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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Container gardening in Ireland, including Annual Bedding Plants

container plants for the shade?


 
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sharonl
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:52 am    Post subject: container plants for the shade? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have loads of window boxes and containers on my balcony and every year its a bit of a struggle to find plants that will flower and also thrive on it. Its a west facing balcony which is very sheltered. One side gets a good bit of sun in the summer from about 3pm to 7pm or so, the other side gets very little if any direct sun and is completely in the shade. In the shady part I've got a large wooden planter with a trellis at the back, I was growing a summer jasmine there but its really failed to thrive and after 2 years of not flowering at all I'm giving up on it. Are there any climbing flowering plants that would do well in the shade and fill the area with colour? I was going to try sweet peas this year but then I read they really need full sun. So any suggestions for both climbing and low level container flowers that are full of colour and thrive in the shade would be greatly appreciated, or am I deluding myself and asking too much Rolling Eyes

Also the 'sunny' part of the balcony, I can grow lobelia plugs quite well there and they've been reliable but any other container plant I've tried just doesn't like it, again maybe due to not enough direct sun since it only gets around 4 hours a day direct sunlight. Tried buzy lizzies, they really didn't like it and gave up, petunias while they flowered, there were only a few, it also didn't seem happy at all, marigolds, same, flowered but not very well and didn't thrive, Confused I have some primroses to try this year ready to plant out, but other than the lobelia any suggestions? I really want a flush of full on colour all over the balcony if possible, particularly the shady part as my plastic greenhouse is now in the sunny part for starting off my allotment plants Very Happy .

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Sive
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could try foxgloves, and they could be spectacular ....hostas would be the obvious plants to try, and you have the advantage of not fighting off the snails ( presuming you are not in a ground floor apartment ! )
Also, vinca and dicentra may be worth trying. And you may just have to concentrate on lovely foliage in your shadiest spots, and not get too hung up on colourful flowers. Green is a colour too after all!
Ferns, for instance would do well there.
And lastly, fuchsias can be quite adaptable plants....they may be worth a try, and they flower endlessly.
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sharonl
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Sive, I'll give dicentra a go this year maybe and the vinca looks interesting, and I do love foxgloves, can you get dwarf varieties of foxgloves?

As far as the greenery goes, yeah maybe I'll just need to make do with it, although coleus comes in some beautiful colours, would coleus do ok in the shade I have seen some beautiful varieties in garden centres, and was tempted but never actually tried it out?

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Sive
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure you can get shorter foxglove varieties. I planted a perennial variety last year, but have no idea how it will perform or whether it survived this winter.
I would really be tempted to try hostas if I were you. We normal mortals that have slugs and snails to contend with would envy your snail-free zone ! You can get hostas in all sorts of greens....right from the glaucous shades through to yellow-greens, also variegated ones. And don't forget they have flowers too and the different leaf shapes and textures can be very exciting .
You may be limiting yourself by thinking "flowers" all the time..... sometimes by thinking laterally an entirely different solution can be found.
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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered herbs for the shade? I had some providing a lovely bit of life in a shady corner out our back up to last year. Now have them in borders of polytunnel, but was lovely way of adding some life, and most grew fine without the direct sun.
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sharonl
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I have some parsley and mint that seems to grow quite well over that side, Rosemary didn't like containers at all and thyme and oregano had an unfortunate experience with some whitefly, but I think I've got the aphid problem under control now, there weren't half as many last year so maybe its time to give them another go, and hopefully the coleus should be coming into the garden centres soon as I'm a bit too late to sow this year.
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galwaybeginner
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spring onions and chives both do well in containers too. And very handy for the kitchen!
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