Great Shade Plant – Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

Last month, I was visiting Chicago and had the chance to see the green spaces surrounding the Art Institute of

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 the shady spot in your garden.

Brunnera macrophylla is low-maintenance and resistant to many garden pests, including slugs, deer and rabbits.  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.

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ (otherwise known as Siberian blueglossgrows 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 white and green leaves.  It reaches a mature size of approximately 1.5 feet high 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 will naturalize slowly, creating a dense groundcover.

Unlike hosta, slugs don’t like this plant, which makes it a great substitute for hosta.

So, if you have a shady area in your garden and want to add a beautiful perennial that is low-maintenance, resistant to pests and easy to grow – how about trying out Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’?

Do you have any favorite plants that you like to use in shady spots?  Birds and Blooms has compiled a list of their “Top 10 Shade Plants”.

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Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.