Plant Brunnera Jack Frost in a Shady Spot

If you're tired of hostas and want an eye-catching, easy-to-grow foliage plant for your shady areas, try brunnera Jack Frost.

Grow Brunnera Jack Frost for Beauty in Shade

shade plants, WgbrunneramacrophyllajackfrostWalters Gardens, Inc
Brunnera Jack Frost

Last month, I was visiting Chicago and had the chance to see the green spaces surrounding the Art Institute of Chicago. While I was walking through the gardens, I noticed a plant growing in the shade that had beautiful green and white foliage. Above the striking leaves were masses of tiny, light-blue flowers. Any type of plant with blue flowers is always worth a closer look because the color blue is not always easy to find in the garden. So, I set about to learn more about this pretty perennial, Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’.  There are many attributes that makes this plant a great choice for a shady spot in your garden.

Check out more fabulous foliage plants for garden pizzazz.

Brunnera Jack Frost Care and Growing Tips

Brunnera_macrophyllaNoelle Johnson
Closeup of the small blue flowers
  • Common name: Jack Frost brunnera
  • Scientific name: Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’
  • Zones: 3 to 8
  • Light needs: Partial to full shade

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (also known as Siberian bugloss) grows in zones 3 through 8. It does best in full to filtered shade when planted in moist (not soggy), fertile soil.

Light blue flowers appear in April and May above the cute heart-shaped white and green leaves. This plant reaches a mature size of 12 to 15 inches tall and wide, which makes it perfect to use in a border. It can also be planted in containers, alongside large rocks or massed together in a woodland garden. This perennial prefers climates with cooler summers and will naturalize slowly.

Jack Frost will attract attention to shade and woodland garden beds. The silver-blue finish on the leaves creates a gorgeous effect, making this dense ground cover shimmer.

Brunnera Jack Of Diamonds Apj17 2Photo courtesy of Proven Winners - www.provenwinners.com
Brunnera Jack of Diamonds

Backyard Tip: If you adore Jack Frost brunnera for its green and silver heart-shaped leaves, you’ll also flip for the larger 9- to 10-inch wide foliage of Jack of Diamonds heartleaf brunnera.

Check out the top 10 hummingbird plants that grow in shade.

Brunnera Benefits

brunnera jack frostNoelle Johnson

Brunnera macrophylla is low-maintenance and resistant to many garden pests. Slugs don’t like this plant, which makes it a great substitute for hostas. Deer and rabbits also give it a wide berth. Bees find an early nectar source in the tiny blue spring flowers.

All this, plus the fact that it was selected as the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association makes this a must have for your landscape.

So, if you have a shady area in your garden and want to add a beautiful perennial that is easy to grow, try out brunnera.

Next, learn how to grow foolproof ferns in your shade garden.

Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist, writer and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. She is the CEO and owner of 'AZ Plant Lady,' an education company that aims to help people garden successfully in the desert climate. She is the author of the book, Dry Climate Gardening, and her byline has appeared in publications such as Birds & Blooms and Phoenix Home & Garden magazine. She is an instructor at the Desert Botanical garden and Tucson Botanical Gardens.