Container gardens are an excellent way to add even more life to a garden, saturating it with color by adding seasonal booms to shady areas like covered porches or under a tree. The control that using containers provides increases the personality and visual impact of your garden and can elevate it from ho-hum to spectacular.
Here are a few great plants to try that are easy to care for and all flourish in shade containers.
Let’s Dance® Big Easy Hydrangea
The Let’s Dance® Big Easy hydrangea’s mop-headed flowers boast bright pink blooms. This sturdy medium-sized hydrangea blooms every year even in spite of severe winter weather. As they mature, the blooms will change from green to pink. The Big Easy hydrangea performs best in slightly moist yet well-drained soils. If you’d like to shift the bloom color from pink to blue, add aluminum sulfate to the soil. This plant does best when fertilized during the spring by a controlled-release fertilizer.
‘Autumn Frost’ Hosta
The ‘Autumn Frost’ hosta displays a variegated leaf with a frosty blue strike of color down the middle surrounded by creamy yellow spreading to the edge of the leaf. The medium-sized plant serves as filler in containers and attracts hummingbirds. It blossoms light lavender flowers in the summer, but is cultivated primarily for its striking foliage. Fertilize regularly.
ColorBlaze® Dipt in Wine Coleus
This coleus features a yellow leaf base that flows into a deep crimson at the top of the leaf. A green stripe lines the edge of the textured leaves. It attracts hummingbirds and serves as a “thriller” – a taller, vertical plant – in containers – reaching 20 – 36 inches. Deer rarely browse this plant. It’s versatility allows it to be grown in full sun – yes full sun, or shade. Fertilize with a time-release formula.
Rockapulco® impatiens thrive in humid, shady areas and can brighten lackluster areas in your garden with their intense blooms. Rockapulco® impatiens resemble roses and bloom from spring through the year’s first frost. Impatiens are low feeders, so maintenance is easy – simply keep them well watered and they will bloom all summer. I recommend using Rockapulco® in container gardens for maximum performance.
Charmed® Wine Oxalis
The Charmed® Wine oxalis possesses deep purple shamrock leaves and delicate white flowers. It is drought tolerant and blooms from spring through summer. A versatile plant – Charmed® Wine is used in hanging baskets, window boxes, containers and landscapes. It performs well as a houseplant, but requires some sunlight. This plant should be fertilized once a month during the summer. Because the plants are dormant during the winter, do not fertilize or over-water them during this season.
Lucia® Lavender Blush Lobelia
This lilac-colored filler plant attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. It blooms from planting through the first frost and, like most container plants, dislikes having “wet feet.” Use a water-soluble fertilizer when planting. These newer types of lobelia are much more heat tolerant than past plants. They will reliably bloom in warm temperatures unless night temperatures stay in the upper 70s or above. If you experience an extended time period with high night temperatures the plants may flush out of bloom, however, the plants themselves should continue to look good. If the plants do go out of flower using a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to give the plants a haircut a slight overall trim should encourage additional branching. Additional branching will result in increased flower power once the plants begin blooming again after night temperatures fall.
Three Container Shade Garden
Feel ready to start your own container garden? Now, you have all the information you need. For a fail-proof display, pot up a trio of containers with Charmed® Wine oxalis, ColorBlaze® Dipt in Wine coleus and Lucia® Lavender Blush lobelia.