Plant advice needed : damp shade

Michelle7Michelle7 Posts: 17


Could anyone recommend plants for a shady damp area?  The soil is heavy clay and the area is shaded by a tree and also the shadow from the house behind me.




  • Michelle7Michelle7 Posts: 17

    I tried Astrantia's last year and they died?  Could it have been due to all the rain though that we had?  Or something I didn't do!?  The other plans I have not tried though therefore I shall look them up thank you!

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,178

    Chelone, hostas, fritillaria meleagris, hemerocallis, dicentra spectabile and its white form, lily of the valley........... 

    The Vendée, France
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Verdun-do Astrantias cope with the heavy unforgiving clay though? I've not grown them but I'd be slightly worried if they didn't have a bit of drainage. Would you advise a bit of extra grit under those circumstances?image

    Michelle- Verdun's and Obelixx's suggestions are excellent I think. Can I also suggest Solomon's Seal? (Polygonatum) although make sure it's not waterlogged -it likes a bit of drainage so some grit worked in would benefit. The white flowering plants help lighten the dark area. Some of the ferns are very attractive although lots of people don't like them. The white Dicentra is lovely and the white form of Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium) might be ok with a bit of grit too.

  • Michelle7Michelle7 Posts: 17

    It is very heavy clay so that is probably why they Hydrangea doesn't seem to have survived either I have white stalks?!  I also planted a japanese aneomone and that also died.

    I'll definitely add some grit going forward for any new plants I put in.  I'm not a lover of ferns.......I'll definitely try Dicentra, Astibes, Aconitums and Jacobs Ladder those are all beautiful plants!  Thanks so much for all your suggestions.

  • Michelle7Michelle7 Posts: 17

    Would Bergenia's be any good?  They are evergreen so provide an all year round interest......

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Bergenia is a bit like S's Seal and J's Ladder in that you might need a good bit of grit and something to open up the clay a bit. I have the white ('Bressingham White') as I'm not keen on the pink ones but they are great for shade. It's worth giving the soil a bit of help before you start as it'll probably benefit anything you plant there.image

  • Michelle7Michelle7 Posts: 17

    I'll do that thank you!  Lots of digging ahead for me!  Lol.  I also read that Heuchera's were suitable for damp shade and they are also evergreen.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Heucheras are great and there are tons to choose from now! The purpley ones might be a little dark for your site but there are plenty of lighter greens etc. I had a toffee coloured one some years ago but I can't remember the name. No doubt someone else here will know it though!

  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    Are you sure the area is damp and shade all year? I have damp shade half the year then the other it gets a good dose of sun and can get very dry.

    It makes a difference to plants.

  • Michelle7Michelle7 Posts: 17

    It's in constant shade at one end of the patch because it's overshadowed by a house and a tree - the top end of the patch is semi shade.  The soil is always really wet and thick clay no matter what time of year it's never dry :0(

  • AtillaAtilla Posts: 1,493

    Ferns will do well - Japanese Holly Ferns are evergreen and have lovely foliage. Latin name is Crytomium falcatum, there is a giant version which would make a specimen plant.

    Mahonia and Japanese Anemone also do well.

  • Hi I'm new here. I've read all these suggestions but they seem to be all plants most of which I have, which really pleases me as I'm a proper amauter who has had her head in lots of gardening books for a couple of months! I'm looking for some privacy over decking which has a swimming pool on in the summer, so I'm looking for a fast growing tree in waterlogged ground most of the time especially winter which hopefully won't fall it's leaves / flowers in the pool? Any help would be great thanks
  • Heavy clay here and in my shady area I have these growing well without improving the soil much, just a bit of compost dug in here and there: Red Dragon Persicaria and another Bistort that's spreading very happily, some various Lamium, Elecampane, lots of ferns, Meadowsweet, Ophiopogan Nigrescens, Hellebores, Wild garlic bulbs, creeping jenny, and Ajugas. Hope that helps image

  • B3B3 Posts: 4,993

    I have some very  hardy geraniums growing in deep, damp shade. They have pink flowers, strongly scented leaves which  don't die down much in the winter.I've no idea what they're called, but someone else might know. They spread readily but are easy to pull out and the snails don't eat them. 

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,293

    Pulmonaria did well for me in clay and like shady areas. Mine had some sun for about 5 months of the year. I know the type B3 is refering too and that did well too

Sign In or Register to comment.