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Dry and Shady

Have you got a problem spot in your garden? 


Everyone has it... the one spot that nothing will grow.

It may be too hot, too shady, too dry, too wet… plants just keep dying.

It may also be a case where the plants are constantly being affected by pests and diseases.


To overcome any problem, you must first identify why the plant is dying, or why it is constantly suffering.


Perhaps the plant is simply not suited to the site, the district or the climate.


If the site is dry and shady then many common plants will suffer from excessive spindly growth, sparse thin leaves and poor flower performance. However, you can rectify this problem spot in two ways


  • try to fix the conditions
  • replace plants with suitable plants


How to fix dry shady spots

To overcome the dry factor you may either water more frequently or recondition the soil with water conserving additives like Saturaid®, Hydrocell® or liquid wetting agents.

A well designed automated irrigation system should create optimal efficiency to reduce water wastage. In many ways such as system is far superior in water usage than hand watering.

To overcome the shade factor, hopefully you are able to prune some trees to let more light in. If the shade is caused by a building, then you will need to look at the next option.


Replacement with suitable plants

Plants grown in the wrong climate or location will suffer from stress and be more prone to pest infection.

Plants in shady dry locations will need to be looked after in the first few months after planting but should resilient after that.


Suitable plants include:


Hovea (Hovea acutifolia)

Mat reed (Lomandra hystrix)

Hibbertia dentata

Lillypilly (Acmena smithii)

Bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)



Clivia (Clivia miniata)

Camellia sasanqua

Song of India (Dracaena reflexa)

Sacred bamboo (Nandina domestica)

Spider lily (Hymenocallis)


There are many plants that may suit your garden. A trip to the local garden centre should provide you with a wonderful range of plants in your climate.


written by: Paul Plant, Freelance Horticultural writer.

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