Alternatives To Marigolds - Knowledgebase Question

Bergenfield, NJ
Avatar for masapqa
Question by masapqa
March 16, 2000
Our front yard is above sidewalk level with cement retaining walls. We have been planting marigolds at the front border, and while they do fine, we would like to try something different. The front yard has an Eastern exposure, with full, stong sun for about 4 hours. We've used annuals for the "instant gratification", as mature perennials are a bit expensive. Any suggestions for alternatives to the marigolds?

Answer from NGA
March 16, 2000
There are a number of different plants you can try. How about a mixture? If your marigolds have done well, then I think you'll be safe choosing sun-loving plants. Portulaca is an attractive and durable plant that has a somewhat vining habit and would drape down over the retaining wall. Another vining plant is Helichrysum, which has dusty green foliage and no flowers. I like nasturtiums, but find they flower best in relatively poor soil, with little or no fertilizing. Petunias are always popular, though most require regular deadheading to produce their best. The 'Wave' petunias are low-growing and vining, and create a low ground cover. Finally, low-growing zinnias, such as the Profusion series, would be attractive.

You might try adding a few perennials in each year. That way you can build up a permanent planting that you can then supplement with annuals as you wish. This would keep the initial cost down, and you could see what thrives there.

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