Garden & Landscape Tips

Variegated Solomon’s seal
Variegated Solomon’s seal offers both white-edged foliage and white flowers on a plant that’s tough in dry shade and tree roots.
George Weigel

The first two parts of this three-part series named some of the best short and mid-sized perennials for use under trees, where the dry shade and root competition make the growing difficult.

Let’s look at three more good under-tree perennials – ones that grow taller than two feet.

Three tall shady perennials

Variegated Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum odoratum). This upright native perennial with the white-edged green leaves and skinny, bell-shaped, late-spring white flowers lights up the shade while growing into a weed-eliminating colony. Plants reach two to nearly three feet tall and are hardy in Zones 3-9.

‘Sum and Substance’  hostas
These ‘Sum and Substance’ hostas are some of the biggest varieties.
George Weigel

Hosta. One of the top-selling shade perennials, hostas are leafy plants that come in assorted leaf shades and variegations – usually in green, gold, chartreuse, and soft blue. They also come in a range of sizes – from miniatures to three-footers – and bloom in white or lavender in summer.

Hostas tolerate lots of abuse, but be aware that deer love them, and slugs sometimes find them, too. Most are hardy in Zones 3-9.

White wood aster
This colony of white wood asters is blooming happily under a tree in late.
George Weigel

White wood aster (Eurybia divaricata). This late-summer bloomer is a versatile eastern-U.S. native that grows two feet tall and produces daisy-like flowers with little yellow centers. White wood asters colonize both by spreading rhizomes and seeds, they aren’t deer favorites, and they grow in Zones 3-8.

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