foundation plants - Knowledgebase Question

largo, Fl
Question by chelioo2
February 11, 2010
I live in a mobile house faces northeast.the front has an awning and gets a little sun daily.I am handicapped and do not want to have any maintenanceCan you suggest something that gives a little color and some nice foliage.I also need something that is shade and also with little maintenance

Answer from NGA
February 11, 2010


To me, the term "low-maintenance" refers to a plant that does not require regular watering, pruning, or spraying to remain healthy and to maintain an attractive presence in the garden. With this in mind, I'd suggest planting Whirling butterflies (Gaura lindheimeri), grows in full sun to partial shade into a loose, bushy clump. Stems are slender, wiry, and covered with tiny hairs. Leaves spoon-shaped with toothed margins. Flowers are held above foliage on long spikes; they open white at dawn, fading to rose-pink by day's end.

Spiral ginger (Costus scaber) gorws in partial shade. It is a tall ginger with attractive roundish jade green leaves with fuzzy underside, and long, hard, waxy 8" to 12" red bracts with small, yellow flowers that peek out as bracts open from bottom up. Long lasting flower; excellent cut flower.

Florida mountainmint (Pycnanthemum floridanum) is an erect, loosely-branched, shrublike perennial. The leaves smell like spearmint or camphor. Tiny, lavender flowers in dense terminal clusters open in summer. It attracts butterflies and grows in full to partial shade.

Or, Purpletop verbena (Verbena bonariensis) which grows in full sun to light shade. This is an erect, clump-forming perennial with stiff, widely branched stems. Small, purple flowers in clusters held high above foliage.

Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your garden.

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