Extreme afternoon sunlight. - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by crystaljbarn
November 30, 2005
We are having problems with finding the best type of plant to pot for our front veranda which is westerly facing. We have very hot afternoons which put them in direct sunlight. Something that is also hardy would be good as we don't have a great success rate with our plants surviving. We live in Australia and the climate where we are located is sub tropical. Your help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Answer from NGA
November 30, 2005
Hot dry situations in the garden can prove difficult for any plant that is not adapted to cope. Such sites present a challenge to plant survival because of the lack of moisture needed for plant growth and leaves that will scorch in very hot sun. Complicating the issue is that containerized plants will often suffer from root problems because the containers hold the heat and essentially bake the roots. You'll have better success with your containerized plants if you group the containers together so they can shade one another.

Plants that will thrive in these conditions have characteristic which are beautiful and practical. Grey, silver and blue leaved ones that are clothed in fine hair or have a waxy surface deflect the burning suns rays. Plants with fragrant foliage exude volatile oils which form a haze around the plant and act as a sun block. Then there are succulent plants of low neat habit whose thick and fleshy leaves store water to prevent dehydration. Many sun loving plants perform best on soils that are not to fertile. High nutrient levels can produce soft sappy growth that is more susceptible to damage by cold and wet in winter. Some recommendations include

Ruta graveolens
Senecio cineraria Silver Dust
Festuca glauca
Yucca filamentosa
Verbena Homestead Purple
Erysimum Bowles Mauve
Fritillaria imperialis
Phlomis fruticosa
Grevillea Canberra Gem
Lavandula dentata
Sophora japonica
Cistus Silver Pink and Peggy Sammons
Euryops pectinatus
Cytisus multiflorus
Amthemis tinctoria
Papaver orientale
Phormium Dazzler
Verbena Peaches and Cream
Clianthus formosus

Hope this information is helpful!

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