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Popular in Gardening

New Shade-Loving Perennial Varieties for 2013

Fill shaded spots with brilliant color and texture from these brand-new-for-2013 perennial flowers!

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    • 'Thunderbird' Foamybells

      Sometimes we run into a new perennial such as 'Thunderbird' foamybells that's so colorful it's almost hard to describe. This amazing introduction produces beautiful, finely cut, golden leaves with brick-red centers and golden veins. What's more, in late spring, the plants send up pink buds that open to pinkish-white flowers. 'Thunderbird' thrives in light shade (some sun intensifies the leaf color) and is resistant to heat and humidity.

      Name: Heucherella 'Thunderbird'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

      Size: To 9 inches tall and 20 inches wide

      Zones: 4-9

      Grow It With: Hosta

      Source: Visit perennialresource.com for more information.

      Image courtesy perennialresource.com

    • 'Wild Swan' Anemone

      Brighten dark spots in your landscape with 'Wild Swan' anemone. From spring through fall, this shade-loving perennial sends up bloom stalks of nodding white flowers with a blue-violet reverse. It's a great choice for a woodland or rock garden where its clumping, dark green foliage and pretty blooms will stand out. Unlike older forms of anemone, 'Wild Swan Hybrid' won't reseed and spread throughout your garden.

      Name: Anemone x macane 'Wild Swan'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

      Size: To 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide

      Zones: 6-8

      Grow It With: Hellebore

      Source: Visit monrovia.com for more information.

      Image courtesy monrovia.com

    • 'Ballerina Ruffles' Hellebore

      Pirouetting into bloom at the first sign of spring, 'Ballerina Ruffles' hellebore features 3-inch-wide, fully double pink flowers that retain their color for up to 12 weeks. 'Ballerina Ruffles' is a new introduction that will slowly spread through your shade garden. It's also deer-resistant, which makes it an excellent choice for woodland gardens.

      Name: Helleborus 'Ballerina Ruffles'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 22 inches tall and wide

      Zones: 4-9

      Grow It With: Spring flowering bulbs

      Source: Visit greatgardenplants.com for more information.

      Image courtesy greatgardenplants.com

    • 'Fire Alarm' Coralbells

      Who needs flowers to brighten the shade when you can use the flaming-red leaves of 'Fire Alarm' coralbells? This vibrant newcomer has such tough, leathery foliage that hot weather won't wash out its color (although a little sun does help intensify the leaf tone). In summer, 'Fire Alarm' sends up graceful spikes of small white flowers that contrast perfectly with the leaves. 'Fire Alarm' is also tough enough to tolerate high humidity and drought, making it a versatile groundcover for much of the country.

      Name: Heuchera 'Fire Alarm'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 14 inches tall and wide

      Zones: 4-9

      Grow It With: Hosta

      Source: Visit greatgardenplants.com for more information.

      Image courtesy greatgardenplants.com

    • 'Splish Splash' Barrenwort

      This spring, be sure to put 'Splish Splash' barrenwort on your must-have list. It makes an extraordinary groundcover, especially in dry, shady locations. The leaves of 'Splish Splash' are attractively splattered with green and bronze, and in the spring they are topped with sprays of pretty white blooms.

      Name: Epimedium 'Splish Splash'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide

      Zones: 5-8

      Grow It With: Corydalis

      Source: Visit plantdelights.com for more information.

      Image courtesy plantdelights.com

    • 'Shell Shocked' Ginger

      The evergreen, pewter-color leaves of 'Shell Shocked' asarum are so round and pretty they almost look like silver coins scattered through your garden. Growing just 6 inches tall, 'Shell Shocked' makes an extraordinary groundcover for shady spaces. 'Shell Shocked' is a form of Chinese panda ginger that sports black-and-white velvety flowers in April and May.

      Name: Asarum maximum 'Shell Shocked'

      Growing Conditions: Part shade and moist, well-drained soil

      Size: To 6 inches tall and 18 inches wide

      Zones: 7-9

      Grow It With: Miniature hosta

      Source: Visit plantdelights.com for more information.

      Image courtesy plantdelights.com

    • 'Circus' Coralbells

      One of the secrets to having a colorful garden all summer is to choose plants that put on an ever-changing show of foliage or flower color. 'Circus' coralbells is a great example. In the spring, it has lovely peach-color leaves with deep red veins. As summer temperatures rise, the red veins remain while the leaves slowly turn chartreuse with highlights of silver. In summer, it shoots up reddish-purple stems that bear small, bright pink bell-shape flowers.

      Name: Heuchera villosa 'Circus'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 14 inches tall and wide

      Zones: 4-9

      Grow It With: Hosta

      Source: Visit perennialresource.com for more information.


      Image courtesy perennialresource.com

    • 'Tokai Rinpa' Lilyturf

      Lilyturf has long been a staple in Southern gardens. But now there's a stunning new variety that puts older forms to shame. 'Tokai Rinpa' is a Japanese import that has gorgeous dark green foliage marked with bright, irregular bands of gold. It also has a spreading habit that makes it an excellent groundcover. In late summer, the plants show off short spikes of lavender flowers.

      Name: Liriope muscari 'Tokai Rinpa'

      Growing Conditions: Part shade and moist, well-drained soil

      Size: To 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide

      Zones: 6-10

      Grow It With: coralbells

      Source: Visit plantdelights.com for more information.

      Image courtesy plantdelights.com

    • 'Pear Crisp' Coralbells

      The frilly, finely cut lime green foliage of 'Pear Crisp' coralbells is a refreshing sight during the dog days of summer. This charming new coralbells looks terrific all season long, no matter how hot or humid the weather becomes. 'Pear Crisp' is a compact plant, growing about 7 inches tall, so it works as well in containers as it does in garden beds. It also sends up nodding bells of white flowers in midsummer that are prized by hummingbirds and butterflies. Leaf color intensifies with a few hours of morning sunlight each day.

      Name: Heuchera 'Pear Crisp'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

      Size: To 7 inches tall and 10 inches wide

      Zones: 4-9

      Grow It With: Ferns

      Source: Visit greatgardenplants.com for more information.

      Image courtesy greatgardenplants.com

    • 10 of 17

      Merlin Hellebore

      The dark foliage and stems of Merlin hellebore provide a striking backdrop for its outward-facing, light pink blooms that mature to a rich cranberry color. Merlin is one of the newest members of the Gold Collection family of hellebores that are grown vegetatively instead of from seed, making the plants consistent in size and color. Like other hellebores, Merlin blooms in the late winter and early spring and is deer-resistant.

      Name: Merlin Helleborus 'COSEH 810'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 13 inches tall and 15 inches wide

      Zones: 5-8

      Grow It With: Spring-flowering bulbs

      Source: Look for this variety at your local garden center.

      Image courtesy skagitgardens.com

    • 11 of 17

      'Afterglow' Hosta

      Big, bold, and bicolor: That's how we describe 'Afterglow' hosta. This hardy new perennial has dark green heart-shape leaves that are edged with a wide yellow margin. It's a striking combination that stands out in the garden, especially because 'Afterglow' is a jumbo variety growing 2 feet tall and almost 4 feet wide. In early summer, each plant sends up stalks of pale lavender trumpet-shape blooms.

      Name: Hosta 'Afterglow'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide

      Zones: 3-9

      Grow It With: Ferns

      Source: Visit perennialresource.com for more information.

      Image courtesy perennialresource.com

    • 12 of 17

      'Diamonds are Forever' Hosta

      There aren't many indestructible garden plants, but 'Diamonds are Forever' hosta comes pretty close. It's a gorgeous new variety that's as pretty as it is tough. Each dark green leaf has a broad, snow-white edge that will add sparkle to your shady borders. In late summer, it produces graceful stalks topped with purple bell-shape flowers.

      Name: Hosta 'Diamonds are Forever'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 10 inches tall and 24 inches wide

      Zones: 3-9

      Grow It With: Corydalis

      Source: Visit perennialresource.com for more information.

      Image courtesy perennialresource.com

    • 13 of 17

      'Humpback Whale' Hosta

      Once you spot a 'Humpback Whale' hosta, you won't be happy until you have one in your garden. That's because this jumbo variety can grow 3 feet tall and 7 feet wide, producing unforgettable big, blue, corrugated, heart-shape leaves. Developed by the famous hosta breeder, the late Mildred Seaver, 'Humpback Whale' was once hard to find but is being introduced nationally this year. If you have the space, make room for 'Humpback Whale' in your garden.

      Name: Hosta 'Humpback Whale'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 3 feet tall and 7 feet wide

      Zones: 3-9

      Grow It With: Other hostas

      Source: Order now from White Flower Farm.

      Image courtesy perennialresource.com

    • 14 of 17

      'Pocketful of Sunshine' Hosta

      Electrify dark spots in your landscape with 'Pocketful of Sunshine' hosta. In the spring, this little gem quickly forms a compact clump of chartreuse leaves in spring that turn a lovely yellow in summer -- all while being attractively edged in dark green. The leaves are also cupped and slightly corrugated. As the season progresses, the plant sends up spikes of light lavender blooms. 'Pocketful of Sunshine' makes a great edging plant for a shaded garden path or in containers.

      Name: Hosta 'Pocketful of Sunshine'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 9 inches tall and 19 inches wide

      Zones: 3-9

      Grow It With: Viola

      Source: Visit perennialresource.com for more information.

      Image courtesy perennialresource.com

    • 15 of 17

      'Rubies and Ruffles' Hosta

      Most gardeners treasure hostas for their beautiful foliage, but 'Rubies and Ruffles' has something extra to offer: bright red stems. Each ruby-red stem supports a bright green leaf with creamy-white, ruffled edges. In late summer, 'Rubies and Ruffles' hosta becomes even more colorful, sending up purple flower stalks covered with pale purple blooms.

      Name: Hosta 'Rubies and Ruffles'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 15 inches tall and 24 inches wide

      Zones: 3-9

      Grow It With: Epimedium

      Source: Visit perennialresource.com for more information.


      Image courtesy perennialresource.com

    • 16 of 17

      'Sparkler' Hosta

      Sometimes the smaller a hosta is, the more impact it can provide. Take 'Sparkler', for example: It grows just 6 inches high but still packs a punch with its slender dark green leaves with brushstrokes of white down the center of each one. 'Sparkler' is ideal for rock gardens, border edging, and containers. And don't let its small size fool you -- it's just as tough as any of its bigger cousins.

      Name: Hosta 'Sparkler'

      Growing Conditions: Shade or part shade and well-drained soil

      Size: To 6 inches tall and 10 inches wide

      Zones: 3-9

      Grow It With: Ajuga

      Source: Visit perennialresource.com for more information.


      Image courtesy perennialresource.com

    • 17 of 17
      Next Slideshow The Best Drought-Tolerant Perennials

      The Best Drought-Tolerant Perennials

      When summer heat kicks in, rely on these drought-tolerant plants to hold their own -- and still look beautiful.
      Begin Slideshow »

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