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Perennial plants are some of the most magnificent additions to any landscape. These plants provide the color and interest in your garden bed.
However, the majority of perennials are sun-loving and heat-tolerant Texas landscaping plants, making it a bit more challenging to find the right perennial for shady parts of your garden.
Check out our list below of 5 glorious shade tolerant perennial plants for north Dallas that you should consider adding to your landscaping plans.
Also known as Hosta Lily or Plantain Lily, these shade loving plants offer magnificent foliage with long-stemmed white blooms. With over 70 species and 3000 varieties, you will never run out of options if you fall in love with this plant.
Most Hosta varieties tend to be smaller and grow to an average height/width of about 2 feet. They make wonderful container garden plants where you can control the sun exposure or a great addition to a front yard landscaping or garden bed, if you have a shady spot. Hosta will bloom for you throughout the Spring-Summer-Fall seasons and die off with the first freeze.
If you are a bird-watcher, the Hosta attracts hummingbirds. We love to plant these around the base of shade trees.
Also referred to as a Standard or Tall Mexican Petunia, this perennial boasts stunning purple blooms throughout the summer and can grow to a height and width between 2 and 3 feet. Mexican Petunia is very happy in the shade, but can also grow in the sun and requires very little water once established.
While the Mexican Petunia will deliver butterflies, bees and birds to your garden, be careful where you plant it because it definitely spreads. For this reason, the Mexican Petunia is a perfect plant for large expanses within your garden.
Turk’s Cap or Texas Mallow is another fantastic perennial for your shady, Texas garden. One of the larger growing perennials, Turk’s Cap can reach up to 4 feet in height and spread to a width of 3 feet. Given the growth habit, Turk’s Cap is often planted as a shrub and focal point within a landscape.
The distinctive red, white or pink blooms are known to attract hummingbirds in the spring and summer. If you like the look of Turk’s Cap but don’t have a shady spot for it in your garden, you’ll be happy to know that Turk’s Cap also grows very well in full sun.
While Turk’s Cap spreads slowly, you can control the growth by cutting it back to about 6 inches in height every year after it has gone dormant like alongside other north Texas winter plantings.
One of our favorite shade-loving perennial plants is the Giant Leopard Plant. Similar to large lily pads, the dark green foliage of the Leopard Plant is truly the star attraction.
Some varieties provide white or yellow variegation of the leaves. Blooming fragrant, yellow flowers in the summer, you really need to carve out a very special, shady spot in your garden for this plant.
Most varieties grow between 2 feet tall and wide and offer the added benefit of being an evergreen plant. As long as our Texas winter stays mild, you can enjoy the Giant Leopard Plant throughout the year.
The final shade-loving perennial plant on our list is Phlox. Available in countless varieties, Phlox is also referred to as Wild Blue Phlox, Blue Woodland Phlox, Louisiana Blue Phlox, Woodland Phlox and Creeping Phlox.
Phlox has a very low-growing habit and only reaches approximately 1 foot in height and width. Given the growth habit, the edges or stone flower bed borders of your garden bed would be the perfect place for Phlox. We love to plant Phlox around boulder edges and poured concrete patios.
Available in a wide selection of bloom colors, the blue, lavender, pink and white flowers will definitely attract both birds and butterflies.
If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to planting just one of these shade tolerant perennial plants in your north Dallas garden, consider planting one or all of them in a container first. Keep the container in the shade and keep it watered. If you’re happy with it, once it’s outgrown the container, plant it directly in the garden or flower bed and enjoy for many years to come.