Total shade and sand

Asked September 28, 2019, 10:39 AM EDT

What would grow in this environment?

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response

Dry shade can be one of the most difficult planting sites for success, but here are a few suggestions of plants that can tough it out with competing trees, overhangs, and and other dry and shady areas:


· Ajuga reptans (Carpet Bugle)
· Athyrium n. pictum (Japanese painted fern)
· Bergenia spp. (Heartleaf Bergenia, Winter Bergonia, Pigsqueak)
· Brunnera macrphylla (Siberian Bugloss, False Forget Me Not)
· Campanula poscharskyana (Serbian Bellflower, Bellflower)
· Dryopteris spp.(Male Fern, Wood Fern)
· Epimedium x versicolor (Bishop’s hat)
· Galanthus elwesii (Snowdrops)
· Geranium macrorrhizum (Perennial Geranium, Cranesbill)

  • Varieties: Biokovo Karmina, Bevan’s Variety, Ingerwersen

· Helleborus orientalis (Lenton Rose, Hellebore) - many cultivars
· Heucherella spp. (Foamy Bells)
· Hosta spp. (Funkia, Plaintain Lily)
· Lamium maculatum (Spotted Dead Nettle)
· Lamiastrum (Silver Archangel)
· Pachysandra terminalis (Pachysandra)
· Phlox divaricata (Wild Sweet William, Woodland Phlox)
· Polygonatum ororatum var. pluriflorum (Solomon’s seal)
· Tiarella cordifolia (Foamflower)
· Vinca minor (Periwinkle, Myrtle)

Shrubs / Small Trees
· Aesculus parviflora (Bottlebrush buckeye)
· Buxus spp. (Boxwood)
· Kerria japonica (Japanese Kerria)
· Ptelea trifoliata (Hop Tree)
· Rhus aromatic ‘Gro Low’ (Fragrant sumac)
· Taxus x media (Yew) – numerous cultivars. Note: they are a favorite of deer so avoid if there are deer in your area.

Hope these suggestions help.