The Q&A Archives: Desert Window Box

Question: I'm looking for blooming annuals which will thrive in full sun, southwest exposure, moderate gusting winds, heat reflected from hardscape, shallow soil (4") in window boxes on iron railing up stairs. Color preferences are red, yellow, orange, purple.

Answer: The conditions you describe are definately for only the hardiest of plants. Portulaca (Moss Rose) is such a plant, and it comes in the colors you seek. Some species of sedum and Livingstone Daisy are succulents that would also do well. Other annuals thatmight do: marigolds, nasturtiums, Eschscholzia (California poppy), and Helipterum (Everlasting Flower). To help the soil maintain some moisture in these conditions, work in a bit of peat moss or compost, and mulch the soil surface. This will also reduce reflection.

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