The Q&A Archives: Summer sun & winter shade

Question: Hello...

We recently built a new home in the Texas Hill Country. The bed that runs the length of the front of our home (faces northwest, 3 ft. wide) receives hot summer sun but in the winter, no sun at all. What shrubs and perennials would you recommend? Thanks!

Jody Lester

Answer: When choosing plants for the bed, choose those that grow in full sunshine. Since plants grow most actively in the spring and summer months, anything you plant there will need to be tolerant of summer sunshine. The winter shade should not affect sun loving plants at all. Here are some of the most popular plants for your region:

Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) Color: Mixed Blooms: Spring to Fall Light: Sun/PartShade Height: 36" Soil: Well Drained Red , Pink, Coral, Purple, Yellow, and White flowers bloom all spring and fall. Needs good drainage. Evergreen farther south, semi-evergreen in our area and returns each spring.

Blackeyed Susan 'Goldsturm' (Rudbeckia fulgida) Color: Gold Blooms: Summer Light: Sun/PartShade Height: 24"-36" Soil: Well Drained This selected, compact strain of a native Texas perennial is fast becoming a favorite. Blooms mid to late summer with masses of golden yellow black-eyed daises. Sun loving and drought resistant.

Coneflower 'White Swan' or 'Magnus' (Echinacea purpurea) Color: White or Purple Blooms: Summer Light: Sun/PartShade Height: 18"-24" Soil: Well Drained Very hardy summer bloomer with white or purple flowers. Great for cut flowers. Remove old flower heads to increase flowering.

Daylily ?Stella d'Oro? (Hemerocallis x hybrida) Color: Gold Blooms: Summer Light: Sun/PartShade Height: 12"-20" Soil: Moist Well Drained Beautiful miniature with yellow, fragrant flowers all summer.

Gaura Lindheimer's (Gaura lindheimeri) Color: White Blooms: Summer Light: Sun Height: 3'-4' Soil: Well Drained Delicate white and pink flowers that look like Butterflies. This perennial will bloom throughout summer and fall.

Lantana (Lantana camara) Color: Yellow & Pink Blooms: Summer to Fall Light: Sun/PartShade Height: 3'-6' Soil: Poor Drainage This is the old fashioned hardy Lantana found in many country gardens. Covered all summer and fall with bright orange, pink and yellow flowers. Butterflies love this one! Easy to grow.

Ruellia 'Katie's Dwarf? (Ruellia brittoniana) Color: Purple Blooms: Summer Light: Sun/PartShade Height: 8" Soil: Moist Well Drained Durable perennial that blooms purple flowers all summer. Low growing , makes great edger plant. Re-seeds and can be divided after first frost. Tolerates wet poor drained clay soil.

Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus drummondii) Color: Red Blooms: Summer-Fall Light: Sun/PartShade Height: 2'-4' Soil: Well Drained Bright green foliage great for lighting up shady areas. Blooms red hearts May to November. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Will take any soil and any light.

Phlox ?John Fanick? (Phlox paniculata) Color: Pink Blooms: Summer Light: Sun/PartShade Height: 36? Soil: Moist Well Drained Hardy perennial with light pink flower with darker pink throats. Blooms all summer. Compact growth
habit, dark green foliage, Tolerates heat, drought.

Hope this list is helpful.

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