Difficult Area for Container Flowers

denise777May 4, 2011

Hello, I am in Grand Junction, CO & would like some suggestions for 2 large (3 ft.) containers on the west side of the house that is in shade until about 2 PM, then some really intense sun in the summer. I would like color, trailing over the edge of the container if possible, annuals or perennials. I tried geraniums last year & they did OK but kind of just sat there & didn't spread well or bloom as well as they could. I would like something that blooms all summer long & can take that heat in the afternoon. Thank you!

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longknife(4 Way Upstate NY)

Look into wave type petunias. I've read where some of them spread over 4 feet.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 9:08PM
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opal52(z7b GA)

We have a similar challenge in summer, the front border garden of our house is in shade until around 1-2 in the afternoon and then full sun. Our summer temps are 90+, and we have high humidity as well. One of best things I have found that blooms early summer into fall,has bronze foliage in winter, and handles extremes is a dwarf Abelia called Rose Creek. It can get up to 3" Ht. x 4 ft. wide at full maturity, but can be kept smaller by pruning in early spring. The Abelia is OK for zone 6A. It is a very tough plant, and requires little attention. Grows well in containers. It is drought tolerant. I keep ours pruned to 2ft. ht. x 3 ft. width. I realize you said flowers, but thought I would mention a dwarf shrub because you have a very difficult growing location.

I thought of wave petunias also, but I'm not sure they will get enough sun to thrive. Certainly wouldn't hurt to try though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rose Creek Abelia Images

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 1:02PM
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Shrubs are actually a great idea... and there are many types that flower quite beautifully. It wouldn't hurt to look into a flowering shrub for an area such as described.

It's probably not what you're looking for, but on the west side of my garage, which gets afternoon sun and can get quite hot, I've got a Spirea, a Viburnum, Echinacea, Oriental Poppies, Monarda, Agastache, Russian Sage, Rose "Hot Cocoa", a Peony, Gloriosa Daisies, Mexican Hat Daisies, Daylilies, Standard Iris, and a few other hardy perennial types.

Granted, they're all growing in the ground, but with a watchful eye for watering and feeding, you could grow some lovely tubs filled with a mixture of annuals and perennials. I think people tend to think in literal terms when reading plant tags at a nursery, when the truth is, a lot of plants can tolerate some leeway in their light requirements.

As example, I have a Hosta growing on the east side of my garage, along with roses and other sun lovers. It's a variety that can handle a bit more sun than others, but still, it's more of a shade lover. And on the north side of the house, I've got roses and a ton of other sun lovers. I think the reflection of the white house helps somewhat... but what I'm trying to say is that you're not locked into only trying items that are said to be right for that area.

I don't know that I've helped you much... but I hope I've given you some things to think about. You're possibilities are wider than you may think.

Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 5:29PM
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opal52(z7b GA)

I agree with jodik about plant tags. I have Zinnias that are in shade until afternoon and then in blazing afternoon/evening sun and they do quite well even though the seed package says full sun. (Didn't think of this earlier, the area out front is our biggest challenge and these are in gardens in our back yard with shade from trees until afternoon.) Annual Vinca (common Periwinkle) is another pretty plant that will take shade/sun. Neither of these trail, but they do bloom all summer to first frost and usually are easily found at the Lowes/Home Depot garden depts. Daylilies are a great idea, although they usually bloom a couple weeks or so and are over. Their foliage stays green though and could be interesting in a mixed container. Another plant I have used in mixed containers for visual interest is Spikes (Dracena). They will take sun/shade combo and are tough plants.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 6:19PM
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