The Q&A Archives: Color Under Pine Trees?

Question: I want to plant flowers (?) under our pine trees, preferably annuals. Suggestions?

Answer: Shade in Colorado can be so bright that annuals usually regarded as sun-loving, like Nicotiana, coleus and pansy, can be superb performers in half-day shade. Full shade annuals include:
Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) are the kings of shade-loving annuals and are readily available at almost every garden center. Their brightly colored flowers are available in every color except true blue, black, brown, or gold. Flowers are available in single or double (rose-like) forms. Their low growing (8 24 inches tall), spreading habit make them ideal beneath trees, in containers, or near buildings.

Wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens) is another common shade-loving annual. The succulent leaves are dark green or bronze, depending on cultivar. The thick flowers are white, pink, red, or salmon and bloom all summer. Plant height ranges from 6 to 12 inches, depending on cultivar and growing conditions. Wax begonias are extremely durable and make excellent bedding or container plants in shady or sunny sites.

A few other annuals that tolerate shade or partial shade are: nasturtium (Tropaeolum), pansy (Viola), lobelia (Lobelia), bachelor button (Centaurea), Pinks (Dianthus), bells of Ireland (Moluccella), forget-me-not (Myosotis), baby blue eyes (Nemophila), perilla (Perilla), fuchsia (Fucshia), and elephant ear (Colocasia).

Enjoy your garden!

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