The Q&A Archives: Plants

Question: I just bought a house and I wanted to make it look nice in the yard. I have Hastas in the back where it is shady. But I wanted to know which type of soil and plants I could use in the front yard where it stays sunny all day?

Thank you!

Answer: There are all kinds of sun loving plants which will grow well in average garden soil but to get yours off to a good start, why not amend your flower beds with compost or aged-manure prior to planting? After you've amended the soil, try growing Dahlberg Daisies; Heat-tolerant, sun-loving plants with feathery fine foliage that are adorned with tiny yellow daisy-like flowers all summer. The plants grow 8-12" tall; Agryranthemum aka Marguerite and Cobbity Daisies
These upright, sun-loving plants are graced with mum-like daisy flowers. Blooms best from mid-summer through frost. Colors include white, pink and yellow; Pentas
Offering beautiful clusters of pink, white or reddish flowers on upright plants. Pentas haven't been used in the garden very much because they got too tall and rangy (up to 2 feet). Now they have developed more compact, better branched plants that bloom prolifically in a sunny location; Petunias, there are exciting new types of petunias now available including true miniatures, groundcover types and trailers; Purslane Hybrids, Relatives of moss roses (portulaca), these plants have the same type of flowers on a little more upright plant. The leaves are larger too and the flowers stay open longer. They need full sun and well drained soil. Heights average 6-8" tall; Scaevola, or Fan Flower is another sun-lover. Scaevola offers distinctive fan-shaped purple-blue flowers on branched, trailing plants. Does best when the weather gets hot and grows 10-14" tall and wide; and Verbena - Here is one plant that has really been improved! Watch for the new Tapien, Temari and Twilight series (as well as others) that offer sturdy plants, prolific blooms and lots and lots of color. Great for hanging baskets and in containers. Most of the new introductions are trailers and can be used as groundcovers too. The Tapien series has very fine foliage and the Temari series has larger leaves. Verbenas need lots of sun to bloom well and stay healthy.

Best wishes with your flower garden!

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