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plant challenge

Posted by eroush z7MD (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 18, 05 at 20:42

Okay, I have a tough location that I would like to fill with fragrant and (as far as reasonably possible) native (or at least not aggresively invasive) plants. looking for ideas....
It is a patio area with a small bed (and plenty of room for containers) on the north side of the house. The bed is directly next to the house, so the eaves slighly overhang it, making it only get a few hours of direct sun each day - and that in the summer. It's never actually dark, maybe you'd call it dappled shade?
The neighbors huge oak tree also looms nearby, just on the other side of the 5 ft fence.
So far, all I have succesfully gotten to grow are coral honeysuckle, peppermint and lemon balm.
Any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: plant challenge

How about some roses, or some hostas like plantaginea or guacamole. You could grow climbers like mandevilla laxa or some jasmines. The conditions don't sound too bad for anything except those plants which demand high levels of light throughout the day to flower, but maybe you'd be better off with hostas or roses.

RE: plant challenge

  • Posted by JimShy z7 Brooklyn, NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 21, 05 at 9:49

Dappled shade would be perfect for hostas, like RP sez, but I think you'd have problems with most roses -- all you rose nuts out there, chime in if I'm wrong -- and most jasmines and mandies need more than a few hours direct sun to be really happy.

For natives, try lily of the valley, it's a fast spreader when happy, but you can always pull 'em up and bring 'em inside; some native phlox (divericata) are fragrant, wintergreen would be a great groundcover there.

For shrubs, sarcococca, tho not native, would do fine, as would abelias and skimmias. Native choices include clethra or itea in the sunniest spot you can find for it on the North side, illicium floridanum (anise shrub) should be hardy in your area and the leaves smell great, and calycanthus has fragrant leaves and flowers.

Finally, it's not native and few are fragrant, but why not a camellia to color things up?

Look also at Plant Delights, and Asiatica for more shade perennial choices, and let us know how things smell come summer!


RE: plant challenge

I'd definitely say a clethra above abelias or skimmias, they have very little scent comparatively.

RE: plant challenge

  • Posted by Mare2 5bSt.Louis (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 24, 05 at 10:06

I used to have a similar area, and Jim has already named almost everything that did well there. Also had luck with "meadow phlox" (a taller one), monarda and sweet woodruff (scented foliage), a scented true geranium called 'Karmina,' and daphne. Also, sweet autumn clematis did surprisingly well. Some of those might spread gently, but none so much as the peppermint and lemon balm you mentioned! A word of caution--don't think those won't spread just because they don't get much sun; I learned the hard way to keep those in containers with the l.b. nowhere near soil where the seeds could blow. Also on the *not* list--Missouri primrose.

Kept a stephanotis floribunda in a container near the house (goes in over winter), and it grew and bloomed well. Every garden has little pockets that get more sun than others, so I'd keep experimenting if I were you and let us know as Jim suggested!

RE: plant challenge

the hostas would be a sure safe bet for scent in the shade.
a pot of tuberrose could be brought into the shade just as it flowers. early in the season, some pansys might help you out. You might try an autumn clematis on top of the fence.
lilies might do it for you too. also hyperion daylily has a
nice scent and would do ok in the area you discribed.


RE: plant challenge

  • Posted by jview Z7a NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 18, 05 at 15:04

Some of the native azaleas are highly fragrant, and do not require much sun. You might try R. atlanticum or R. arboriscens. The male Skimmia japonica is wonderfully fragrant, not so much for the female. But she can produce beautiful red berries which will last all winter. So if you had one of each you would have fragrance and fruit. Mandivilla laxa is not harty north of zone eight.

RE: plant challenge

Do Daphnes do well there? D. odora does well for me on the north side of my house with really good drainage. D. caucasius Summer Icicle has been getting bigger every year and keeps blooming through the summer and fall.

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