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Regional Picks: Bold Plants for Shade – Southwest

Fine Gardening - Issue 168

1. Scarlet Hedgenettle

Name: Stachys coccinea

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 10

Size: 14 to 16 inches tall and 15 to18 inches wide

Conditions: Full to partial shade; grows well with dry to moderate moisture conditions in most soil types, including compost-enriched garden loam. Will tolerate morning sun at mid- to high elevations

An uncommon native plant in cultivation, this shade-loving wildflower blooms all summer with spikes of tubular coral-red to red flowers. It’s a superior nectar source for hummingbirds. The strongly aromatic, deep green foliage is nearly rabbit- and deerproof. Native to shady draws and along seasonal streams, it’s well suited to dry shade with occasional deep watering. For the best performance, keep it well mulched with coarse compost. Native across sections of Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas, this plant’s cold hardiness varies.


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