I have a window box that's in virtual darkness that I have not been very
successful with.... I hate planting that many annuals every year, it
seems like a waste. And then in the winter, it just looks awful to have
nothing in it, but to tell you the truth, I do nothing outside after the
temperature drops below 40 degrees (and I'm in zone 5, so that means
pretty much from late October on). So I thought it might be nice to put
in some dwarf or midget conifers as the primary plant and then fill in
with annuals or something else. BUT the garden center had some lovely
midget mugho pines, Alberta spruce and arborvitae, but they all said
"full sun." I've had some other "full sun" plants that have done well
in other parts of my property that are part-shade (sedum, for one) and
was wondering if these would die if I put them in there....
If this is a really bad idea, does anyone have any ideas (pictures would
be nice) for creating a shady window box? The space is huge - about 7'
Hellebores can be grown down to zone 5, they like bright shade, & can
tolerate a little bit of droughtiness which container plants all too often
experience. In my area (zone 8) the umbrella-leaves are evergreen through
winter, though I cut them off about the time it is starting to bloom. Your
area's so much colder I don't know if they'd be so evergreen though.
A windowbox of shade-lovin' wintergreen mini-shrubs would be lovely & they
would definitely be fully evergreen in your zone, & take very little care
to flourish. Flowers are small but very pretty, & bright red berries
numerous, long lasting, & showy.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Here in Zone 5b we often cut lots of evergreen tips from assorted native
trees around Thanksgiving and insert them into our windowboxes, they take up
space and really do not brown off until time to plant pansies, snapdragons,
and alyssum...... which is NOW! YIPPEEEEE!
Other items I depend on for the summer boxes in deep shade are tuberous
begonia, caladium, and one of my indoorplants -- prayer plant. But they
don't go out until the weather settles beyond frost warnings
You can have satisfying window boxes in Z 5 as long as you don't want to
be in Z 7. Patience and refusal to be swayed by advertising are necessary.
you could try dwarf alberta spruce - it would probably prefer some sun, but
might tolerate a fair amount of shade and dark, if there is some reflected
light somewhere around it. Otherwise, the suggestion about cut evergreen
boughs is a good one. Our Christmas wreaths easily last 2 months out doors,
and they might have been cut in early November for all we know when we get
Variegated euonymus fortunei are attractive small evergreens (allegedl
hardy to zone 5) that can work as ground cover, low mounding shrubs o
trailers (they will climb a wall if positioned against one. Euonymu
'Harlequin' is particularly pretty, with small green leavest that ar
heavily mottled with cream, and I have one growing in dense shade by
north-facing wall under a tree. Variegated ivies are also attractive
I think it's only the yellow variegated ones that need sun for goo
colour - the green and white/cream ones are okay in dense shade.
can't think of any conifers that would be happy in that much shade.
For summer colour, there are the old tried-and-tested annuals for shad
such as impatiens and mimululs (I'm trying Impatiens 'Jungle Gold' thi
year, which apparently needs shade to flower well). Nemophila wil
also flower in shade
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