10 easy-care perennials for partial shade

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Work, partner, hobbies, just a few of the areas that need your time and attention. How happy is the gardener’s heart when he can fill his bed with easy-care perennials for the penumbra. Of course, they also need attention, which a lover is happy to give because he knows what he will get in return. However, it is nice when the garden is mostly relaxed. We introduce you to great perennial plants that make little demands and thrive even in the darker corners of your garden.

Table of contents: What to expect in this article

Easy-care perennials for the semi-shade: Little effort, magnificent flowers

Forget-me-not and lungwort are just two examples of plants that make extremely low demands on their location. Each in their own way. Easy-care perennials for partial shade are not only uncomplicated. They are also beautiful to look at. At the same time, they get by with the few hours of sunshine that they get in the penumbra. Due to their low demands on care and the chosen location, these perennials are even suitable for garden beginners.

Easy-care perennials: We present 10 attractive specimens for the penumbra

1. Cranesbill (Geranium)

The cranesbill occurs in countless species and is at home in almost every perennial garden today. No wonder, because the attractive foliage, some of which remains evergreen, and the beautiful flowers, which appear from March to October, impress all garden lovers. The flowers can be seen in magenta, blue or violet, and there are also shades of pink. Cranesbill is not very demanding and needs moderately moist, well-drained soil. He does not tolerate waterlogging.

2. Stonecrop (Sedum album)

The stonecrop is also known as the white stonecrop and flowers from June to September. They come in both white and pink, attracting lots of bees and butterflies. The individual flowers form umbelliferous panicles. The perennial is very undemanding and also thrives on nutrient-poor, sandy and dry soil. The thick leaves protect the plant from evaporation. The sedum is therefore ideal for partially shaded and sunny locations where ground cover is desired.

The pretty sedum attracts lots of bees and butterflies. (Photo: AdobeStock – eqroy)

3. Hosta

Hostas enrich every perennial bed and feel comfortable in both partial shade and shade. Depending on the variety, they bloom from June to August and feature creamy white or purple flowers. The perennials are insect-friendly and easy to cultivate with low demands. The perfect choice for garden beginners. Hostas are hardy and do not need protection in the cold season. Young plants should be given a generous dose of compost so they develop into vigorous plants in their first year.

4. Pearl daisy (Anaphalis triplinervis)

The hardy pearl basket is uncomplicated and therefore very popular. It reaches a height of approx. 60 cm, grows upright and spherical. The bushy perennial flowers from July to October and then presents the small white flower heads. The soil should be moderately dry to fresh for the pearl basket. Otherwise it makes no demands and is satisfied with few nutrients. However, the plant would like to have a location in the semi-shade.

Buy low-maintenance perennials for the penumbra

The garden lover used to visit the perennial nursery and chose the plants for the home bed there. However, more and more enthusiasts are taking the opportunity to order perennials in the online shop and have them conveniently delivered to their homes. You have a choice. One option is to order single plants, which often start at 4 to 5 euros (as offered here with 10% discount code “SOMMER2022” at staudenmix.de) Tobe offered. There is also the possibility to order an already optimal perennial mixture. The finished mixture has the advantage that accompanying plants such as scaffolding and ground cover are also supplied, which you can simply plant in the perennial bed according to the planting plan provided.

5. Spiderwort (Tradescantia)

There are different types of spiderworts, all of which have in common that they require little care. The hardy and evergreen plants bloom in intense colors from April to September. The beautiful blue, violet, pink or white only lasts for a day, but the end of the individual bloom is not noticeable because of the lush overall bloom. The perennial loves a partially shaded to sunny spot and grows best in well-drained soil that is nutrient-rich and humus-rich.

6. Large-spotted Lungwort (Pulmonaria saccharata)

The flowers of the large-spotted lungwort appear from pink to violet in the months of March to May. The bee-friendly cushion perennial grows up to 30 cm high and loves a shady to partially shaded location. The large-spotted lungwort makes no demands on the location and gets by with a nutrient-poor, dry soil as well as with a humus-rich and nutrient-rich soil. In warm regions, the ground cover does not lose its leaves in winter, but it does in cooler areas. In the spring, the new shoots are reliable.

7. Snail knotweed (Bistorta affinis “Superba”)

The flowers of the snail knotweed initially appear pink and turn red as they fade.  (Photo: AdobeStock - Axel Gutjahr)

The flowers of the snail knotweed initially appear pink and turn red as they fade. (Photo: AdobeStock – Axel Gutjahr)

The snail knotweed is valued as a versatile ground cover. It thrives on poor, dry soil as well as on garden ponds and in rock gardens. The flowers tolerate pruning and appear between July and September. They initially appear pink and soon turn a bright red as they fade. This evergreen perennial may develop brown foliage in very cold winters, but will soon sprout again in spring. The snail knotweed grows up to 25 cm high and can be ideally combined with other plants.

8. Forget-me-nots (Myosotis)

The forget-me-not is very decorative despite the rather inconspicuous flower. Flowering time is from March to June and the light to dark blue flowers can also appear white to pink. The gardener can reliably count on them every year. The insect-friendly plant loves a semi-shady location with nutrient-rich, moist soil. There are now more than 50 varieties of the wonderfully blue-flowering perennial with the characteristic name – numerous legends surround its origin. The forget-me-not is easy to care for. However, you should remove old foliage in the spring.

9. Waldsteinia (Waldsteinia ternata)

The evergreen Waldsteinia is also known as the three-leafed golden strawberry. The flowers are bright yellow and can be admired from April to May. The perennial forms a carpet and is therefore an ideal groundcover. It grows about 40 to 60 cm in width per year. At the same time, the Waldsteinia is extremely easy to care for and only requires moderately moist to moist soil. It should also be well drained and low in lime. The required nutrients can be supplied via an organic fertilizer. The plant does not tolerate waterlogging. The leaves then react with a brownish colour.

10. Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

The flowers of the Bleeding Heart appear from May to June with a size of five to ten centimetres. They hang from the perennial in arching clusters and resemble a heart – hence the name of the plant. A drop-like extension at the front end is typical for them. A semi-shady place should be chosen as the location where it is not too hot. The Bleeding Heart is hardy and apart from regular watering in summer, it does not require any further care.

The flowers of the Bleeding Heart gave the beautiful perennial its name.  (Photo: AdobeStock - idea cook)

The flowers of the Bleeding Heart gave the beautiful perennial its name. (Photo: AdobeStock – Idea Cook)

Frequently asked questions about perennials

What are low-maintenance perennials?

Easy-care perennials are even suitable for garden beginners. You only need a suitable location and are usually satisfied in partial shade. They do not make great demands on the floor, but generally do not want their feet to be wet. Good drainage is therefore important. Easy-care perennials only need a little pruning in the fall, but many don’t even need that. They need regular watering in the summer and otherwise flower without any further effort.

What do butterflies need in the garden?

Butterflies primarily need food in the garden. Perennials with rich flowers and lots of nectar are a prerequisite for butterflies to feel comfortable in the garden. In addition to the plants for food, they also need sufficient food so that the caterpillars can find something to eat and develop well. For example, dill and wild carrots are good.

How much sun is in the penumbra?

In the semi-shade, only part of the sun can be expected. It only shines half the day at most. As a rule, there are between five and six hours of sunshine a day. If the days are still short, the number of hours in the shade can clearly outweigh them. Perennials must be suitable for partial shade and they should have a rather low light requirement.

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