purple annual for shade in NJ (not impatients)

lmgchMay 16, 2014

we are in phase two of relandscaping our property. last year we worked on shrubbery and this year i want to start adding flowers/color.

i'm stumped by my options for around the base of our cherry tree, right off our front walkway. since it's right at the front of our home, i obviously want it to be lovely! it's a shady area and the colors i would like to use are whites and darker purples (but not too dark b/c I think too dark could get lost in the shade).

Our landscape is recommencing a circle of white Astilbe and then some sort of lower-growing purple annual to put in front of the Astilbe, however, she says she's not sure what will do well in the shade - she doesn't usually work with annuals all that often, but says that she isn't thinking of any perennials that meet the desired description.

so, any suggestions? my "ideal" option would flower spring through fall with darker purple or blue-ish flowers. will be shade loving, "deer resistant" (for whatever that's worth) and work in the climate of Essex county NJ. I do not like impatients.

thank you for any help!

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first of all impatiens are not on the market anymore because of a virus. You could use new guinea impatiens which come in purpleish colors. torenia is blue. and also purple and white.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 4:21PM
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thank you, shadeyplace. interesting because the garden center I visited last week had lots of flats of flowers that looked like the impatients my Mom used to plant each year, and they were labeled impatients. I'm going to guess they were the new guinea ones you mentioned.

Do you, or anyone else, have any other recommendations? I just don't love the look of the impatient flower.

many thanks (new guinea or otherwise)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 1:05PM
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princessgrace79(8 PNW)

my first thought with deep purple is fuschias, but I have only ever put them in baskets, not sure about how they would grow in the ground.

for Perennials, you should consider hardy geranium! I would think there are some purple varieties, and some grow lower than others. There are also coleus with purple leaves.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 1:19PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

Persian Shield has nice purple foliage and does nicely in shade.

If it's dappled shade, I would use calibrachoa or petunias.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 3:50PM
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Impatiens most definitely still ARE on the market!! It just depends on who your source is and your location. And it's not a virus but only downy mildew, which many other plants contract as well. Not the end of the impatiens world :-))

Lobelia is extremely shade tolerant and comes in a dark purple color. I also like nemesia. Pansies or violets for later in the season. And the Persian shield is an excellent choice if you want to open for foliage color rather than flowers.

In that same vein you could also substitute a purple leaved heucheras for a more perennial effect. Cherries really do not make very dense shade, so I'm not sure you have to focus only on shade lovers. Lots of part shade plants could work. Like the petunias or calibrachoa mentioned above.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:02PM
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