The Q&A Archives: how about Kalanchoes?

Question: I have a long skinny path up my walk to my front door I would like to plant flowers in. It gets almost no sun at all and Im in zone 7. Would I be able to plant Kalanchoes or Rieger Begonias there? Or maybe geraniums? Also could you give me some tips on planting and caring for these if I can plant these types of flowers there? Thanks so much! -Niki

Answer: Kalanchoes and geraniums need more sunshine than the site can provide, but begonias will grow there. Other shade loving plants to consider include There Coral Bells - Heuchera sanguinea which blooms in late spring with multitudes of tubular coral flowers carried on tall spikes above the foliage. An evergreen plant, it makes a low neat mound of dark green foliage. Hellebore ?Lenten Rose? - Helleborus orientalis. Has attractive leathery foliage on a compact well behaved plant. Graceful nodding flowers of pink to purple in early to mid spring. Violet Native Wood -Viola missouriensis. Beautiful creamy violet blooms appear in early spring and continue through spring. Candytuft - Iberis sempervirens. A hardy, low-growing, evergreen plant that is covered with small white flowers February to April. Japanese Painted Fern - Athyrium nipponicum pictum. Beautiful multicolored fern for shady areas of garden. Likes rich soil with plenty of organic matter. In spring silvery purple fronds emerge and last to first frost. To prepare the soil, spread 3-4 inches of organic matter over the top and dig it in to a depth of about 8 inches. Then level the soil and plant your favorite plants. The organic matter will loosen the soil, help it drain well and yet hold just the right amount of moisture for your plants. Enjoy your new borders!

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