Common Zone 9 Shade Vines – Growing Shade Tolerant Vines In Zone 9
By: Mary Ellen Ellis
The zone 9 region, which stretches through mid-Florida, southern Texas, Louisiana, and parts of Arizona and California is hot with very mild winters. If you live here this means you have a great variety of plants to choose from and choosing zone 9 vines for shade can provide an attractive and useful element for your garden.
Shade Loving Vines for Zone 9
Zone 9 residents are blessed with the climate that supports a variety of great plants, but it can get hot too. A shade vine, growing over a trellis or balcony, can be a great way to create a cooler oasis in your hot garden. There are a lot of vines to choose from, but here are some of the more common zone 9 shade vines:
- English ivy– This classic green vine is more often associated with colder climates, but it is actually rated to survive in areas as warm as zone 9. It produces pretty, dark green leaves and is evergreen, so you get year-round shade from it. This is also a vine that tolerates partial shade.
- Kentucky wisteria– This vine produces some of the most beautiful of climbing flowers, with grape-like clusters of hanging purple blooms. Similar to American wisteria, this variety grows well in zone 9. It will tolerate shade but will not produce as many flowers.
- Virginia creeper– This vine grows quickly and easily in most locations and will climb up to 50 feet (15 m.) and more. This is a great choice if you have a lot of space to cover. It can grow in sun or shade. As a bonus, the berries it produces will attract birds.
- Creeping fig– Creeping fig is a shade-tolerant evergreen vine that produces small, thick leaves. It grows very quickly so it can fill a space, up to 25 or 30 feet (8-9 m.), in a short amount of time.
- Confederate jasmine– This vine also tolerates shade and produces pretty white flowers. This is a good choice if you want to enjoy fragrant flowers as well as a shady space.
Growing Shade Tolerant Vines
Most zone 9 shade vines are easy to grow and require little maintenance. Plant in a spot with sun or partial shade and make sure you have something sturdy for it to climb. This can be a trellis, fence, or with some vines like English ivy, a wall.
Water the vine until it is well established and fertilize it just a couple of times in the first year. Most vines grow vigorously, so feel free to trim as needed to keep your vines under control.
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Perennials For Shade That Bloom All Summer!
Geranium – Perfect Flower for Shade Gardens!
This is not your typical annual geranium that fills window boxes everywhere… in truth, those are Pelargoniums. True geraniums are a perennial that does well in partial shade, and blooms pink or blue all summer. In addition, many varieties’ foliage turns bronze or red in the fall. We love Geranium “Rozanne”. You can get “Rozanne” at Burpee. Its blooms are big and blue, and the plant grows to 20 inches. The common name for this perennial flower for shade is “Cranesbill”.
Astilbe – Shade Perennials That Are Repeat Bloomers
One of our favorite summer blooming perennials for shade is Astilbe. Astilbe have foliage that is glossy and attractive, and bloom from late spring into summer. If you cut them back after blooming, they can bloom again. In pinks, purples and whites, they are a fluffy spire that can brighten any shady spot. They grow 18 inches wide and 18-24 inches tall, and are hardy to zone 4. Common name for this shade loving perennial is “Meadowsweet”. These plants are tough, but cannot handle drought. Keep soil moist and fertilize yearly for best bloom. The “Younique” collection of Astilbe from ‘Burpee‘ are compact growing varieties with beautiful colors. They are also deer and rabbit resistant.
Heuchera – Coral Bells
Heuchera is a hardy shade flower rich in foliage color, but that also offers spires of white, pink or red flowers throughout the summer. Massed in a group, these perennial flowers for shade seem to glow! And when not in bloom, the foliage is stunning. We like Heuchera “Paris” from ‘Burpee‘. Photo by Barnes Nursery UK.
This pretty summer bloomer is a relative of coral bells, and has gorgeous cut foliage as well. Heucherella is great in the South, as it is very heat and humidity resistant. We like “Pink Fizz“. Hardy in zones 4-9, this perennial flower for shade is deer resistant too! Photo by ‘NHHostas’.
Spiderwort – Perennials Flowers for Shade or Sun
Known for growing in almost any conditions, Spiderwort has strap like foliage and interesting flowers of white, pink or purple all summer. These summer blooming shade flowers are drought resistant and deer resistant. Because their blossoms are small in size, plant in groups for best effect. Hardy to zone 4.
This summer plant for shade has bright green leaves and is called “Sweet Kate”. Great purple perennial flower for brightening up a shady garden!
Hardy Fuchsias – Part Shade Perennials That Bloom All Summer
There are several cultivars of hardy Fuchsias, which are just as beautiful as the basket variety, but usually larger and more up right. The most common variety grown in the Pacific NW is Fuchsia Magellanica. This part shade perennial is a shrub like plant covered with tubular blooms that hummingbirds LOVE, and blooms spring to first frost. Growing 6-10 feet high and as wide, it’s winter hardy down to zone 6, though it might die back during the coldest months. It will come alive again in spring! You can find a beautiful variety valued “Grand Cape Horn” at ‘White Flower Farm‘.
Campanula (Bellflower) – Blue & Purple Perennial Flowers for Shade
Campanula has many different varieties, and are blue or white belled flowers in sizes from dwarf to several feet tall. They love partial shade and moderately moist soil, and will bloom June through frost. Our fav purple perennial is Siberian Campanula. It has a wonderful deep blue color with a white eye, and is very floriferous. This perennial flower for shade is hardy to zone 3. Find “Campanula” at White Flower Farm.
Corydalis lutea – Yellow Summer Blooming Flowers for Shade
If you love bleeding heart in your spring garden, try “Yellow Fumitory”. This ferny shade loving flower has little yellow blooms from April through frost! Perfect for a woodland or cottage garden, this shade perennial flowers all summer, is hardy to zone 3, and prefers a cool spot on your garden away from afternoon sun. It is deer resistant and grows 8-18 inches tall. Photo by ‘Rotary Botanical Gardens‘.
Impatiens – Annuals and Perennials for Shade That Bloom All Summer
No conversation about long blooming shade plants would be complete without talking about Impatiens. If you are looking for shade plants that bloom all summer, look no farther. While these are annuals and die back each winter, they perform better than any other flowering shade plant. So we just had to include them! Of course if you live in zone 9 or above, these can be grown as shade perennials.
The shade flowers we are talking about are the bedding Impatiens, which are the kind you find in every nursery in six packs and lots of colors. They are tender, so be sure not to plant them too early…Wait until the soil starts to warm. Planting them when it’s still cold can stunt them. Also, these shade loving flowers need moisture and are heavy feeders. Cut them back by a third if they start to get leggy, and give them a dose of liquid fertilizer. My favorite are white Impatiens, but they come in many colors, from neon brights to pastels. They, much like petunias and marigolds, have gotten a bad wrap by gardening snobs as being cliche, and boring. Any flowers for shade can be boring if you don’t use it properly. So use them the way they shine…in large drifts of all one color..and watch those snobs eat their words! You can find impatiens in packs of 3 plants at Burpee, in every color from deep red to apricot to pure white!
So don’t use your shady garden as an excuse not to have flowers in bloom all summer long. Pick one, two or all of these and create a garden with perennials for shade that bloom all summer! We think you will also love our posts on Showy Shade Gardens and How to Plant Fantastic Flower Beds!
Thx for sharing on Gardening Week, DIY IdeaCenter!
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