Gardening Help FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about garden plants. You will find concise information on general gardening techniques as well as plant selection and care. For detailed information on specific plant pests and problems refer to our Common Garden Pests and Problems page.

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Horticulture Questions and Answers

What are some good shade tolerant annuals?

Most annuals need full sun for survival and good flowering. Some annuals, however, will tolerate considerable shade. You should select from these for shady borders under trees, and along walls that block the sun and on shady city terraces. You can start shade tolerant annuals from seeds indoors or buy them as bedding plants in the spring. If you start them from seeds check the seed packets for information on starting dates.

Three common shade tolerant annuals are wax begonias, impatiens and coleus. Wax begonias are short plants with glossy bronze or green foliage and pink, red or white single or double flowers. They make excellent edging and bedding plants. Impatiens can add sparkle and color to beds, containers or borders in shady areas. Coleus is noted for its remarkable foliage patterns in striking colors.

Other annuals which thrive in shade are wishbone flower (Torenia), flower monkey (Mimulus), lobelia and browallia. For light shade, Vinca rosea and flowering tobacco, (Nicotiana) are good choices.