Shorter yellow perennial for part sun/part shade garden?

Tobyhanna, PA(Zone 5a)

Hi all,

Can anyone suggest a deer resistent yellow perennial no taller than 12-18 inches for a part sun/part shade garden? Yellow dayliles would have fit the bill, but the deer love them! Thanks

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I have deer, too.

Coreopsis 'Zagreb' works well for me and the deer have never touched it.

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Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Ranunculus ( buttercup) brazen hussy , helianthus most are tall some are short but most like the sun, ,Chrysogonum green and gold

Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Fernleaf Coreopsis is my choice - "Creme Brulee" - 1 - 2 feet - mine is in partial shade - blooms first for almost 4 weeks, then has sporadic blooms throughout the rest of the season -- deer don't like it, and have never had a problem with Japanese beetles, either. Basically a no care plant for me -- here's a pic with hosta -


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Andover, MN(Zone 3b)

Beautiful gardens Pirl and Dax. My favorite coreopsis is Moonbeam so maybe the deer wouldn't touch this one either............

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Tey tend to leave fernleafes varieties alone

Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Unfortunately, I've had to stake my "Moonbeam" when it was in partial shade -- although I love it! That's why I went with Creme Brulee -- Dax

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Good old digitalis grandiflora?

These pics were taken a year apart.

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Or, if you don't mind a spreader (I divide it and spread it around) Epimedium x versicolor sulphurum. Tough and inexpensive. Some epimediums put quite a hole in your pocket.

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Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

how do you divide and when. I bought about 10 maybe and afraid to divide.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Which plant?

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

If you mean the epimedium (and I think you do, because I was scared too..) frankly, just be brutal. It isn't clear where the end of the plant is. Just choose the section you want to lift and drive a sharp shovel into it and lift the separated section up. This is NOT a plant that you dig up in its entirety to divide. You chop off sections from the edges.

There is no "hi, divide me here" place on this plant. But by simply hacking into to it about the size of section I wanted, I was able to give away three sections, and the original plant is thriving.

So, be bold! You will not kill it.


Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Yes, the epimedium. Have the same type as Donna.

Gulp....OK.... I will try it with a few. Suckers were $$$$

Springtime ok? In a nice shady moist spot.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I divided it in both spring and fall. Oh, yeah, they are ridiculously expensive, because they are trendy. I didn't think much of them until I went Milaegers in Racine and saw a bunch of them in the flesh. I was supposed to be getting a white and a pink but they were mislabled - but back then they were about $5. I'm not normally a "yellow" person but I find the color really nice, and sulphurum is the toughest. As you can see, they grew together, and then started moving sideways. Just pick a corner of the plant and go for it. Don't try to divide it down the middle. You won't kill it but it will make a mess, and it won't work. Just start at the end and force one of those spades shaped lijke a rectangle that have what looks like a sharp edge. Then lift it from the outside.

I did this and drove 30 miles with it in the trunk of my car, threw it on top of a pot of compost for a few days, THEN planted it. It never missed a beat. Three weeks later I came back and took an even bigger piece. All the sections are humming.

Nice moist shady spot is perfect. Mine is actually in part sun part shade. In the new yard full shade.

Spring is good. Remember to remove the old foliage as the new leaves emerge. Once they get going it's hard fto remove the old growth without removing the new.

It's really nice with polemonium caeruleum (Jabob's ladder) which can easily be grown from seed.

Way to go!

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Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Great information. Thanks. I will do it.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the dividing tip.I love my epimediums.Such subtle little blooms and the leaves are very romantic

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Hi Joanne
I was wondering where you were - maybe we've been on different forums! Happy Holidays (belated)
got any new garden do dads? I got a dragon made from some kind of rusted piece of equipment. He's/She's cute!....and heavy once placed....that is the home.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Yeahhhh missingrosey.
I am still here. One of my best sculptures went down in a sudden summer storm at night. Its the end of clay in the garden I'm affraid.
I am going to try and ad a piece of wood to make a new top.
I dont mind bringin in clay for the winter but the 2 piece ones are just too iffy.

Athens, PA

I recieved all of my epimedium in trades that were carried out in the fall from a very generous DGer a number of years ago. This past year, I divided some of my epimedium as they were getting a bit large and encroaching on some of my heuchera and tiarellas that are planted in the same area. They divide easily with a shovel. This trade was carried out in the latter part of last Summer. I will check with my trader to make sure that the trades did take, but I have no reason to believe they didn't. They were nice large divisions with several toes in each division.

JoAnn --- if you are nervous about dividing your epimedium, try one at first and see how that goes. I too would have been nervous about dividing epimediums as well, however that was how I received mine.....

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Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Robindog gave me my first.I bought 3 since and have 3 more on order for this spring

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Are their any more ideas for shorter perennial yellow plants for shade?

Athens, PA

Well I just had a bunch of ideas and just got kicked off -

there are a number of things - yellow epimedium, missouri primrose, Trollius Europaeus, cordalytis lutea, rudbeckia.

Cedar Rapids, IA(Zone 5a)

Hi -- Had some time this afternoon, so enjoyed going through my pics from last year to identify some more -- here goes

1. Euphorbia polychroma - Early spring bloom is riveting as you can see --
2. Heuchera (Coral Bells) Stoplight - Striking yellow and deep maroon foliage --
3. Yellow Wax Bells -- Kirengeshoma palmata - It's in the lower left in front of the angel. In August it gets yellow bell-shaped blooms.
4. Lady's Mantle -- A mid-spring favorite
5. Japanese Forest Grass -- Beautiful gold to lime green foliage --

There you go -- some new ideas -- Dax

This message was edited Feb 8, 2012 2:33 PM

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Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Two yellow-flowered plants that thrive in partial sun/shade and fit your height requirements would be celandine poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) and Allium moly 'Jeannine'. Both plants spread, but are easy to remove where not wanted, and both have attractive foliage. The allium will die back after blooming but is glorious until then. And it is relatively cheap, too--about $20 per 100 bulbs. I hope to plant tons of it in my new garden this fall!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Celandine can be highly invasive. It is here and it's a horror to eliminate for me.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Wonderful Dax. I didn't know heuchera came in yellow. I forgot about ladies mantle - and it's sitting right in my own yard. And a form of allium moly - who woulda thunk it?

These are perhaps too tall, but what about yellow baptisia? There are several kinds of the yellow variety.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I am surprised to read that celandine poppies can be highly invasive. I bought 1 plant 10 years ago, and have one plant come back every year. No spread, no die off. It must have never formed any seedheads??

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Maybe it's the difference in zones but I battled that demon for more than 10 years. I hope it's finally gone.

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Pirl, it does seem strange to me that Stylophorum diphyllum was such a pest for you. It is actually native to your region and I have never known it to be anything other than "pleasantly reseeding" at worst. I have such fond memories of this plant that I actually planted several of them in my new garden last fall.

There are several other plants known as "celandine" that *are* horribly invasive, with the common Ranunculus ficaria being chief among them. Here is a link:

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the link and the education, Corey. I do have the invasive one (ficaria) and not the well behaved one. Getting all of the tiny bulbs and amazing roots out is a major job.

Sorry for any confusion.

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Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Oh my, no wonder you hate "celandine", LOL! Ranunculus ficaria is a nightmare and I am sorry you had to deal with such an evil plant.

On a side note, there are apparently cultivars of Ranunculus ficaria with fancy/double/colored blooms that are sterile and only slowly spread underground.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

And I am relieved that I am not such a poor grower of Stylophorum diphyllum after all LoL

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'm glad you have the right one! I did wonder how you could have trouble getting them to expand when mine were so out of control. Now I know better thanks to Corey.

Warners, NY

Stylophorum spreads too slowly in my woods, although rabbits or deer chewing it down to a nub last year did not help. I have seen it planted with blue phlox and virginia bluebells and I think it could be planted with bleeding heart. I am only beginning to grow perennials other than daylilies and the adventures are often tragic. I really like Digitalis grandiflora but the first year I planted it I thought it was dead in the Spring. So I pulled it up. The roots were crowded with new shoots. I think I expected it to grow like purple foxglove which is more or less biennial. . Now grandiflora is seeding itself and I just cut off the dead leaves. One more lesson learned. The Ranunculus ficaria I narrowly escaped introducing it when I saw it blooming at a state park near Lake Ontario Some things, like lythrum are all too pretty and then your sorry. (Hmm---like women?) Anyway, fortunately I left that celandine growing where it was. Kniphophia, or however you spell it turned out to be rabbit, deer, or woodchuck candy and one or the other gnawed it right to the ground--but it's rising fine-maybe chopping all it's leaves of is the way to manage it, as the leaves were a tortured mess during the winter although they stayed green. I think this year I will fill in with annuals in the places where I don't know what perennials to plant. I decided I hated coreopsis--just turned all brown seed pods, although I was probably lax with dead heading. But that's another low yellow flower, if you like it. I'm thinking of planting yellow and orange cosmos where the coreopsis was if I can make up my mind what to do with the beastly seed grown red monarda. The red is dull-should have planted the tall red or the very old red. Now the monarda is coming up in solid clumps all over. The orange cosmos may look as good with it as the coreopsis was supposed to. The maybe I'll plant dahlias behind it all. And cannas. Even though the cannas were a mess last year and never bloomed. I suspect a virus. But I suppose I'm really going to end up with a mixed flower bed if any of it works. (Last year a tree fell on it too.And my back hurts from sawing up the blasted tree.------------------------------------------------------Weedy

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

PAgirl....Anthemis tintoria in gold or yellow and Thermopsis (they look like lupines, see pix below). Ya didn't say how much shade or rather how long. Sometimes if the shade is not all day plants that would work in sun positions can handle a bit of shade, ie such afternoon or morning. Another yellow at that height is scabiosa ochulara, it blooms all season for me. My deer don't bother any of these in my garden. Alchemilla molis, Santolina virens (love the fragrant leaves on this one). Not sure if Semiaquilegia comes in yellow, might check, they are a shorter columbine. Potentilla (the perenn.). Think there is a yellow geum also. There is also a new chrysanthemum named Banana Creme. Again it does depend on how much sun they would actually get.

pix: Thermopsis 12-18"

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Weedy, my stylophorum spreads all over the place, but by seeding, not stolons.
So there are lots of individual plants scattered around, not one contiguous patch.
But it pops up everywhere around here, including cracks in the driveway!

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Tobyhanna, PA(Zone 5a)

Hi all,

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. I got some Zagreb Coreopsis seeds free through a SASE and wintersowed them. Nothing yet, but I've read they can be a slow starter. Hopefully, they'll germinate and I'll have flowers next Summer! If not, I have all your wonderful suggestions to consider.

Thanks Again All,

Jane - PAgirl60

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Both coreopsis are quite beautiful. I like the way they make a mounding affect. I believe they need to be dead headed and will bloom all summer.
The epimediums are quite dainty and so pretty.
Celadine poppy: one more reason to know and use the scientific names! I had the same problem with a DG'er discussing the Ceratostigma plumbaganoides. She was calling it plumbago, and I had a different idea of plumbago.
Weedy: your garden sounds like a challenge. Hang in there--it will get better.
Missouri primrose can be invasive.
I appreciate the yellow mid-size yellow flower suggestions. I have some Penstemon cobeae that I started from seed last year. I don't know what color it's going to be yet. It should boom this year-always exciting to see what color it turns out to be! If it's purple, I plan on planting some yellow flowers at it's feet. So, I guess I will have to wait another year to see if yellow plants will grow by it.

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Ceratostigma p., the common name is plumbago, and southerners have another plant that is Plumbago, (not sure which one it is but I have grown the Ceratostigma. The cer. is a ground cover with brilliant blue flowers that bloom late in the season, once they are hit with frost the leaves change to a bright red and the contrast is fabulous.

Pix: Phlox paniculata "David".

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Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I a familiar with both of the "plumbagos". Here's the other Plumbago. It too, is pretty.
I have a little bit of the Ceratostigma plumbagnoides. Did you plant yours in sun? shade? or part of each?

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