Need new porch plant ideas

maymesterMarch 5, 2012

Hi ,new here and to gardening. My problem is my front porch faces south but is a little shady at times. I have a porch wall with half baskets that I usually have impatiens in. The impatiens are extremely messy dropping flowers all over the porch floor that seem to stick. Any new suggestions I can try?

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No matter what flowers you put in your porch they will either drop their spent blossoms or you will have to deadhead. The beauty of Impatiens is that you don't have to deadhead all the spent blossoms.

They stick because they are moist. The best way to remove them is with a broom dipped in a pail of water.

You could try begonias but they too will drop spent blossoms. However begonias have large blossoms that are easier to pick up

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 5:16AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its hard to define shade in words.. and i wonder why you are growing impatiens on a south facing porch ...

i understand what you are saying about the squishy dropped flowers.. i think you are not happy with the squishy mess.. rather than the spent flowers ...

any chance at posting us a pic to better understand the site..

and could you be more specific as to how many hours of sun.. at what time of day ... usually anything over 8 hours.. will grow a full sun plant.. and if we can get into full sun plants ... as compared to impatiens which are a full shade plant.. your options will expand exponentially ...


Here is a link that might be useful: how to post pix

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 9:21AM
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Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))

I learned from personal experience that fallen red begonia flowers can stain a porch. I suggest you look at foliage plants for your porch color. You'll still have to trim, tend and water them, and pick up occasional fallen leaves, but no more piles of wilted flowers.

The foliage basket I've done for the past two years is a combination of two plants: lime green helichrysum and a violet-red trailing coleus. I've had more compliments on that basket than on any one of my flower-filled baskets. I'm adding more foliage plants to my baskets and in-ground plantings this year.

Depending on the precise conditions on your porch, different plants will be appropriate. Some I've personally grown:

sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas)
spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
licorice vine (Helichrysum petiolare)
fancy-leaf pelargoniums (pinch out the flower buds when they appear if you only want leaves)

Run an online search for any one of these plants and you'll find photos and care instructions. There are many more options out there. Ferns come to mind. You can also search something like "foliage plant hanging basket" and see what comes up.

I own a copy of Nancy Ondra's book "Foliage" and love it. If your library has a copy I highly recommend you flip through it for ideas on combining color and texture. The book does contain annuals, but also covers all sorts of plants including full-sized trees, so you'll have to hunt a little to find the ones appropriate for a basket within the book. It's organized by color and leaf shape rather than annuals vs. perennials.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:39PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The porch is stripped down now (pollen season) so no pics. The porch itself does face south and my plants were on a trellis on an east facing wall, not in direct sun. I would like some color so will investigate coleus. I appreciate all your tips!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I was going to say about the same thing as Edie. Would add Caladiums to the list. And perisan shield, Strobilanthes dyerianus (if you like purple.) Both of those are as pretty as any flowers!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 11:50AM
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