I have flower baskets that face east, so not much sun. What do you recommend for a flower that does not need a lot of sun and has a vine or drape to it? I’m in N.C. Thanks. Pat J.
Answer: If you are limited on sun, generally less than 6 hours per day, there are some really nice colorful foliage plants available these days and they can be more dependable than flowers! There are several options in our Annuals section that would make great shade containers.
I garden with a lot of shade, and some of my favorites for sun/part share are: Abutilon; Bacopa especially the Snowtopia because it’s a nice trailing variety; any of the Begonia—the old standard Angel or Dragon Wing series are always great, but the newer Bonfire series are spectacular as well; and of course the Fuchsias are marvelous. One newer introduction, a variety of Euphorbia, has tiny nonstop blooms that look a lot like Baby’s Breath and it makes a great filler plant or an entire basket on its own! Impatiens are a natural for the shade, and there is a new variety, Torenia, that will also tolerate some shade.
For pure leaf interest don’t forget about the Sweet Potato Vines. The horticulture industry has been tripping over itself to produce new and interesting varieties. I just love the new Sweet Caroline series. Coleus are perfect for brightening up shady areas, but some can get quite large, so you would want to check their mature size before considering them for a container. Plectranthus has some interesting leaf texture, as does Persian Shield. For tall, spiky interest use a Dracaena, and a shade area basket just wouldn’t be complete without a Fern or two.
Don’t be afraid to look at some of the Perennials, as well. There are many that make terrific options for containers. Start with Hosta, Heuchera and its cousins, Heucherella, and Hedera. At the end of the season just put them into the ground to overwinter.
Happy shopping—and happy gardening!