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Bulbs For Shade Gardens

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Gardening in the shade can sometimes be challenging.

Many of the plants that are available require at least some sun.

So, what bulbs can one grow that will thrive in shade?

Lycoris is one bulb that can easily be grown even in a woodland environment.

Not only are these bulbs beautiful, they also come in a wide range of colors.

You can get various shades of yellow, pink, red, white and even orange.

Planted in a mass these lilies can really brighten up what might otherwise be a rather dull area.

Other bulbs that can thrive in shade include daylilies, especially those wild orange ones.

I like the doubles better than the singles of this variety but either way they are hardy and will make a nice mass under a large tree.

Caladium also likes shade and does very well planted under a tree.

I like these plants for their combination of colors.

Anything that isn’t one solid color I find makes a wonderful addition to the garden.

For spring blooms, lily-of-the-valley makes a wonderful flower for a shaded area as do cyclamen, which prefer to be grown under shady conditions.

Here is a listing of other bulbs that you can plant with success in the shade.

  • Begonia
  • Erythronium
  • Fritillaria
  • Galanthus
  • Hyacinthoides
  • Leucojum
  • Muscari
  • Narcissus
  • Scilla

Of course, you will want to plan your garden so that you have blooms throughout each season.

Let’s take a look at a sample garden that can achieve just that.

For spring blooms I would suggest planting some Narcissus, Cyclamen and Fritillaira.

There is a black Fritillaria that is simply beautiful.

With some bright yellow Narcissus and white or pink Cyclamen this would certainly be a site to behold.

Then as these blooms fade you might want to try some Begonias, Lilium and Caladium.

Not only would this give you additional color but the new blooms would help to hide the fading blooms and foliage of the spring plants.

For fall color I would try the following bulbs.

Cyclamen can be coaxed into blooming again as fall approaches.

I would suggest fresh bulbs for this as the ones that bloomed in spring need a resting period.

A vivid red would be especially nice with the colorful leaves that should be beginning to fall.

Lycoris is also a fall bloomer and would make an excellent final show to a spectacular display.

For late fall or early spring blooms I would suggest you try a few Hellebores.

These are obviously not bulbs but would grow nicely in with them and are one of the best ‘winter’ blooming plants I know of.

So you see, even in shade it is possible to have an outstanding bulb garden full of color year round!

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