General Discussion:

container gardening

Messages posted to thread:

Rowena09-Mar-07 05:41 PM EST 5   
Shari12-Mar-07 12:25 PM EST 6   
13-Mar-07 12:23 PM EST   
Nancy17-Mar-07 11:26 AM EST 5   
Leo26-Mar-07 07:46 AM EST   
02-Apr-07 05:22 PM EST   
Charlotte22-Apr-12 07:31 PM EST 8   

Subject: container gardening
From: Rowena
Zone: 5
Date: 09-Mar-07 05:41 PM EST


This is my first time here, and if this has been asked before, my apologies for being repetitive! Plus, I don't know if I have the right zone. Is Toronto zone 5?

I moved to a condominium, and I don't know anything about container gardening in the shade. My balcony faces the north side, and I'm quite high up in the building. What would be the ideal plants for this location? I'd like something that is neat-growing and not too large. I have thought of impatiens and coleus, but I think these have tendencies to grow leggy and bare as the summer approaches.

One of my regrets about moving to the city is losing my garden. I love early spring, and all the blooms that come with it. Has anyone had any success growing snowdrops,grape hyacinths, lilies of the valley, and other flowering bulbs in high and shaded balconies?

Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks!

Subject: RE: container gardening
From: Shari (
Zone: 6
Date: 12-Mar-07 12:25 PM EST

Impatiens are great for growing in containers and in shade. I've been growing them for years in exactly these conditions. Mine have grown very nicely with minimal care, bushed out nicely but stayed compact, no legginess. Keep 'em deadheaded.

If you get some sun then coleus should be fine, keep 'em pinched to prevent legginess.

Lobelia and nicotiana are also nice choices for shady areas. Nicotiana is quite fragrant.

For perennials I would suggest periwinkle if you want something viney. I love my hostas, haven't tried them in containers but I've seen it suggested. With so many varieties you should be able to find some nice smaller ones. I also really like Japanese painted ferns.

Can't help with the bulbs though - I've only tried bulbs in containers once and most of them rotted. I wouldn't take that as an indication of your potential for success though.

Subject: RE: container gardening
Date: 13-Mar-07 12:23 PM EST


Thanks for the suggestions. Impatiens are the best choice, I guess. I hadn't thought of nicotiana as container plants, but I think I'll give that a try as well. Thanks again!

Subject: RE: container gardening
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 17-Mar-07 11:26 AM EST

Hi Rowena,

Yes, most of Toronto is zone 5, with some areas boardering on zone 6, but not I wouldn't count on that on a balcony.

Have you thought of begonias or plectranthus? There are lots of interesting varieties of begonias beyond the boring wax begonias our mothers used to grow, like the gorgeous rex begonias for leaf colour or the angel wing varieties. Plectranthus (Swedish Ivy) is a staple in my containers and comes in a huge variety of leaf colour and shapes, some upright and some trailing.

Subject: RE: container gardening
From: Leo
Date: 26-Mar-07 07:46 AM EST

Why not go for something exotic with a scent like Night-Blooming Jessamine or a Passion Vine. What about some Herbs? They've all bloomed with no sun---for me---- And they can all take a severe drought due to the high altitude winds!

Subject: RE: container gardening
Date: 02-Apr-07 05:22 PM EST

Thank you Nancy and Leo for the suggestions. Leo, you must have a green hand if you can make herbs bloom with no sun! I guess there are more choices than I first thought, but my space is unfortunately very limited. Vines are a good choice, I guess, since they make use of the vertical space. Thanks again!

Subject: RE: container gardening
From: Charlotte
Zone: 8
Date: 22-Apr-12 07:31 PM EST

What are some pretty and hardy flowers for containers that does not have to be deadheaded? Thank-you

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