Plants for Dryshade

The following plants perform well in dry shade. They can tolerate dim, dry conditions under tall trees or hedges or under eaves next to north-facing walls, or they can compete effectively with tree roots.

Before planting in dry shade, it is a good idea to improve the soil's water-holding capacity by adding organic matter such as compost, leaf mold, etc. Don't expect lush growth or appearance. Though most of the plants tolerate dry shade, they will not necessarily thrive, and will probably flower and fruit more sparingly.
Blue Flowers
  1. Ground Covers
  2. Bulbs
  3. Perennials
  4. Ferns
  5. Vines
  6. Shrubs
  7. Trees
Common Name Botanical Name
Bramble Rubus calycinoides
Creeping Street Johnswort, Aaron's Beard Hypericum calycinum
Dwarf periwinkle Vinca minor
English Ivy Hedera helix
Japanese Spurge Pachysandra terminalis
Lamb's Ears Stachys byzantina
Mexican Daisy, Santa Barbara Daisy Erigeron karvinskianus
Periwinkle Vinca major
Snow-in-Summer Cerastium tomentosum
Sweet Violet Viola odorata
Viola Viola labradorica
Winter-blooming Bergenia Bergenia crassifolia
  • Coate, B. Water Conserving Plants and Landscapes for the Bay Area. East Bay Municipal Utility District, 1990.
  • Ferguson, Nicola. Right Plant, Right Place. New York: Summit Books, 1984.
  • Gardening With Shade. Menlo Park, California: Lane Publishing Company
  • Hagen, B., Coate, B., and Oldham, K. Compatible Plants Under and Around Oaks. Sacramento: California Oak Foundation, 1991.
  • Lane Publishing Company. Gardening With Shade. Menlo Park, California.
  • Oldbrich, Marshall. Plants for Dry Shade. Berkeley, California: Spring 1983.
  • Perry, Bob. Landscape Plants for Western Regions. Claremont, California: Land Design Publishing, 1992.
  • Plants for Dry Shade. Berkeley Horticulture Nursery. 11 May 1999
  • Sunset Publishing Corporation. Western Garden Book. Menlo Park, California: 1995.
  • Taylor's Guide to Water-Saving Gardening. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990
  • Thomas, Graham Stuart. Perennial Garden Plants, 3rd edition. London: J.M. Dent and Sons, Limited.