Annual Plants for Areas with Limited Sunlight

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Lawn & Garden

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. See more pictures of annual flowers.

Many gardens and lawns face partial shade conditions due to obstacles that restrict the amount of sunlight available to plants. Trees can create dappled light, where some sun rays come through, but not enough for plants that need full sunlight. Buildings and fences cast shadows that prevent the adjacent flower beds from receiving sunlight during certain times of the day.

If your garden has limited sun exposure, consider planting some annuals that thrive in such conditions. Certain annual plants, such as Browallia or Sapphire Flower, do well in both full sun and partial shade areas. You can opt for such plants if you’re unsure about the conditions.

This page provides a list of annual plants that do well in areas with limited sunlight, categorized by color. It also includes information on plants that can flourish in different types of light conditions. Consult your local garden center to determine which annual plants will thrive in your area.

Annual Plants in Blue to Purple for Areas with Limited Sunlight:

  • Ageratum or Floss Flower
  • Browallia or Sapphire Flower
  • Lobelia
  • Salvia or Scarlet Sage

Multicolored Annual Plants for Areas with Limited Sunlight:

  • Nicotiana or Flowering Tobacco
  • Pansy or Viola
  • Wax Begonia or Fibrous Begonia

Annual Plants in Pink to Fuchsia for Areas with Limited Sunlight:

  • Lobelia

Annual Plants in White to Green for Areas with Limited Sunlight:

  • Ageratum or Floss Flower
  • Browallia or Sapphire Flower
  • Lobelia
  • Salvia or Scarlet Sage

Yellow to Orange Annual Plants for Areas with Limited Sunlight:

  • Sanvitalia or Creeping Zinnia

Annual Plants for Partial Shade and Full Shade:

  • Coleus
  • Impatiens or Busy Lizzie or Patience
  • Torenia or Wishbone Flower
  • Wax Begonia or Fibrous Begonia

Annual Plants for Full Sun and Partial Shade:

  • Ageratum or Floss Flower
  • Browallia or Sapphire Flower
  • Lobelia
  • Nicotiana or Flowering Tobacco
  • Pansy or Viola
  • Salvia or Scarlet Sage
  • Sanvitalia or Creeping Zinnia

Annual Plants for Full Sun, Partial Shade, and Full Shade:

  • Wax Begonia or Fibrous Begonia

If you didn’t find what you were looking for, check out our resources on Annual Flowers, Annuals, or Perennials for Areas with Limited Sunlight.

FAQ

1. What are annuals?

Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle in one growing season. They grow from seeds, produce flowers and seeds, and die in the same year. Annuals are popular among gardeners because they provide quick and colorful blooms.

2. What does part shade mean?

Part shade means that an area receives sunlight for only part of the day. It can be a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade, or vice versa. Part shade is ideal for plants that require less direct sunlight and prefer cooler temperatures.

3. What are some annuals that grow well in part shade?

Some annuals that grow well in part shade include impatiens, begonias, lobelia, snapdragons, and pansies. These plants thrive in areas with filtered sunlight and moist, well-drained soil.

4. How should I care for annuals in part shade?

Annuals in part shade require regular watering, especially during hot and dry weather. They also benefit from occasional fertilization to encourage healthy growth and blooms. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, can also help prolong the blooming period.

5. Can annuals in part shade tolerate full sun?

Annuals that are labeled for part shade should not be planted in full sun, as they may suffer from heat stress and sunburn. However, some annuals can tolerate a bit of sun, especially in cooler climates. It’s best to read the plant label or consult with a local nursery for specific recommendations.

6. Can annuals in part shade be grown in containers?

Yes, annuals in part shade can be grown in containers, as long as the container has good drainage and the plants receive adequate water and fertilizer. Container-grown annuals may require more frequent watering than those planted in the ground, as the soil can dry out more quickly.

7. When should I plant annuals in part shade?

The best time to plant annuals in part shade is in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed. This allows the plants to establish roots before hot weather arrives. Some annuals can also be planted in the fall for winter color, depending on your climate.

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