The Q&A Archives: Best Flowers For Shady Border

Question: As a beginning gardener, I'd like to find out what perennials would work best as short, colorful border plants that will spend only a couple of hours a day (morning) in the sun. I have a short walkway at the front of the house, only about 7 feet, where I need a nice line of color. My soil is sandy.

Answer: Annuals for mostly shady conditions include the following:
Spring blooming annuals; dianthus, lobelia, candytuft, forget-me-not, primrose and pansy. Summer blooming annuals; impatiens, Thunbergia alata (black-eyed susan vine), cockscomb, and caladium.

If you amend the soil with organic matter (aged-compost, aged-manure, etc.), your plants will appreciate the effort. Sandy soil drains fast, but doesn't hold moisture and nutrients the way good sandy loam will.

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