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Shaded container gardening

Photo credit: Examiner Enterprise

Turn to shaded container gardening during hot summers

By Susan Albert

At this time of year, I start to wish I didn’t have so many plants in containers to water; at least the ones that require full sun. It is a relief, however, that the containers in the shade can go without daily watering.

One exception might be hanging baskets in shade. Since they are elevated, they are susceptible to more air circulation, wind, etc., which means drying out quicker.

Plants that do well in shaded containers include:

• Begonias, especially Dragon Wing and tuberous varieties

• Impatiens and New Guinea impatiens

• Ferns such as maidenhair, asparagus and foxtail (not true ferns), Boston, Dallas, Kimberly Queen. The Japanese Painted hardy fern is suitable for pot culture.

• Hostas work well in containers and you’ll probably see less snail damage, especially if you add pebbles around the plant. Come winter, sink the pots into the ground or store them in an unheated garage or shed, with occasional watering.

• Coleus are superb in containers and offer summer-long foliage color. The flower spikes are typically removed to promote more plant growth.

• Caladiums are another colorful foliage plant, mostly in greens, reds, creams, pinks, that do well on shaded porches and patios.

Next year, I think I’ll reduce watering chores even further by creating more succulent containers in the sunny areas, the ultimate plant for pot culture because succulents love heat.

Read the full article: Examiner Enterprise

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.