Ask a Question forum: Which plants do well in morning shade and afternoon sun?

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Name: carol brodtrick
Huntington, WV (Zone 6a)
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cbrodtrick
Mar 19, 2018 10:33 AM CST
We have west side gardens that have heavy shade in the morning until about 1:00 in the afternoon. The only plants, so far, that thrive, are rabbit ears, sedum, and a butterfly bush. The hydrangeas are holding on, but look stunted. What perennials and annuals can I plant that will do well? Thank you.

Carol Brodtrick in Huntington, WV
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Mar 19, 2018 10:46 AM CST
Have you tried various cone flowers? I treated my son and daughter in law to three dozen of them in early June last year. They all took hold, flowered well AND they spread!
Google rudebeckias or cone flowers.
Brown—eyed Susan's are coneflowers. Welcome! to the forums!!!
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 19, 2018 11:06 AM CST
Don't worry about the shade. Anything that will take full sun will do well. I have a simular gardeing situation in a simular zone. I planted small evergreens (NOT Birds Nest Spruce - they don't do well with that much sun). Butterfly bushes, carpet roses, a couple Prickly Pears and a ton of daffodils.
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Mar 19, 2018 12:09 PM CST
cbrodtrick said:We have west side gardens that have heavy shade in the morning until about 1:00 in the afternoon. The only plants, so far, that thrive, are rabbit ears, sedum, and a butterfly bush. The hydrangeas are holding on, but look stunted. What perennials and annuals can I plant that will do well? Thank you.

Carol Brodtrick in Huntington, WV


Morning shade and afternoon sun is a difficult combination.

A lot of people on these boards complain about the same situation.

It's important to realize that you don't have a shade situation, and you don't have a full sun situation... you have an afternoon sun issue. the plants have been in the shade all morning and suddenly have the hottest most brutal sunlight of the day to deal with.

In West Virginia, you don't have to worry about the heat we get in my area, but... some of our standards for that kind of placement may not survive your cold winters,

personally, I think I'd move the plants that aren't happy. that should give you some room to plant.

Then...
one of my favourites for that kind of planting include Salvia guaranitica... which is hardy from zones 8-10... lets you out...

I would also plant lantana... Zone 8-11... you can't grow that either.

hmmm...
what about poppies?

We can't grow perennial poppies here... but you should be able to grow oriental poppies there... But.. the bloom time isn't all that long.

Seems like an ideal spot to grow those naturalized chicory flowers...

While not perennial, try zinnias and orange cosmos... absolutely bullet-proof at my house! I even get multiple generations of bloom in a season...



[Last edited by stone - Mar 19, 2018 12:11 PM (+)]
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Name: carol brodtrick
Huntington, WV (Zone 6a)
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cbrodtrick
Apr 2, 2018 2:52 PM CST
Thanks, All. Think I'll try the coneflowers and the salvia that does well in my area. Also lots of annuals, though that gets expensive year after year. Looks like more trial and error until I find the perfect combinations. Sighing!
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 2, 2018 3:04 PM CST
I myself try for a balance of the two. I try for 75% perennials that bloom from April through September and then mix in about 25% annuals for a splash of color here and there.
Just a suggestion, plant things in odd numbered groups like 3 of this and five of that and seven of this! Odd numbers aren't quite so static and five of something is like my favorite number for larger things and then perhaps 7 of something to the right of the five, and 7 of something else to the left.
Good luck.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 2, 2018 3:08 PM CST
And NEVER plant in 2's and 4's.

In art there is no balance in 2 of anything and 4 is almost the same character as death (in Japanese). Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 2, 2018 3:21 PM CST
Hey neighbor! I live about 30 minutes from Huntington! I lived here for many years, then lived out-of-state for 14 years. One of the things the "normal" north-east-south-west-facing discussion doesn't take into account is the fact that ALL directions here get more shade than normal because of the glaciated Allegheny Plateau and the unique way the mountains cast shadows over the valleys.

For west-facing gardens here, a lot of annuals do surprisingly well. Bachelor's buttons, cosmos, and annual poppies in particular. It's just barely too late to sow the poppies (and some are technically illegal here, but who cares), but it's still early for Bachelor's buttons and cosmos. I would get those in the ground the third week of April. And then do it again the third week of May to cover any areas that didn't sprout or got frostbitten.

I have a passion for Zinnias, but our summers are so humid that they get super mildewy in anything but a full-on, unobstructed, southern exposure. And even then, they still get mildew but not as badly.

I don't grow a lot of perennials because I move every year, but coleus can be either annual or perennial if you take it indoors, and some varieties' leaves really do rival the prettiest flowers. I'm getting ready to go on a road trip but next week I might be able to meet up and give you a couple small coleus cuttings if you want.


stone said:In West Virginia, you don't have to worry about the heat we get in my area


Actually, we do but it's usually of a shorter duration (on the order of 3-4 solid weeks verses 10-12+).


While not perennial, try zinnias and orange cosmos... absolutely bullet-proof at my house! I even get multiple generations of bloom in a season...


Zinnias need a full-on southern exposure here because the mountain shade with humidity will turn them to oozing piles of goo on the east or west, and on the north they will just etoliate into nothingness. Cosmos do work well, though. Sometimes cosmos will reseed here, too.
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Apr 2, 2018 3:23 PM (+)]
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Apr 2, 2018 3:34 PM CST
cbrodtrick said: Also lots of annuals, though that gets expensive year after year.


You must be doing it wrong...
annuals grow very easily from saved seed... and... at my house usually self-sow...

after they self-sow, I often dig or if the soil is damp, just pull and then transplant where I want them.

Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 2, 2018 3:37 PM CST
stone said:

You must be doing it wrong...
annuals grow very easily from saved seed... and... at my house usually self-sow...

after they self-sow, I often dig or if the soil is damp, just pull and then transplant where I want them.



Most don't self-sow as easily here because not only are our winters really cold, they're also really wet. Even 2 or 3 hours south (or closer to sea level) it's drier. My hunch tells me that the level of moisture is what kills off most seeds instead of the cold all by itself.

I used to live in Tennessee, which is not all that far away and was surprised to find Zinnias and marigolds both self-sowing! That doesn't really happen here.
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Apr 2, 2018 3:39 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 2, 2018 7:15 PM CST
I live in 6b and our weather is SO different than yours. Its not the wet that gets them but the dry - our average rainfall is less than 10 inches a year (almost 3 in. since January 1). About the only thing that self sows are Johnny Jump Ups and Blue Eyed Grass. Oh, and the REALLY annoying native Yarrow. I've been pulling "weeds" today and the Yarrow is really making me mad. The Yarrow has completely eaten my geraniums. Grumbling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: carol brodtrick
Huntington, WV (Zone 6a)
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cbrodtrick
Apr 2, 2018 7:38 PM CST
You're so right about the seed, Jai. And I tend to be a bit impatient, so I want plants and color NOW. I've done seed starts indoors in years past, but light is always a problem and the timing has to be just right. Here in WV we can have cold weather into April, certainly wet weather, so any large annual planting, whether from seed or nursery plants, has to wait for the weather to settle, which almost any year, is May.

Thanks to all of you for your advice. I still plan to take out the current plants except for the lambs ears and sedum, the butterfly bush and my ballerina rose that is so hardy she keeps growing and blooming no matter what. Smiling
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[Last edited by cbrodtrick - Apr 3, 2018 10:48 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias Gardens in Buckets
Region: Pennsylvania Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 3, 2018 1:52 PM CST
DaisyI said:I live in 6b and our weather is SO different than yours. Its not the wet that gets them but the dry - our average rainfall is less than 10 inches a year (almost 3 in. since January 1). About the only thing that self sows are Johnny Jump Ups and Blue Eyed Grass. Oh, and the REALLY annoying native Yarrow. I've been pulling "weeds" today and the Yarrow is really making me mad. The Yarrow has completely eaten my geraniums. Grumbling


Yeah, we can be in the same zone but have very different precipitation schedules, precipitation amounts, precipitation types (snow v. rain), soil types, wind, and native species of plants and animals that do or don't compete. So being in the same zone can really mean much less than it would seem.

It took me a few years before I realized that most self-seeding plants won't self-seed in places with such wet winters. Everybody said they were "supposed to" so I had thought it was something I was doing wrong.

But it's really just the climate itself. Even to grow poppies I sometimes have to shield them from the late winter downpours using clear plastic sheeting. The best-draining soil in the world is useless when it rains every day for weeks on end.
Keep going!
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Apr 3, 2018 5:00 PM CST
Carol, you don't say what hasn't worked for you in that spot.
Name: carol brodtrick
Huntington, WV (Zone 6a)
Gardeners are the best!
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cbrodtrick
Apr 4, 2018 11:07 AM CST
Hey Loretta, to answer your question about what I had in these gardens that didn't do well, it's roses, in general. That's what I'd hoped would grow, and they did, for about four years. Then, last year, while they didn't die, they simply stopped blooming, except for the Ballerina rose. And that's after feeding, pruning, mulching and begging. These are mostly shrub roses and several climbers. I thought it could be that because we've had some extended periods of rain these last few winters, cold rain, and also because it seems to take a long time for the sun to burn off the wet, that they just aren't getting all the sun they need. After a poor showing last summer, I decided to dig them up and plant something else. I also tried growing coral bells along the top of a wall, knowing they like smaller amounts of sun, but the wet got them this past winter and they look pretty gone. If spring ever comes to WV, they may recover from the roots, but that's probably not going to happen.
However, the sedum and lambs ears thrive. A wonder, because lambs ears don't like it too wet or too hot. This is why I love to garden. It's always an adventure. Rolling my eyes.
Walk in a garden. Walk with God.

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