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Step Planters for Shade?

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Step Planters for Shade?

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Mar 20, 2012 8:23 am

I think this year I will actually have time to work on some containers!

My front porch is all shade, so I was thinking to put 4 containers, one on each step, and one on the 'landing' increasing in size as we go, all ceramic glazed pots. In the lowest one, I want to plant hens and chicks, the next size up - impatients (I have never had a chance to have them before, woot!), next one up - mint, and, finally, in a huge pot on the landing, against the beam, I would like to put either the Virgina creeper.

Creeper might not take, I am guessing, so I was wondering if there is a good climbing or tall alternative for a shade container? It can be either cheap annual or sturdy perennial.

Thank you!
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
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Re: Step Planters for Shade?

Postby styric » Mar 20, 2012 1:38 pm

I had great luck with climbing nasturtiums last year
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Re: Step Planters for Shade?

Postby Smitty » Mar 21, 2012 9:26 am

I'm pretty sure the creeper will take...it'll grow anywhere
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Re: Step Planters for Shade?

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Mar 21, 2012 9:53 am

I don't have any sun there to allow nasturtium's growth, so unfortunately they are out :(

Thanks for the good word on the creeper! I think it is a good solution if it can grow in the container, limiting it growth and having it too. I always wanted it, but was worried about the roots and spread and damage to the foundation.
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
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Re: Step Planters for Shade?

Postby Carlley » Mar 24, 2012 1:48 pm

Hi Elena,

Have you thought about a chocolate vine - akebia quinata? It is evergreen, will take full afternoon shade and mine grows well in a pot. It is considered invasive by some, so a pot works nicely to keep it in check. I do have friends who have it in the ground and it has not become invasive.

It blooms in Spring, has a beautiful purple flower and smells like chocolate/vanilla, so would be divine at the entrance to your home.

Just a thought. Happy Planting!
Carla
Indian Arm, North Vancouver, BC - Zone 7

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Re: Step Planters for Shade?

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Mar 26, 2012 12:50 pm

This is a really wonderful plant! I would have really liked to try it. Alas, I am in Zone 3, so I doubt it could make it in a container :( I am going to update my profile - seems we have lost our Zonal tags of the yestereve :)
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
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Re: Step Planters for Shade?

Postby orchidguy » Mar 26, 2012 1:59 pm

Elena,
I have found that both cup and saucer vine (cobaea scandens) and black eyed susan vine (thunbergia alata) does well in shade, and is easy to start from seed. They are classified as annuals in our zones, but are actually tender perennials that can be carried over year to year in the house or greenhouse.

I also grow my mandavillia in a pot on the north porch, and it does great there

If you are looking for only green, you could give english ivy a try also
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Re: Step Planters for Shade?

Postby Elena Zimmerman » Mar 27, 2012 11:02 am

Those are very interesting options, Dan, thank you for the advice. I always thought that the Susan was completely annual & really too tender for our climate. I think I want to see if I can get a creeper trained on the railing, but if it fails, I will try the cup and saucer one with an obelisk and wintering in-doors. In fact, I am going to direct seed both with the morning glories on my arch to see if any of them comes up from direct seed! Don't you just love gardening experiments like that? :lol:
Gardening in Calgary, AB, Zone 3, Chinook conditions
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