What to plant on East facing patio

ldramey01September 14, 2012

I have two very large cement planters (2' x 2') on an East facing patio that are pre plumbed for irrigation (no hand watering, yay!) and get about 6 hours of sun a day. I am looking for a lush/willowy type plant to soften up my desert landscape, any thoughts on what plants would grow well here and fit my description? I'd prefer they didn't grow too tall to block views and I already have so much cactus and succulents, trying to avoid anymore.

Any advice is appreciated, thank you!

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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

I haven't a clue. If it were me, I'd take photos of the planters with the eastern view and another of them with the west-facing view, take 'em to a reputable nursery and have them make suggestions. Trying to explain this without photos often results in bad plant choices. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 1:52PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I have a large planter with purple fountain grass in the middle surrounded by portulaca. I'll soon replace the portulaca with wave petunias and lobelia. Maybe I have a pic....brb....hmmm, I guess I don't. Anyway, the purple fountain grass will give it that willowy look you are looking for and be the focal point, then any bright colorful flowers around the edges and spilling over the sides. I saw it in a magazine and replicated the look. I really like it. Good luck. Let us know what you do.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 4:10PM
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judy_b(AZ zone 9)

Muhlenbergia dumosa, bamboo muhly, might do nicely there. It has a very soft silhouette and gets about 4 ft. tall.

It will live on little water but will thrive on moderate watering.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 8:17PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

You've got some great suggestions. One thing that might be fun is good old "coral fountain" Russelia equisetiformis. I have it on the east side of my house and it's done GREAT. If you're looking for lush and willowy, and not too tall, it is a very good candidate. Plus it's super easy to find and blooms for 3/4 of the year. The typical type is a nice coral orange, but there are some yellow and in-between forms now too.

Let us know what you pick and how it works out!
Take care and happy gardening,

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:32PM
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Hey everyone, thanks for all the input. I ended up going with coral fountain and am very pleased with how it looks, now I hope it likes to live there. The purple fountain grass is beautiful too but the selection at my local nursery were all very large and tall, so it wouldn't have worked out as well. The coral fountain is a perfect height profile and I love the way it drapes over the sides a bit.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 4:55PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Wow! that looks great. Good job. Now, grab some lobelia to drape around the edges, and maybe a petunia or two. BTW, using a serated blade, I cut the fountain grass rootball into two sections.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:30AM
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