Which plants are best for north facing porch?

topieMay 5, 2007

We have recently moved to a house in Pennsylvania that has a nice front porch that faces a mostly north/slightly west direction. I'd like to hang some flowering plants in baskets from the porch beam, but am unsure as to what will grow in this this shady location. The porch basically gets no direct sunlight, except for a small portion of the west end that gets afternoon sun. I'd like a plant that looks old-fashioned and country-ish. Any suggestions?

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westhighlandblue(z6 PA)

I've had a lot of luck with impatients, begonias, hosta, foam flower, bleeding heart, and lilly of the valley in just such a spot.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 7:24AM
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Hello and thanks for your reply post and your suggestions! I was thinking impatiens might be good too. I've never grown them before because I am used to my old full sun container garden. I'd like to try combining some plants in a pot together, but do you think impatiens and begonias will be okay in the same conatiner? I've read that impatiens need a lot of water, but I don't want to drown the begonias.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 10:22AM
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karen_b(6a s.c. PA)

If you only receive afternoon sun all of the flowering plants suggested may not receive enough sun. I have a west facing front porch that receives only three hours of sun a day in the summer and after trying all kinds of flowering shade plants I settled for boston ferns in hanging baskets and caladiums in containers setting on the porch. I also hang my Christmas cactus there for the summer and they bloom beautifully all winter long(indoors of course).

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 11:53AM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

I used to have a north-facing porch, and had boston ferns in baskets. They looked gorgeous, but I was never able to overwinter them successfully.

Geraniums are pretty forgiving. You might want to give them a try, maybe with sweet potato vines mixed in.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 3:52PM
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I think I will experiment a bit with a couple of smallish containers of impatiens and see how they do. The nice thing with containers is that you can always move them. If the impatiens seem to want more sun I can always move them to another side of the house, and try Boston Ferns and/or caladiums instead. thanks for everyone's help!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 11:54AM
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Try fuschia, too. It's a shade plant (needs to be kept constantly moist), and there are varieties that droop nicely from a container. Place several plants in larger pots.

They are annuals in our climate.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 2:55AM
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Update: I planted hanging baskets with impatiens, begonias, some coleus, and some baby tears and they seem to all be doing very well and thriving nicely on the porch. Thanks again all...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 6:14PM
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