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Container Planting. Shady Characters. Planting in Pots for shady situations.

Container Planting.  Shady Characters.   Planting in Pots for shady situations.

So far this month most of the container planting we have highlighted have tended to be for sunny areas.  In this section today we aim to cover planting in containers in shady aspects which can sometimes be seen as problem areas but dark and dreary does not have to be the case at all. 

When selecting plants for growing in pots in shady conditions mix shrubs, grasses and herbaceous together for more impact, colour and interest and select plants that will grow together well in terms of the same water and soil requirements. 

Shrubs will require regular feeding and regular maintenance to keep looking top notch.  Long term planting will benefit from John Innes No 3 and an application of slow release fertiliser at least once a season.

Shrubs for shady container planting include;

Camellia, Rhododendron and Skimmia which all require an ericaceous compost and feed.  All are evergreen and excellent choices as centrepiece statement plants. 

Mahonia makes a brilliant and hardy choice with the added bonus of winter scent too.

Cornus with winter stem colour add a bit of drama in the winter months but can be happily under planted with shade loving herbaceous perennials for more colour in the summer months.

Fatsia japonica, Spiders Web and Murakumo Nishiki will provide large evergreen foliage and add a tropical look.

Loropetalum with their dark purple foliage and pink spidery flowers will happily tolerate partial shade and lend themselves well to glazed pots.

Grasses & Herbaceous options for shady container planting include;

Grasses that will cope in pots in the shade include Carex, Luzula sylvatica Aurea and Hakonechloa.  These can be planted in mixed plantings or are very effective when planted as single choices in pots. 

Heuchera, Liriope, Hellebores, Dicentra, Hosta and Brunnera are commonly used in mixed plantings in the shade due their hardiness and ability to deal with being in the shade and pots.  The Brunnera, Heuchera and Hosta add a splash of foliage colour to a shady spot.

Lysimachia nummularia Aurea is best planted at the sides of a container where they will trail down the side adding a splash of acid green in a shady area.

Fern options for shady container planting include

There are many Ferns that will tolerate shade and be quite content in a container as long as, like any planting a pot, they are provided with the correct conditions.  It is good to think along the lines of natural looking planting when using Ferns and to try and emulate the same conditions to where these plants grow naturally.

Athyrium, Cyrtomium, Asplenium will look excellent nestled in a corner in matching containers or again planted as single plants and arranged around larger pots. 

If you are looking for a little inspiration Pinterest has some great ideas for planting in pots in shade.

Heuchera Green Spice Loropetalum chinense Fede Asplenium scolopendrum