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Some Annuals That Can Take Sun

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Some Annuals That Can Take Sun

Sun coleuses, such as these at the Kemper Center for Home Gardening here at MBG, are colorful plants for summer sun and heat. Long-time gardeners may remember when Solenostemon scutellarioides (coleus) varieties only did well in shade or part shade, but today there are many varieties of coleus such as these, that not only tolerate but do best in full sun exposures. Just make sure that you look for varieties labeled as ‘Sun Coleus’. This coleus bed is edged by the yellow foliage of Duranta erecta ‘Gold Mound’ (pigeon berry), a dwarf and colorful cultivar of Duranta erecta.

Another sun loving annual that always performs well is Portulaca grandflora (moss rose). Along with Portulaca oleracea (purslane) they do very well in sun, heat and humidity. I know portulaca is often considered a weed, but what grows better than a ‘weed’ in the summer?  Portulaca is daylight sensitive, so look for hybrid varieties that stay open longer on days with less light intensity and duration.

Catharanthus roseus (vinca or periwinkle) is one of those herbaceous perennials grown as an annual that performs much better in a hot summer. In fact, you will notice that when temperatures start to cool in the fall, flower production will decrease and the nice shiny, green foliage will give way to a lighter and sometimes yellowish green color.

There are a number of other “annuals” that perform very well in summer. Our Gardening With Annuals Factsheet will have a listing near the end that will help you select some other plants that will do well as summer annuals grown in full sun.

But lists and articles only tell part of the story. The best way to see which annuals are taking the sun is to check it out for yourself. And what better place than the demonstration gardens here in the Kemper Center for Home Gardening.

Posted in: Summer | Tags: annuals , heat , plant selection | Comments (0) | View Count: (2141)
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