Dry Shade

A dry, shady spot in the Western Cape garden can often be a problem area. Try these shrubs and groundcovers to fill your troubling dry shade.

Asparagus densiflorus ‘Meyersii’ – Cat’s Tail
Height    40cm
Width    50cm
Exposure    Semi to full shade

A very hardy fern resembling a cat’s tail. Tiny white flowers are followed by red berries. Does well in hanging baskets or in clumps around trees. Roots can become invasive making it best to grow in pots. It has adapted itself to grow in dry conditions making it perfect for those dry shady areas in the garden. To get a continuous dark green foliage feed with a Slow Release 2:3:2 organic or chemical fertilisers every 3-4 months.

Burchelia bubalina
Height    1,5m
Width    1m
Exposure    Semi to full Shade

A small ornamental tree with dark glossy green leaves. Large bright orange flowers are in bloom during the warmer months of the year. Can be grown in a pot plant on a patio. For best result throughout the year, feed with Slow Release 2:3:2 organic or chemical fertilisers.

Crassula multicava
Height    70cm
Width    50cm
Exposure    Semi-shade

A groundcover succulent with small rounded leaves. It is great for shady areas in the garden. It creates quite a fairy show to any shady patch when in full bloom. During the flowering season, around mid autumn, this plant blooms its tiny pink star-like flowers turning the carpet into a pretty display. A very hardy plant needing little to no care. Feed with a Slow Release 3:1:5 fertiliser, organic or chemical to encourage more flowers and healthy growth.

Pelargonium fragans ‘Nutmeg’
Height    40cm
Width    30cm
Exposure    Semi to full shade

Like all Pelargonium’s this Nutmeg scented one is great for patios in pots. Its dainty white flowers make this plant a perfect edging plant as well as the fact that it is very neat. Its greyish-green leaves create a striking eye-catcher in a flowerbed. Prune to keep neat and feed regularly with an organic or chemical 3:1:5 Slow Release fertiliser as well as composting every 5-6 months.

Plectranthus madagascariensis ‘Variegated’
Height    30-40cm
Width    50cm
Exposure    Semi to full Shade

All Plectranthus plants are relatively easy to grow as long as they are in their correct positions. This species is best suited for shady areas. Its variegated foliage is great to create some lighter sections in a fairly dark area. For best growth feed with rich compost every 4-5 months and don’t be shy to water every now and then.

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