The Q&A Archives: Flowers at the Shore

Question: I have a home in Cape May, NJ and I would like you to recommend plants I can successfully grow in the sandy soil at the shore. I am interested in both annuals and perennials.

Answer: To ensure the success and longevity of your plants, first amended soil with 6 or more inches of organic matter such as compost, old rotted leaves, aged stable manure and bedding. Each year, add more organic matter and mulch the plantings well. A drip irrigation system will help the plants get well established. Here are some annuals to consider for full sun: marigolds, zinnias, nicotiana, tithonia, salvia, nierembergia, cleome, morning glories, ornamental sweet potato vines, and other annual vines (except sweet peas), cosmos, geraniums, and amaranthus. For shady areas, try the impatiens, coleus, and caladiums. Perennials to consider would be salvia, dianthus "Bath's Pink", gladiolus, dahlia, purple fountain grass, purple cone flower, liatris, perovskia, coreopsis, daylilies (hemerocallis), lavender, ornamental grasses, sedums, and perennial geraniums. I hope this gives you some ideas.

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