Choosing Spring-Summer Shade Annuals

Before choosing annuals for your garden, determine what kind of sunlight you have; this will guide you in choosing plants that will thrive in your garden.

Determine Your Sunlight

    • Shade: Areas that receive less than 3 hours of shade and are shaded most of the day
    • Partial Shade: Areas where the sun is filtered, usually leaves and foliage, and peek through for most of the day

Choose Your Favorite Shade Plants

    • There are many great shade plants for southeastern gardens. Here are some of our favorites:
      • New Guinea Impatiens:
        • One of the best shade annuals to get a pop of color
        • Large, bright colored flowers and some have fun foliage color
        • Grow 1-2' tall and wide
      • Begonias:
        • Green leaf begonias take full shade, while bronze leaf begonias can take a little more sun
      • Torenia
        • Commonly called the wishbone flower
        • The flower shape is similar to a snapdragon and every bit as colorful
        • Grow 6-12" tall and 6-9" wide
      • Coleus:
        • Provides foliage, color and texture
        • In container gardens, it's a great filler plant
        • Comes in an array of colors from lime green, deep burgundy to a mix of colors
      • Caladiums:
        • A foliage plant that comes in an array of varieties
        • Provide height in the garden and will spread
        • Choose from green and white caladiums, green and red, and many, many more

Plant in a Nutrient Rich Soil

    • It's important to have good soil for two reasons:
      • It has the nutrients plants need to establish a healthy root system
      • Good soil will provide the plant with good drainage so it gets enough water, but it's not sitting in water which would cause the roots to rot
    • In the garden:
      • Amend soil with Pike Planting Mix at a 50/50 ratio with the native soil
    • In a pot:
      • Use a high-quality Potting Mix like Pike Potting & Containing Soil

Annual Shade Plant Care

    • A consistent watering schedule is important for all plants, including shade annuals
      • You want to keep the soil slightly moist to the touch
      • Remember, shady areas don't dry out as quickly, so adjust the water schedule as needed
    • Fertilize your shade annuals:
      • If you planted mostly flowering shade annuals, use a fertilizer like E.B. Stone Ultra Blooms
      • If you planted a combination of flowering and foliage, use a fertilizer like E.B. Stone All Purpose Plant Food