Yes, you can have shade plants in your hypertufa planter.
You can make a beautiful hypertufa shade trough or planter to be placed in a shade garden and it will do beautifully.
I have an area on the southwest side of my home. It is on the garage side has an overhanging maple tree. ( Don’t get me started about those whirly-bird seeds!) This garden is what I call my “rain garden,” since the gutter downspout which services the rear house rooftop and rear garage rooftop drains into this bed. I use this bed as a rain garden which is explained in this post Let’s Get Some Moss Growing on That Hypertufa!
Consequently, this area is moist most of the growing season. At least until the summer drought-like conditions begins. I have a drainpipe which extends the overflow spout from the gutters far into the garden so that I take advantage of that rain, and also filter the runoff to protect the water sources.
In this foliage garden, I have Japanese painted fern, astilbe, heuchera, brunnera, and some large unnamed hostas . So I have placed a few hypertufa planters in here. I have two bowls so far, and plan to place some larger troughs here too. More to come on that later.
I have a deer’s foot fern ( update: I left it outside all winter and it died.) and Platt’s Black in one bowl. They both are green shades in light and dark. I may later find a small white or light colored plant for this bowl. Unless the Platt’s Black takes over. I hear it spreads. (Update: The Platt’s Black has struggled to survive so not invasive for me.)
The dwarf Solomon’s Seal in one of the other planters had the white nodding blossoms in early spring. It had quite a few for its tiny size when I planted it. It still is only a few inches tall and I am hoping it will thrive and get a lot thicker.
We shall see how long it takes for moss to grow on these hypertufa planters. They are already showing a great deal of green. This small square pot has grown a great deal of moss since last year. See the embedded moss in the texture on the side of the small container.
Or alternatively, you can get a head start by ordering some moss starters so you can get things going quickly. This is an affiliate link.
My point in writing this post is to advise that you are not limited in what can be planted in your hypertufa bowls and troughs. Plant anything you like and water accordingly. It is that simple. I really love my mossy shade tufas!
And that’s a small hypertufa rock in this one below. Remember, this is what you can make with your leftover mix!
I have a bowl started this year with some small hosta called “Blue Mouse Ears” and I just love it. I pulled a tiny sprig of kenilworth ivy to put into this bowl along with the hosta. We shall see how they do together.
The Blue Mouse Ears seems to be very sturdy even though it is so tiny. It is only about 3-5 inches tall but the flower stalk makes it extend to about 6 inches. The flowers are just like the larger hostas and are a lilac color. I just love it.
I just got these this spring, so I will see how they do in my garden. I sure hope they multiply so that I can spread them around and have more and more in the hypertufa planters.
There were some Baby Tears added to this planter bowl, but they won’t survive the winter. But I am hoping the hosta will multiply and I don’t want to crowd it with more perennials. I have to give my little Mouse Ears room to expand, right?
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