Shade Gardening in Southern CA

shady_10b(10b)August 15, 2014

Greetings everyone!

I'm rather new to gardening. I have a small (5x15 foot) north-facing patio in Southern California, zone 10b. I'd describe the light as mixed part and full shade. So far I only have a few things out there, but over time I'd like to aim for something that feels almost like a containerized cottage garden, with diverse plants growing in close proximity.

I've tried to learn as much as I can about what options I have for planting in the shade by reading articles and such, but I'm starting to see those suggestions are far from one-size-fits-all. In particular it's been difficult for me to consistently find information on tolerance for heat and low humidity (for times when we get the Santa Ana winds) in shade plants.

I'm going to list some of the plants that have caught my eye. If you see any red flags go up, or any glaring omissions, please don't hesitate to point them out. Also, it's a lot easier for me (in terms of learning and paying for things) to add a couple plants/pots to my collection at a time. Pointers about what plants I might want to try first because they're easier for less practiced gardeners or any other reason, would be most welcome. Here's some of what I really hope I can grow (mostly in order of my enthusiasm for them):

Tuberous begonia
Rex begonia
Hakone/Japanese forest grass
Mondo grass
Bleeding heart
Heat-tolerant viola

I already have a coleus, and I'll probably get a few more. Also, here's a picture of my patio, to better convey the light situation. I really enjoy growing from seed when I can (it also tends to save on money), and although I have no experience growing from cuttings, I'll have to learn sooner or later.

Thanks in advance for indulging me!

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You might get more useful replies if this moved to the Container Forum, I just know some plants take to containers more than others.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 3:29PM
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Good idea, thanks!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 7:18PM
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