less cost, etc. the better. Is there anything with shallow roots?

Several people in the area seem to have Pachysandras. So, I guess they would work, but given the size of the area, they may be cost prohibitive. (Can you buy seeds for these, or is that not a good idea?)

I am also interested in Oregon Grapes, but don’t know if it would work.

Love to hear your recommendations.

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Help!!!
by RugbyHukr on June 29, 2006 01:10 PM
rhododendrons & azaleas & mountain laurel will all do well in deep shade in your zone. pachysandra is probably your best bet at groundcover. plant it spaced out, it will spread. put mulch in the bare areas. it will make it look nice until the groundcover spreads.

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I love the sweet scents wafting in the breeze. I stop to admire the vibrant colors of all living things. And people think me odd. Then ODD I am!!!

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by RugbyHukr on June 29, 2006 01:11 PM
oh, yeah...

put holes in the plastic to plant. never plant on top of it.

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I love the sweet scents wafting in the breeze. I stop to admire the vibrant colors of all living things. And people think me odd. Then ODD I am!!!

http://community.webshots.com/user/flugnash
by tkhooper on June 30, 2006 01:44 AM
Oregon grapes make the best jam in the world. I love oregon grapes. Also the holly type leaves make great decorations around chrismas. Plus the birds enjoy the fruit too. But beware they are invasive. And they will get tall.

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by patches1414 on July 24, 2006 10:00 PM
Actually, I like Periwinkle and Sweet Woodruff. [Wink] They will both do very well in an area that is heavily shaded. [thumb]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by summergirl on July 27, 2006 10:04 AM
Hi Eric
Ligularia loves deep shade. There are several varities. The one I have gets a yellow spike on top. Im in zone 5/6 in PA.

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