by Beth Cook: Mammoth Cave Transplants
Flowers are typically easy to grow. The most important factor for success in flower growing is location. Not all flowers can be grown in full sun, some need part shade or shade. Plants that need more shade such as Impatiens will burn in the hot sun. Other flowers such as Lantana love the heat and the sun and need that environment to thrive and flower. Proper lighting is key to growing beautiful, healthy flowers.
When selecting your plants, you must first know what lighting you have in the area you want to plant in. Does it get morning sun? (which is not as hot as the afternoon sun). Does it get sun all day long? Or is it filtered shade through trees in your yard? These are things to keep in mind before choosing plants. It may be helpful to make notes on each location you want to plant and what lighting conditions it gets throughout the day. Knowing this will help you to look at the plant tags and make the best plant choice for that location. Most plant tags list light requirements and designate Full Sun, Part Sun/Part Shade, and Shade. Below are a short description of each of these.
Some plants can tolerate a mix of conditions so you may see more than one of these designations used for the same plant.
If you have shady conditions or locations that get morning sun, plants like Impatiens, Coleus, Fushia, Torenia, Nemesia, some varieties of Begonias all like shadier areas or locations that get morning sun. Keep in mind that flower plants have to have some sun to produce energy to create flowers. So if you have plants that are not blooming they may be getting too much shade and you should move them somewhere that gets more a little more sun. Perennials that like shade are Hostas, Bleeding Hearts, Lily of the Valley, Tradescantia (spiderwort), Columbine, Heuchera, Tiarella just to name a few. Some full sun annuals include Lantana, Vinca, Purslane, Marigolds, Petunias, Portulaca, Salvia and many more. A few full sun perennials include Coneflower, Beebalm, daylilies, Gaillardia.
Always be sure to look at the plant labels or consult with someone at the garden center on a specific plant needs. This will help to ensure your plants are getting the appropriate lighting to produce the results you want.