An ongoing series of container recipes

Story and Photo by Barbara Wise

When the heat of summer sends you hunting for shade, let this container planting be your companion. The rose-like blossoms of Begonia Nonstop Mocca mix, spilling over with the hummingbird-attracting ‘Santa Cruz’ begonia, lighten up a shady spot. The cool chartreuse of the Lysimachia draws the eye and the black leaf shooting star is the calming charmer in this riot of color. 

These plants are quick growers that thrive in slightly dry soil, so make sure you have good drainage in your planter and a good quality container mix with well-aerated soil. Well-aerated soil will typically contain vermiculite, perlite, or a similar product that allows good oxygen flow among the plant roots.

With a plant recipe like this that produces heavy bloomers, use a liquid feed once a month of compost tea or a fertilizer for blooming plants. If you experience a period of heavy rain, bring this planting to a covered area so that the soil can dry out a little to keep the begonias from rotting. If you select a lightweight planter, this can be easily carried indoors once the temperatures start falling in the fall and grown indoors.

Shade Combo:
A. Begonia Nonstop Mocca mix 
B. Begonia ‘Santa Cruz’
C. Black leaf shooting star (Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum ‘Rubrum’)
D. Golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’)

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