Flower boxes afternoon sun

bjandtom(5b PA)April 10, 2010

We're building a new home and have two flower boxes that receive afternoon sun only. I'd like to fill these boxes with appropriate annuals, suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks, BJ

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oilpainter(3)

I assume your flower boxes face west. If that is the case then you not only get afternoon sun but evening sun too. You have to monitor just how much sun they do get. On my west side I get 6 to 7 hours of sun.

Anything that gets at least 5 to 6 hours of sun is considered part shade. Less than that is shade and more than that is sun. The plant tags in the flowers you buy will tell you what the sun requirements are for that plant.

If you have part shade or sun you have a pretty wide range of plants to choose from. Petunias or Nasturtiums come to mind, but there are many more.

A word of caution--The afternoon sun is the hottest sun so you will have to keep them watered. However not too much water. They may look dry but be wet underneath. Stick your finger in the soil and if it feels wet half way down don't water.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 5:21AM
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bjandtom(5b PA)

Thanks oilpainter. We haven't moved yet, I'll need to determine exactly how much sun they get. They are on the west side, a little north. These have the new water resevoir system, hoping to water less than my current box which is sun all day.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 7:56AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

are they directly ON the house??? eventual water damage to the house might be an issue .... more facts please ...

second.. the issue is the size of the box.. and the heat generated inside the box .... most plants like cool damp soil ... and the problem with all hot afternoon sun.. is baking the roots ... when watering is not available often ... which includes the media you use to fill the box ....

third issue .. what you put in the box ... something like portulaca... moss rose.. can take all the heat.. and thrive ... though it is very uni-dimensional ... a ground cover ...

so ID specific plants that can take the heat .... and thrive ... and might not mind a bit of dryness ...

unfortunately .... i am not current on that list of plants ... 4 o'clocks might fit ...

start with some basic plants.. and as you start to learn how to manipulate the variables.. move on to the more foo foo stuff ...

perhaps a new post..

ken

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:22AM
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bjandtom(5b PA)

The two boxes are attached to brick house, under sill, caulked around so moisture doesn't get behind box, made to be rot free, etc. They are 34" long with reservoir system. See URL below.

I currently have all wood box which is very large over 6', sun most of day, over the years it has been a main attraction in the neighborhood however it has been replaced twice and really needs to be replaced again in the next year. Usually have to water twice a day in summer. Soil mixture - 1/3 top soil, 1/3 potting soil, 1/3 manure/humus mix; water crystals, fertilizer pellets,and pine needle mulch.

So...for the new house, I was aiming for low maintenance, as flower boxes go...

Here is a link that might be useful: Flower Boxes

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 9:39AM
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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

My tidal wave petunias to great in part sun, they all get only the hot afternoon sun for 4-6 hours and love it.

For height I add in African Daiseys, they seem to like their roots on the warmer side.

I have also used sun impatiens and verbena.

I would use 'full-sun' plants because of the afternoon sun, I think part shade plants will be very unhappy.

I hope that inspires you : )

Happy Gardening

Keriann~

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 10:54AM
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oilpainter(3)

kerriann

Full sun plants are often part shade plants too and do well in either sun or part shade and tolerate the hot afternoon sun. Using only full sun plants will limit your choice.

For instance--petunias are a sun or part shade plant.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 7:45PM
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keriann_lakegeneva(5B WI/IL border)

Oilpainter

Yes, thats what I was trying to explain.

Many times petunias are labeled as 'full-sun' so it can be tricky for a 'new' eye to gardening to use the information that came with the plant.

Just like my purple coneflowers. They are a full sun plant, but I have them in part shade and their color is so much deeper... and my full shade accent impatiens love their half day of sun.

Keriann~

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:54AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd try any of the sun loving annuals, as others have suggested. I utilize zinnias( Profusion and Angustifolia), lantana, calibrachoa, verbena, and other annuals mixed in with sun loving perennials and ornamentals. My containers are filled with the sun loving annuals, too.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:27AM
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bjandtom(5b PA)

Thanks all for the recommendations. This first year I'll try mixing sun and partial shade plants and see what happens. With the new watering system, I'll have to do some experimenting too. So for this round I think I'll look at color, texture, height, etc.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 12:18PM
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