The Q&A Archives: Plants for Poor Soil in Shade

Question: What kinds of annuals would you recommend for an area in which the soil seems very poor & compacted and doesn't receive very much sunlight? I put some impatiens in today but would like to have some more variety.

Answer: Compacted soil and shade is a tough combination. Usually weeds even have a tough time in such spaces! I recommend that you dig some compost into the soil to lighten it up and add nutrients. Caladium, tuberous begonias, and coleus are good options once you've improved the soil. Another option is to place planters of good soil in the area, if you don't feel like digging.

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