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Tuesday - July 03, 2007

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Spring blooming plants for spring sun and summer shade
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in San Antonio. I'm faced with a dilemma. I've got mature native pecans. In the summer they provide beautiful full shade. However, in the winter and even into the late spring, my yard is in full blazing sun. Since pecans leaf out so much later than all other trees, this full blazing sun lasts into the late spring. This is a real dilemma for shade loving plants. However, the summer shade presents a problem for sun loving plants. The problem is worse in the spring, when it is getting hot What can I plant that will bloom at least in early spring, or at a time before my pecans leaf out. This year, I planted Hinkley's Columbine, but it ended up rotting. I don't think it is well adapted to San Antonio. The appearance of the sun loving plants under the shade doesn't bother me. It is the shade loving plants under the blazing sun that suffer. I was thinking of possibly Salvia coccinia? It seems like it blooms as soon as the the last frost. I've also considered Pavonia. (Although some of these plants may not bloom in the summer shade, I don't think it will "hurt" the plant to be in summer shade.) Are there any other spring blooming plants that do well in sun, but can tolerate summer shade?

ANSWER:

Salvia coccinea (scarlet sage), as well as Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage), Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage) and Scutellaria ovata (heartleaf skullcap) from the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family), would all be good choices.

Other possibilities are Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow), Pavonia lasiopetala (rose pavonia), Packera obovata (golden groundsel), and Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana).

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) and Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats) don't have colorful blossoms but both have interesting foliage and should do well in this situation.

 

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