The Q&A Archives: Plants for Morning Shade/Afternoon Sun

Question: I have a yard that gets sun all day, but in different areas, and none longer than 2-3 hours at a time. The area with the most exposure receives it at the hottest time of the day and plants that require full sun aren't doing particularily well there, especially flowers or flowering shrubs. Ferns and heucheras are doing well in the part shade areas, but this one area, the largest by the way, presents the greates challenge. Can you suggest plants that can be in the shade for most of the day and thrive in the afternoon sun's intensity. Thank You

Answer: Morning shade and hot afternoon sunshine is probably the worst scenario for plants. There are a few willing to tolerate such conditions:

You can try the sun tolerant coleus -
Burgundy Sun -a deep, burgundy-colored, large oval to heart-shaped leaf on a vigorous plant (2 ? feet). A severe cutback in July, even in a full, hot sun condition, will not kill the plant.

Eclipse - a burgundy-colored, large oval to heart-shaped leaf edged with brilliant golden margins provides an eclipsing appearance for this vigorous plant which can be 24 inches tall depending on growing conditions.

Lemon Lace - a ruffled, lanceolate-shaped leaf splashed with green and yellow on a vigorous plant to 2 feet.

New Orleans - a ruffled, lanceolate-shaped leaf which is red, splashed with purple, highlighted with golden edges.

Plum Parfait - a ruffled, lanceolate-shaped leaf which is purple splashed with pink edges on a vigorous plant to 2 feet.

Or try planting Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.), Purple Heart Setcreasea purpurea, which is more or less succulent, trailing, clambering or erect with thick roots and fleshy stems. The lavender to purple flowers are in terminal clusters, each partly enveloped by a pair of leaf bracts. Purple Heart is native to the dry and semi-desert parts of Mexico. Dwarf Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana 'Katie' and 'Bonita') is a drought tolerant heat-loving perennial with a profusion of lavender-purple flowers throughout the growing season.

Hope these suggestions help you fill your garden with lovely flowers.

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