Container plant ideas for shade

clueless_in_alabama(7b)April 3, 2010

Hi all,

I'm a beginner with flowers and am completely uncreative when coming up with ideas for filling containers. I have 2 large pots (13h x 16d) that I grew herbs in last year but this year decided to put on either side of our front door and fill with flowers. They're not beautiful pots: plastic terra cotta look, but I thought I'd try them out this year and if the experiment works I'd get something fancier for next year.

Anyway, can you-all give me ideas for what would like morning sun and then shade for the rest of the day? I'd like something tall (2-3 ft) then medium, then trailing over the edges. Our house is red brick, so I'd like something bright and contrasting like white, yellow, orange, and blue.

Thanks for your help! (Probably won't check for answers until after Easter, so Happy Easter and I'll talk to you later!)

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tsmith2579(7B)

Try some of the big leafed, light colored hostas.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:27AM
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collinw(7b)

There are any number of things that will grow in those conditions. When you say morning sun, how many hours are you talking about? Morning sun is the best sun in most cases, because it dries the dew on plants and is less harsh than late afternoon sun.

You might try coleus, if you want something easy to grow with colorful foliage. It comes in many striking colors and likes shade or sun. Pinch off the flower spikes for bushier, fuller plants.It will get about 2 ft tall depending on the variety.

Sweet potato vine is another easy plant that has striking foliage, dark purple or bright yellow-green that will trail over the edge of the pot.

But before I can really be helpful, I need to know exactly how much morning sun you have.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 8:03PM
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catbird(z7 AL)

Another shade loving foliage plant is heuchera, which comes in lots of interesting leaf colors and patterns. Ferns can also make nice accent foliage. There are also some nice flowering plants that will bloom in the shade. For some ideas search the internet for "shade flowers" or something to that effect. One site you might want to check is linked below. Let us know what you come up with and post pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shade tolerant flowers

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 11:09PM
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clueless_in_alabama(7b)

Okay, I've been watching the front of the house all morning to see how long it gets sun. It's noon now and I can see that the spots by the front door will soon be in shade. So from sunrise to noon I guess--although the house being L-shaped, the side of the door nearest the inner corner takes a bit longer to get the early sun than the other side. (The house faces northeast.)

Here's a picture:

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:16PM
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collinw(7b)

If you are getting sun basically all morning, there are a lot of plants that are listed as "part sun" that you could grow.

Beautiful house, by the way.

Purple Poppy Mallow
Deciduous Broadleaf Perennial ; Under 1 foot in height ; with a spread of 1-2 feet ; blooms in Spring, Summer, Fall with Red flowers ; grows in Sun, Part Sun, Morning sun

Dianthus
Deciduous Broadleaf Annual ; 1-2 feet in height ; with a spread of 1-2 feet ; blooms in Spring, Summer with Various flowers ; grows in Sun, Part Sun, Morning sun

Coral Bell(there are a lot of different types)
Broadleaf Perennial ; 1-2 feet in height ; with a spread of 1-2 feet ; blooms in Summer with Pink flowers ; grows in Sun, Part Sun, Morning sun

Katie Ruellia (Can be invasive, also called Mexican Petunia)
Deciduous Broadleaf Perennial ; 1-2 feet in height ; with a spread of to 1 foot ; blooms in Summer, Fall with Blue, Purple flowers ; grows in Sun, Part Sun, Filtered Shade, Morning sun

Stokes' Aster
Evergreen Broadleaf Perennial ; 1-2 feet in height ; with a spread of 1-2 feet ; blooms in Spring, Summer with White, Blue flowers ; grows in Sun, Part Sun, Morning sun

Toad Lily
Deciduous Broadleaf Perennial ; 1-2 feet in height ; with a spread of 2 -3 feet ; blooms in Summer, Fall with White, Purple flowers ; grows in Part Sun, Filtered Shade, Morning sun

Astilbe
Deciduous Broadleaf Perennial ; 1-2 feet in height ; with a spread of 1-2 feet ; blooms in Spring, Summer with Various flowers ; grows in Sun, Part Sun

I would do a search for plants that like part shade or even morning sun in zone 7. You are either zone 7a or zone 7b depending on where you are in AL.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:54AM
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clueless_in_alabama(7b)

Wow, CollinW, thanks for all these suggestions! I'll look into them tomorrow when I have more time.

Since you seem to be so knowledgeable about plants, would you take a look at my post over at "Landscape Design" that says "What would you plant here?" I didn't know if I should have put it here under AL gardening or not. I haven't checked it yet to see if anyone answered since yesterday.

Thanks! (And I'm in Birmingham)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 8:57PM
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alabamatreehugger(8)

Caladiums are another possibility, but they will need to watered frequently.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:56PM
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clueless_in_alabama(7b)

Just to let you know: I drove down to Petals from the Past in Jemison and asked for suggestions. Lacy, the container expert, selected this for me: a 4-ft tall Brodie juniper, a miniature white petunia, sweet potato vine, and a white New Guinea impatiens. I think this is going to be really pretty once I get them potted.

Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:11PM
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catbird(z7 AL)

Be sure to post a picture when you get them planted and growing.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:39PM
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catbird(z7 AL)

Incidentally, are you planning to put containers in front of the brick on either side of the arch? Pedestal planters or large pots there would look pretty and all you'd need against the red brick would be something tall and something trailing in green and/or yellow-green. The light there would probably be better and more consistent than inside the porch area. Coupled with some colorful foliage or flowers by the door they would be pretty.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 12:44PM
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