Plants that will thrive in your garden’s worst spots

by | Jun 7, 2023 | Blog, Green / Sustainability Ideas, Home & Lifestyle | 0 comments

You’ve been dreaming of a beautiful backyard filled with colorful plants that bloom all summer. But no matter how hard you try, your garden ends up looking more like a prairie than paradise.

There’s no reason to despair. No matter what the obstacle — lack of sun, moisture, proper soil – there’s a plant variety that will thrive in spite of it. All it takes to turn those brown spots green is picking the right plant for the right location.

Here are some plants suggested by Real Simple that are uber-resilient and beautiful:

For shady yards

Ajuga: This groundcover is great for shaded areas, providing blue-purple flowers in spring and green-purple foliage the rest of the summer. “To up the visual interest,” notes Real Simple, “look for variegated selections, such as ‘Burgundy Glow,’ which has shades of pink and silver in its leaves.”

Caladium: With its big “arrowhead-shaped leaves” and touches of red, pink and white, caladium offers an eye-pleasing option for shaded areas. (Note that this is an annual that won’t return next year, unless you dig it up and store it in a cool place over winter.)

Persian Shield: This colorful, leafy option, with “metallic-purple foliage” thrives in shade. Bring it indoors over the winter and place it in a bright spot.

Oakleaf hydrangea: Set this in “deep shade” and these leafy plants with cone-shaped clusters of flowers won’t disappoint, blooming from mid-June throughout most of the summer.

Hosta: With their affinity for shady and dry conditions, hostas are a no-miss in Colorado’s drought-prone climate. Choose from different varieties to provide texture to your garden.

For drought-prone areas

Agave: For bright, dry conditions, try this low-water succulent – particularly those with two-tone leaves to add visual interest.

Desert Rose: Another succulent, this plant delivers “flamboyant blooms,” and requires little water. It “will survive even the hottest summer,” notes Real Simple. (In Colorado, this is an annual and won’t return next year.)

Sedum: This groundcover offers a burst of color and texture to any garden – and “rarely needs to be watered,” notes the magazine.

For yards with sandy soil

Lilac Sage (aka Purple Rain): You can’t kill this plant if you try. With its spikes of neon purple flowers, it goes well with any color of flower and tends to spread happily, even in adverse soil conditions.

Shrubby Cinquefoil (aka Primrose Beauty): This is a flowering shrub that delivers pale yellow blooms from June until September. Best to plant in full sun.

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