The Q&A Archives: Planting Flowers Under Shrubs

Question: I have always planted impatiens under our shrubs but would like to do something different this season. Any suggestions for a low growing flower? We have approx an 8 ft border and a 5 ft border in a sunny location. I am a novice so any advice you can give would be much appreciated.

Answer: Petunias are the classic, reliable annual flower. Most need frequent dead-heading (picking off the spent flowers), which can be tedious, for continual flowering. The new "Wave" series petunias will continue flowering even without deadheading, so that would be a good choice. Marigolds are popular, and easy to grow; choose a low-growing variety like 'Signet'. Nasturtiums and dwarf morning glories (Convolvulus) are also possibilities--they won't have that all-over color that you get with impatiens, but they have interesting and attractive foliage. And finally, a salvia like 'Red Hot Sally' might be nice. (All the flowers I've listed need good sun to flower.) Maybe you can try a mix of flowers, and see which ones work best for you--and which you find most appealing. I hope this is helpful.

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