I'm looking for ideas!

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

I live in an apartment with a mostly shaded patio. I can only garden with containers. I also live in zone 5b. What I would like for ideas is: Annuals or Perennials that are FRAGRANT that can handle containers and shade. If perennials, if they won't survive in 5b but can be brought inside during the winter, I could handle that as well.

All I had this year was impatiens and one pot of wave petunias. The wave petunias were pretty, but didn't get enough sun to really show their glory. I want it to be much better next year!


Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

There is always suntollerant coleus

Thumbnail by ge1836
Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

If you want to stick with perennials, you could try daylilies, regular lilies, grasses.
I do have Arum lilies, pansies, heucheras, astibes y hostas and they do well for me here.
Also I have Sweet Autumn clematis and is so fragrant you should hive it a go!

I did a google to see if they would thrive in zone 5b and I found these:

Arum lilies with their elegant faintly scented white flowers and spear shaped leaves will grow in any container and look wonderful in a tall metal bucket. Plant the bulbs in the autumn and they can grow as tall as 20 inches in a large container. Alternatively buy young arum lilies in the spring and group them together for effect.

Pansies are hardy annuals that will give a fantastic display in any sort of container or window box. Try planting in something like a small wooden wheel-barrow on a patio, or combine with the ivy in the hanging basket. Plant in the fall or spring and they will grow up to 8 inches tall. There are so many varieties and colors, so choose wisely to avoid a chaotic result! Go for groups of pansies in the same colors or similar shades. Deadhead regularly to encourage new blooms.

Geraniums are hardy and will tolerate shady areas. Most varieties can be planted all year round in containers or windowboxes and will produce a delightful spring and early summer splash of colour. For something different, look for the pink Sirak variety of gernaiums with large flowers that bloom throughout the summer. Again, in small spaces, beautiful geranium flowers of the same color look better than a mixture of several different shades.

Annual Heliotrope can be grown in a very shady spots. They are in full color by late July and last until frost kills them. I strongly recommend this plant for shaded conditions although it is normally advertised as a sun-demanding plant! .

Heuchera (Heuchera spp. - Zones 4-8), also known as coral bells, has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years among home gardeners. It has stunning scalloped foliage and grows in compact clumps. Leaf colors include green mottled with white, green with a strong reddish tinge, mahogany and several varieties of silvery purple. There are small, bell-shaped clusters of flowers that open at the top of wiry stems and are appealing to hummingbirds, but heucheras are currently being developed and grown more for their leaf color than their flowers. ‘Pewter Moon” and ‘Palace Purple’ are two of my favorite varieties that are generally available. Combine several varieties in a container for an eye-catching display.

hosta (Hosta spp. - Zones 3-8). There is a huge variety in leaf size as well as leaf color, which ranges from light to dark green to chartreuse, blue and variegated with white and cream. This is a clumping plant with thin spikes of blue or white flowers that appear in summer. Hostas look especially good in short, chunky pots.

Astilbes (Astilbe - Zones 4-9) are prized for their feathery flower plumes and their light, airy quality. In shades of pink, purple, red and white, astilbes pair nicely with hostas and ferns. Blooming spring through summer, they prefer moist soil. Japanese anemones (Anemone hybrida - Zones 4-9) have graceful stems that grow out of clumps of dark green leaves. With blooms that extend into the fall, flowers can be single, semidouble or double. ‘Queen Charlotte’ has pink single flowers on 3 foot stems; ‘Prinz Heinrich’ sports red semidouble flowers on 18-24 inch stems; ‘Honorine Jobert’ has pure white flowers with bright yellow centers on 2-3 foot stems. For some height in the garden, try aconitum (Aconitum henryi ‘Sparks’) or monkshood. This variety has 4-5 foot spires with dark purple-blue flowers and blooms in summer.

Good luck

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

Thank you so much!

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Let us know how they grow for you and the very best wishes for your shady patio

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

Thank you! I was also thinking I could do some elephant ears - they make nice looking houseplants for the winter months. I'm going to do some surfing to find one that's unique.

Camdenton, MO(Zone 6a)

I like to grow mint in a container just outside my patio doors. Love the scent, especially when I'm up close watering it. I do take cuttings to bring in over the winter, but in the past it has survived outdoors in a mild winter. The last couple of years I have had spearmint and peppermint, but chocolate mint is also one of my favorites. One year I grew several mints in a huge pot, but because I don't have a good place to overwinter a lot of plants, I had to leave the pot outside and they didn't make it. :-(

One of my favorite container combinations for a large pot is caladium and wax begonias. I place mine where they get about 1-2 hours of sun per day. The rest of the time they are in light shade. I dig up the caladium bulbs after the first frost and keep them over the winter.

The smaller container in the photo is peppermint is after I cut it back and it started regrowing.

Thumbnail by ImaMes
Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

Good ideas! That caladium and begonia potting is striking! Will have to give that one some thought!

I saw in a magazine somewhere this very unusual, striking elephant ear. That would be something that could be a houseplant indoors in the winter. I need to find it so that I can look it up and post a pic. I'm sure I'll have to mail order it.

Sometimes I can find neat finds at NW Seed and Pet - but lately, because they are strictly organic, they've come along with bugs, gnats or small flies or something - then the rest of my plants get infested. YUCK - especially INSIDE my house!

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

I grew an oriental lily Stargazer in a large container. It was in partial shade and did well. You can't beat that for fragrance. Next year i'm going to try 4:o clocks in same place.

Camdenton, MO(Zone 6a)

Karrie20x - Thanks. I'd like to see the Elephant Ear if you find the photo. I hate bugs on my plants indoors, too. I keep my new plants isolated from my other ones until I can determine if they are infected or not. Then I can spray them or do whatever I need to do to them before I put them with my other plants.

cando1 - I love the idea of a Stargazer lily in a container! I have some in my flower bed out front and cut them to bring inside when they bloom. One flower goes a long way indoors, by the way. :-) By putting one in a pot, I could have the fragrance on my back patio as well. I'll have to look into that next year. Do you overwinter yours indoors, or does it survive the winter in a pot, or do you plant it out in the fall?

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

I'm in Z6 and i leave it in the container. I do move all my containers up next to house before winter and they get a good amount of leaves that blow that way and around them,
I injoy mine blooming near my front porch.
Where is Camdenton from the Arkansas border?

Camdenton, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the info, Vickie. I overwinter a few of my potted plants the same way. Lots of oak leaves pile up around them... LOTS! We get all of our leaves, plus a lot of our neighbors' leaves from next door and across the street! :-P

Camdenton is about 80 miles north-northeast of Springfield, MO. We are at the Lake of the Ozarks, if you know where that is. I think Springfield, MO is about 75 miles from Harrison, AR.


Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

All right!! Maria, I'm about 25 miles south of Harrison. If you go autumn leaf looking, you'll have to come this way and see me.
Sorry to get off topic for you guys. I'll behave now.

Camdenton, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the invite, Vickie! If I get down that way I will.

Chewelah, WA(Zone 5a)

Karrie, you might try some alyssum for fragrance. I had Oriental Nights that did very well in a container in a lightly shaded area in my garden this year. I do love the scent of alyssum and it's so easy to grow. I stuff little clumps of it everywhere!

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