Flower Box Help Needed - Knowledgebase Question

Fort Myers, Fl
Question by smpagel
August 24, 2010
I have two flower boxes on my west-facing front porch, but they are shaded much of the day. Philodendron grows and drapes nicely, but everything else I combine with the philo. dies within a week or so (coleous, begonia, impatians, etc.) They don't appear to dry up; they seem to wilt. I've tried adjusting amt. of water, but that doesn't seem to help. Suggestions please.


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Answer from NGA
August 24, 2010

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It might be work looking into whether or not philodendrons are allelopathic. My research indicates that, according to the US Department of Agriculture, philodendron plants do contain many allelochemicals, which are produced and released into the surrounding soil to prevent other plants from growing too close and possibly crowding or inhibiting its growth. This might explain why other plants are not thriving in the window box. Why not try planting caladiums? These plants grow from bulbs and I've seen them growing in close proximity to philodendrons. Or, plant your coleus, begonias and impatiens in separate pots and sink the pots into the soil in the window boxes. With their own soil for their own roots, the plants just might thrive. Hope so!

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