Plant For A Part Sunny, Dry Area That Grows Tall - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by fyr051
August 10, 2002
I am looking for a perennial that can grow in a dry area, part sun, and grows tall. I prefer a flowering perennial.

Can you recommend some for me.

Thanks so much.


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Answer from NGA
August 10, 2002

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There are many plants you could try. Whenever growing conditions are "part sun" there is a potential range of plants that will tolerate the location and you have to experiment a little bit to see which ones do well there, then build on that knowledge for future selections.

If the area is sunny for six hours including noon, or if it is sunny all afternoon, you would want to work with plants that take full sun such as purple coneflower, caryopteris, hyssop, or baptisia.

If the area gets sun only part of the morning or in early morning and late afternoon, or gets dappled light all day, you will need a more shade tolerant plant. You could consider old fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis), larger hostas, or possibly Aruncus.

I have tried to suggest taller plants that would tolerate drier soil. However, it is important to pay attention to soil preparation prior to planting. Adding organic matter such as compost or rotted leaves can help the soil stay moister longer, as can using an organic mulch sevral inches deep year round.

Your local county extension and professional nursery personnel may also have suggestions based on a more detailed description of the area including the soil type, wind exposure, and so on. Good luck with your perennials!

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