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Alternatives For Planting In The Shade

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You can’t plant those wonderful shade impatiens (Impatiens walleriana ) this year, because they’ve been stricken with a devastating disease called Downy Mildew. It stays in your soil and kills any new ones you plant, so most places aren’t even selling them.

Now, what are you going to put in all those shady places under trees and shrubs and next to your house instead? Here are a few ideas:

There’s a cute flower called Torenia, also known as Wishbone or Clown flower with happy faces in pink and white or purple and white. There are always Begonias which you either love…or hate, as I do. So, consider Coleus which are very showy – not their flowers, but their foliage which comes in so many colors these days from dark and light green to red, orange, yellow, maroon and more – they look like some sort of impressionist painting and give a great effect in shady spots!

New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) will work in part-sun, but I don’t love their habit or the look of their leaves, so in dappled sun spots, I use annual vinca instead (Catharanthus rosa), also called vinca rose or Madagascar periwinkle, they’re drought-tolerant, don’t need deadheading, the flower looks a lot like impatiens and they have great glossy leaves.

Use the photos to help you identify them when you shop.