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What Should I Plant Beneath My Shade Trees?

by Toni Nippins 07/27/2020

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

A robust shade tree can actually improve the value of a home or apartment unit, but it must be strategically placed and well maintained. Landscaping matters when it comes to attracting interested buyers to your home once it's on the market, and a great way to do this is with colorful, manicured plantings. But what can you plant beneath those stately shade trees to add attractive color to your yard? 

1. Hosta

Hostas are grown more for their foliage than for their bloom that appears briefly in mid to late summer. Hosta foliage appears in the spring and lasts right up until the last breath of fall, filling the areas beneath shade trees with interest and appeal. The leaves of the hosta plant are either solid green or variegated, and they grow best in cool, shaded areas of your landscape. Hosta are perennial and will reappear year after year without intervention. 

2. Impatiens

Impatiens are annuals. This means they last only one season. To see them annually, you'll have to replant new seeds or seedlings. Once established, however, these little plants pack a big punch of color. Impatiens stay small and bloom low to the ground in shaded areas where other plants can't survive. In ideal conditions, their bloom is prolific, bringing a range of colors to the areas beneath your shade trees. 

3. Bleeding Heart

Dicentra, often called bleeding heart plant, enjoys a shady space. As a perennial, it returns year after year with little maintenance. Blooming early in the spring, the bleeding heart plants erupts into tiny, dangling blooms that mimic actual little hearts. One of the first plants to flower each spring, the bleeding heart also boasts showy foliage that lasts long into summer. Dicentra is available in a number of colors, including pink, white, and purple. It's often added to cottage gardens where its foliage acts as a lacy background plant.

4. Begonia

Begonias also enjoy a nice, shady spot on a warm, summer's day. Planting these beneath your shade trees, under filtered light, will give you happy, healthy plants that will bloom from summer to fall. Begonias are annual, so you'll have to replant them every year. But they're well worth the effort. Available in a variety of colors, including variegated, begonias can be grown in-ground or in containers for elegant, draping arrangements that add much beauty to your landscape. 

5. Rhododendron

Under ideal conditions, such as those beneath a shady tree, rhododendron can grow into a beautiful shrub that's unparalleled for blooms. Capable of growing from 3- to 12-feet high, this plant erupts into large, colorful blooms in the spring and adds an eye-catching display to your shady spaces. Plant it once, and it may very well be happy for life. 

The areas beneath your mature shade trees don't have to sit barren and depleted. By adding the plants listed here, you can elevate them to areas prospective homebuyers will adore, so get planting today. 

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