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Will thalictrum tolerate a lot of shade?

WAMSWAMS Posts: 1,834
Have a Black Stockings here and am contemplating putting it somewhere where it would get 2 hours' sun tops. The Beth Chatto site includes some thalictra as shade plants but thought I'd check here :)



  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,949
    edited April 2022
    Yes - so long as they can get their heads in the light.
    I have quite a few T. delavayi, many of which have self seeded.
    I have a couple behind a multi-stemmed acer - they grow up through the foliage and last year the flowers were a good 8ft - appearing over the top of the acer, which looked unusual.
    I have several more that have self seeded just in front of a fence on an east-facing border - in front of them are various shrubs and perennials 4-6ft high, again they push themselves up through all the other foliage and the flowers were at about 7ft.
    Those that are in just light shade, get to between 5-6ft

    I also have Black Stockings and they are fine in quite deep shade too - I have several around a big old coral conifer and they've been happy there for 20ish years

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • WAMSWAMS Posts: 1,834
    Many thanks, Pete!
  • FireFire Posts: 17,363
    Are they creatures of the damp? I have some  partial shady dry beds and wonder how well they will do...
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,364
    They prefer damper soil.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,949
    They certainly prefer damper soil, but my original T. delavayi has been happy in partial shade on dry clay for many years, and their children seem happy there too. I do give them a mulch each spring.
    They get to about 4-5ft, others on damper soil get taller

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,363
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,974
    Damper soil is certainly their preference @WhereAreMySecateurs , but once established, they seem to cope well enough. If you get seedlings, as @Pete.8 describes, they're already adapting, so it's different to one that's been grown in isolation,  and planted out. I had a purpley one in a previous garden, and it was in quite a sunny spot, and with a fair bit of competition, but the rainfall meant it didn't dry out, and it was more than happy there. They're nice if the spot is right for them. 
    I forgot I had one here as it got crowded out with other plants. Hopeless mare!  :D
    It's in a pot just now and will go out in a better site once it's recovered a bit more. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,046
    I have grown T Elin in the passed after a few years it gave up. However it is a superb form, good in the winter as well.  Named after Piet Ouldolf 's wife I think?
    Building a garden is very personal. It's not quite the same as installing a boiler.
    James Alexander Sinclair 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,608
    T. Elin and T. flavum glaucum do well here in partial shade and well-drained sandy soil, in fact flavum self-seeds quite freely. T. deylavayi died out after it's first year though.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,665
    Oh, that's odd, although we have clay soil, my thalictrums are all in my south facing sunny front garden. They seem happy so far planted around a big Stipa Gigantica. I love the contrast between the stipa's golden seed heads and the tiny purple thalictrum flowers, especially when the western sun shines through both - magical!
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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