plants for western exposure

jackskiSeptember 16, 2004


I am looking for plants that will tolerate the harsh conditions on the southwest side of my house. About a year ago I have completely replaced the soil in my 10 by 12' patch in front of the house with top soil, compost and peat. I have good soil but everything I planted so far died in the drying sun and wind. I am in zone 5. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you..

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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

some of the plants that are considered aggressive elsewhere will sometimes stay nicely contained in a tough spot. For instance, I grow aegopodium (bishop's weed aka snow-in the summer,)around the base of my mature maple tree. After nine years, it still hasn't run off anywhere, and needs periodic watering to look it's best. My neighbor can't figure it out, as his is swallowing his yard, but his doesn't have the dry shade mine does. But be careful with this advice. Some plants will manage to take off, no matter where they are.
Sedums come to mind as plants that can take hot, dry sunny spots. Autumn Joy Sedum will make nice clumps quickly, but won't spread aggressively. It does attract lots of bees, so not too close to a walkway might be best. Elijah's Blue fescue goes well with Autumn Joy Sedum, and tolerates hot dry as well.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 11:24PM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

I'm not familiar with zone 5 winters, but what about bearded iris, daylilies, hollyhocks, cone flowers, black-eyed susans, cottoneaster, barberry, arborvite?
Tough rugosa roses will probably do just fine. They make a nice hedge.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 10:25AM
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cottoneaster, barberry, arborvite...Are those conifers...I started looking into dwarf conifers or low growing evergreen shrubs. I guess I will use my time now over the winter season to research and plan my garden.

Thank you for your advise.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 9:10AM
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I'm not sure why you would consider this a necessarily "harsh" environment - sounds like just simple full sun location to me. Any perennials that prefer full sun should do fine in this situation - lots of ornamental grasses, salvias, rudbeckia, echinaceas, sedums, irises, roses, various herbs - the list is almost endless. If wind is a problem, consider planting a small windbreak of shrubs in the prevailing path. Otherwise, with the improvements you've made to the soil in this location, sun loving plants should thrive. Also, marginally hardy plants will benefit from a similar location that receives some reflected heat from structures - this creates a microclimate that can increase your hardiness zone a degree or two.

You do understand that regular watering will be necessary to get these plants established in a full sun situation?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 8:52AM
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grammahony(ECentral NEz5)

I have planted Iris, and Oriental & Asiatic lilies there. They have been there 4 years now and are doing fine. Iris need to be thinned out a little this next fall, but I am afraid of hitting my lily bulbs.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2004 at 10:06AM
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Russian sage,lavendula,Santolina,Salvia's,ect add infinitum

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 12:56PM
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