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Plants for the West Side of a House

prickly pear cactus image by Jan Ebling from <a href=''></a>

Plant sun- and heat-loving flowers and landscape plants in garden beds on the west side of the house. They will grow and thrive in the intense heat of the afternoon sun, producing flowers where more sensitive plants wilt and struggle to bloom.

Scarlet Sage

A member of the same family as culinary sage, scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea) grows best in full sun and thrives in west-facing sites. Depending on the variety, scarlet sage grows from 6 to 36 inches high. Red flowers grow in whorls on spikes held above the foliage. The variety "Lady in Red" is heat- and drought-tolerant and blooms prolifically. Salvia grows best in well-drained soil and does not tolerate wet conditions. Cut off faded flowers for another flush of bloom later in the season.

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly pear cacti (Opuntia spp.) are heat lovers and are ideal for the west side of the house. They require loose, sandy soil and excellent drainage. Grow them in a raised bed or on a hillside or hilltop to provide the best drainage possible. Withhold water beginning in early autumn; cacti naturally take up less moisture as winter approaches, and this prevents their cells from bursting during freezing winter temperatures. Do not mulch the soil around them over winter, so that excess moisture can evaporate.

Day Lilies

Relatively carefree perennials, day lilies (Hemerocallis spp.) grow best in full sun and tolerate hot sites well. Their flowers bloom for many weeks during late spring and summer, with each flower lasting a single day before wilting. They prefer rich soil and require at least 1 inch of water per week. Daylilies are fast-growing and can be dug up and divided every three to four years.

Plants For The West Side Of A House

Plants for the west side of a house need to be tough. They receive full sun during the hottest part of the day, and if planted near a wall they may get additional reflected heat. Hollyhocks lend old-fashioned charm to a garden. Crossvine is a climbing vine with stems that grow up to 50 feet long. The blue flowers rise above the foliage bloom from midsummer until mid-fall and attract butterflies and bees. The bright pink flowers rise above grass-like foliage that grows in neat clumps. It produces a profusion pale pink buds that blossom into 1-inch white flowers in early spring. Although it will adapt to a wide range of soils it prefers a loamy, well-drained acid soil. Sargent crabapple is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 7.

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