In my yard, I have several areas where the grass does not grow. One big area is under an old cedar tree. So I took a look through some gardening books and found a few solutions.
Pulmonary or lungwort is a perennial that grows 6 to 14 inches in height and measures about 24 inches across. If you live in the country, this is a good plant to grow because the deer won’t bother them. Although lungwort needs to have regular watering during the first season, but after that, they are low maintenance plants. Some varieties has green foliage decorated with splashes of pale silvery green. The lungwort not only grows well in shade, but they bear flowers. This plant is sure to brighten up a dull shady landscape.
Epimedium grandiflora is a low growing perennial that is dicidious. This means that the leaves will drop off in the fall. This plant grows and fills in an area via underground stems. Other names for this plant are longspour epicedium or bishop’s hat. The leaves resemble asymmetrical hearts. The flowers are purple with long white spurs and they will bloom for about 4 weeks. When the leaves first appear, they are a dark red color. As the plant grows, the leaves will turn green but the red border around the leaf’s edge remains.
Hosta is another shade loving perennial. There are hundreds of varieties available and depending on which one you choose, they can grow to a height of 4 feet. If you water them regularly during the first few years, they will grow fast. Hostas or Plantain Lilies, originally came from Japan, China, and Korea. The leaves are large and often variegated and they will bloom.
Creeping Charlie will also grow beneath cedar trees. We do have that growing and it does well. The only problem with creeping Charlie is that is spreads if you’re not careful. But it never needs mowing and it sends up little purple flowers. Creeping Charlie doesn’t require any special care as it will grow in almost any soil.
If you want an unusual but pretty perennial flower then consider planting the platycodon grandiflorus or balloon flower. During the summer is has blue/pink star-shaped flowers. Although the balloon flower doesn’t like to wake up from the winter sleep, it usually begins to show signs of growth in late May. Water this plant regularly to encourage more blooms, but it can tolerate dry soil once established. You can divide the balloon flower after it is growing well, but only during the dormant season. The balloon flower does not like being divided or transplanted while it is growing. Doing so risks the life of the plant. depending on the variety of the plant you grow, they will grown to heights of 8 to 60 inches and spread 18 to 24 inches.