Eastern Shade Garden Kit

50 plants

In Stock


Sun Exposure
Partial, Shade
Soil Moisture
1-3 feet
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code

Shipping weeks are April 29 and May 20 based on zones. For medium soils and part to full shade. Short stature, 12 species (10 wildflowers, 2 sedges). Further filter plants in the Eastern Shade Garden Kit.
Inspired by the beauty of an Eastern deciduous woodland forest, this kit’s soft blues and whites emerge in the spring amongst a groundcover of Alumroot, Stonecrop and Wild Strawberry.  Our suggested layout (see COMPONENTS tab) has a pop of yellow Ragwort grouped center stage, with grasses carefully clustered throughout. As those groundcover plants burst into shades of red and bronze in the fall, Asters and Goldenrod carry over the palette of blue and yellow.

These species are primarily found in the mid-Atlantic and Appalachian areas of the United States, but plants in this kit should also thrive in the Midwest and Northeast. This new garden kit can provide you with understory tree groundcover with blooms spring through fall for year-long interest.  Do your part for declining woodland plant diversity and provide Soft Landings for beneficial insects and pollinators!

Included with each order, Planting and Care Instructions & Layout Suggestions for Planting

Tray details: 
• Each of the 50 plant cells are 5” deep x 2.25” wide at top
• 1 tag per plant will be provided
• Recommended spacing is one plant / 2-3 sq. ft.; kit covers approx. 120-150 sq. ft.

*Please note: We may need to substitute appropriate species without notice due to unforeseen greenhouse failures or shortages.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Potted Trays of 50 April-May N/A 2" wide x 5" deep plugs

5 Questions asked on Eastern Shade Garden Kit

would any of these plants become invasive in Connecticut?
Hi Rosemary. It is not likely that these shade-loving species will be overly aggressive in CT. If these plants are happy in their site, it is possible they will fill in - but any spread will generally be limited to shade or partial shade areas.
How deer resistant are these plants? I've got an shaded area where I've spent 3 years clearing invasives (primarily buckthorn and bittersweet) and I'd not like to plant something. However, it's outside my deer fence and I've got heavy deer pressure. Your thoughts? Thank you.
Hi Mary. The Eastern Shade Pollinator Garden includes 10 out of 12 species that are not typically eaten by deer. But any young plant is susceptible to deer browsing; we recommend protecting all these species until they are mature enough to develop their defensive qualities. The White Wood Aster and Heart-Leaved Aster may need long-term protection; deer will consume these species.
Hello! I have a black walnut in my yard, I believe most of these are juglone-tolerant but I’m not sure about all of them. Could you confirm? Thank you!
Hi Rachel. Half of these species are considered juglone-tolerant. Antagonisms have not been observed between Black Walnut trees and the other species, so it should be safe to install the Eastern Shade Pollinator Garden Kit in your yard.
why don't you have botanical names on the components?
Hi Jill. Thank you for pointing that out! We will be reorganizing this product page. Until then, check out the interactive components list to filter these species and see the botanical names.
Would these plants grow well if planted under/around pine trees?
Hi Meaghan. The species in the Eastern Shade Pollinator Garden Kit should grow just fine under pine and other evergreen trees as long as they receive adequate light and water. If the tree canopy is very dense, or if there are many trees growing close together, this may be an issue. But if a single tree or scattered trees have the branches trimmed to about 4 feet above the ground, this should accommodate the plants' growing needs.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

For the Garden Kit trays, we may need to substitute appropriate species without notice due to shortages later in the season or unforeseen greenhouse failures.
Shipping & Handling Charges:
For Potted Plant orders $50.00 and under: $9.00
For Potted Plant orders over $50.00: add 18% of the total plant cost.

We ship potted trays with UPS, and SpeeDee in the Midwest, so we must have a street address. Long-distance shipments (to the East Coast and West) taking 3 or more days are only shipped on Mondays to prevent plants from drying out over the weekend.

Potted plants in this kit are either overwintered plants coming out of dormancy or 1st year plants started this past winter; growth for both types are weather-dependant.  Plants must be large and well-rooted to stay in their cells during shipment. Our greenhouses are located in the Upper Midwest, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship earlier than advertised.

*We are unable to ship potted or bare root plants outside the contiguous US or to California due to government regulations.