The Q&A Archives: Choosing Flowers

Question: I have a flower bed that is about 4x15. It is in the sun (front of the house). I'm having trouble on what flowers I should plant, what soil, etc. Thanks so much!

Answer: Most perennials will grow well in average garden soil, but to give yours a real boost, you might consider adding some organic matter to the soil prior to planting. It's a simple process; spread 4-5" of compost, aged-manure, or other organic matter over the top of the bed and dig it in to a depth of 8-10". Then rake the bed level and plant your annuals and perennials. The advantage to amending your soil with organic matter is that it will help loosen the soil and help hold moisture.

Here are some plants to try for that hot, sunny flower bed:
'Alabama' Sun Coleus (Solenostemon x) This versatile sun coleus blends easily with any other color in the garden.

'Cranberry SaladSun Coleus (Solenostemon x) The name is a perfect description of this cheery speckled sun coleus.

Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum') This glowing annual grass quickly adds height in the landscape.

Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas) Boldly goes where no foliage has gone before.

Brazilian Verbena (Verbena bonariensis) These misty purple flowers gracefully fill gaps between perennials and other annuals.

Black-Eyed Susan yellow daisy-like showy flowers.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) red & yellow bright blossoms.


Clustered Bellflower; purple very dependable

Columbine, very reliable, long bloom period.

Coreopsis, yellow flowers, blooms all summer.

Creeping phlox - spreading plant, colorful blooms in spring, good rock garden plant

Daisy (painted) pink, red, white; very colorful, reliable, likes full sun

Shasta Daisy, white flowers, forms large clumps, good cut flower.

Daylily, comes in yellow, orange, red. Hardy, low-maintenance plant, forms large clumps.

Delphinium in blue, purple, pink.

Dianthus; red, pink, white, good for rock gardens

Flax (blue), drought resistant.

Penstemon (Beard Tongue)

Peony flowers in red, pink, white; long-lived, prepare soil 18 inches deep.

Phlox white, purple full sun, mid-summer bloom

Poppies (Iceland or Oriental) red, pink, orange

Hope these suggestions are helpful!

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