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Small perennials for Gulfport MS area?

Posted by bill_ri_z6b (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 15, 12 at 16:09

Looking for suggestions for perennials for a very narrow border in my back-door patio garden. Part of it gets good sun, and another part is in bright shade. The borders are less than a foot wide, so I'd like something that won't overtake the paved area. I'm new to this area so I have no idea at all. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Small perennials for Gulfport MS area?

Are you looking for plants with a small footprint, or only very short plants? What about something tall and skinny like Cannas?


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RE: Small perennials for Gulfport MS area?

Small footprint would be best. Height is not so much an issue, so long as the plants don't lean out away from the walls too much, because the patio is quite small. I have thought of training vines or even espalier against the walls, but these will take some time to establish, and I would still probably like to have some small 'filler' plants near the ground.


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RE: Small perennials for Gulfport MS area?

A couple Cannas would work there in the sunny part, you might see some hummingbirds. A foliage vine like chartreuse or 'blackie' sweet potato vine on a trellis might be pleasant, definitely fast-growing enough to pack a punch in one season in either sun or shade.

If you'd like a Basil, I find them worthy of small spaces. Of course the leaves are edible, smells wonderful when brushed against, and the flowers attract butterflies.

Wax Begonias will bloom until frost gets them. Coleus always looks nice, no waiting for flowers. A carpet of Tradescantia zebrina under all is colorful and fast-growing.

A shepherd's hook for hanging a pot can help a small space have more height and interest also.


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RE: Small perennials for Gulfport MS area?

Those are some good ideas. Thanks.

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RE: Small perennials for Gulfport MS area?

You're welcome. I think your zone is 8, bordering on 9, especially as you get closer to the water. You can find your zone here although getting it to stick next to your posts can be a little more tricky, often involving thwarting gremlins.

Buying perennials zoned for 8 or lower should be safe. In small spaces I just prefer plants that aren't green lumps you spend a long time waiting to bloom, which then happens for a short time.

Forgot to mention snapdragons. The little dwarf ones I bought in spring of '11 have been blooming almost constantly the whole time. And Caladiums look fantastic until frost as long as they don't get too much sun.

Annuals (and/or perennials not hardy to your zone) that are long-blooming are fun to stick into any bare spots too, especially the first year. Zinnias of all heights and colors, moss roses, Pentas, Hypoestes (polka dot plant.)

If you feel like planting something now, Pansies and the snaps I mentioned are out there now and would look good until you change it up in the spring.


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RE: Small perennials for Gulfport MS area?

Thanks again. Snaps are a good choice!
I know they don't flower, but some ferns could fill some spots too, especially where there's not as much sun.

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RE: Small perennials for Gulfport MS area?

Absolutely, beautiful and soft if brushed against, kind of tropical-looking. Good idea.


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