Flowers That Don't Need Much Sun
Not all parts of most American gardens are lucky enough to receive full sun all the time, which is where plants that can grow in the shade come in. These plants can fill out a flower garden or exist in a spot like a hanging pot on a porch or patio that might get a dose of sun in the morning but not for the rest of the day. The flowers that do not need great amounts of sun include some very versatile types that you can employ in a variety of scenarios.
Many kinds of impatiens prefer to stay out of the sun if possible, especially when you grow them in a hot climate. An evergreen plant that typically grows in low mounds, impatiens comes in a multitude of colors. By keeping impatiens in moist soil, you can assure their survival, but if they become too wet, the Floridata website states they are susceptible to root rot. If you place impatiens in full sun during the height of the summer, they will likely wilt, so find a shady spot for them. First frost kills them in colder environments but in southern state impatiens will continue to bloom year round, showing their best colors when the weather cools down. You will be able to camouflage those shady spots in your flower garden or by your house with impatiens, which go well with plants such as coleus.
While pansies will grow as a perennial plant, the majority of gardeners will utilize them as annuals, purchasing them and transplanting them into their gardens and landscapes each year. The pansy does well in cool weather and in the shade, although when it does not get some sun, it will typically produce fewer flowers. Pansies are small as garden flowers go, growing to a maximum height of 10 inches, but usually around 5 or 6 inches tall. You can choose from a large assortment of cultivars, with multi-colored pansies available everywhere, as well as some with colors such as all black. One of the species’ drawbacks is that they cannot withstand hot summer temperatures, so a springtime planting is prudent. You can put them in the shade of trees if you desire, as long as you maintain the moisture they crave in the soil. They are a favorite in window boxes, where they get some light but then spend part of the day in the shade as the sun passes overhead.
Common periwinkle is another flower that tolerates shade, and for this reason, it makes a solid ground cover plant for such spots as under shade trees. It is vine-like and grows rapidly, taking root across as large an area as you allow it to. Common periwinkle has evergreen leaves that are elliptical and around 2 inches in length, with purple-blue flowers that emerge in the spring and persist through summer. Cultivars featuring other colors exist, such as the white “Alba” type or the burgundy-colored “Atropurpurea” species. Without proper supervision, common periwinkle can become invasive, but it is perfect for a shady place where you have trouble growing anything else. The plant’s growth rate depends on the dampness of the soil, as it will grow more slowly if conditions are dry.
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.