In Chicago with Limited Space - Knowledgebase Question

chicago, Il
Question by rewing123
March 29, 2010
In Chicago and can't keep a plant alive! I have 4 window box planters that get tons of sunlight and I'd like a suggestion on what I should plant in them. Should I start from seed or buy grown plants? I'd love some herbs and/or some beautiful flowery plants. Also looking for ideas for our back deck-partial sunlight and a few big potters. Important that it's all easy to take care of. Thanks!

Answer from NGA
March 29, 2010


It can be difficult to keep planter boxes watered enough to make plants happy so why not try growing some drought tolerant plants in the boxes? Some dry soil, sun loving perennials to consider include Asclepias tuberosa - Butterflyweed; Agastache foeniculum - Anise hyssop; Amsonia spp. - Amsonia; Artemisia spp. - Artemisia; Aster spp. - Asters; Baptisia australis - False blue indigo; Centauria montana - Perennial bachelor?s button; Coreopsis spp.- Coreopsis; Dianthus spp. - Pinks; Echinacea purpurea - Purple cone flower; Echinops ritro - Globe thistle; Erygium spp. - Sea holly; Euphorbia sp. - Spurge; Gaillardia spp. - Blanket flower; Geranium macchrorhizum - Bigroot geranium; Helleborus sp. ? Hellebores; Hemerocallis spp. ? Daylily; Hibiscus moscheutos - Common mallow; Hosta sp. - Hosta; Iris sibirica - Siberian iris; Lavendula angustifolia -Lavender; Liatris spp. - Gay feather; Nepeta spp. - Catmint; Paeonia sp. - Peony; Perovskia atriplicifolia - Russian sage; Phlox spp.- Phlox; Rudbeckia spp. - Black-eyed Susan; Salvia spp. - Sage; Sedum spp. - Sedum; Sempervirens tectorum - Hens and chicks; Stachys byzantina - Lamb= ears; Stokesia laevis - Stokes aster; Thymus spp. - Thyme; Verbascum spp. - Mullein; and Yucca spp. - Yucca. You can also plant woody herbs in your planter boxes.

For the part sun location, try growing nasturtium (Tropaeolum), flowering tobacco(Nicotiana), pansy (Viola), lobelia (Lobelia), bachelor button (Centaurea), Pinks (Dianthus), bells of Ireland (Moluccella), forget-me-not (Myosotis), baby blue eyes (Nemophila), perilla (Perilla), fuchsia (Fucshia), and elephant ear (Colocasia).

Enjoy your container garden!

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