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Colorful Shady Border

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September 19, 2021

I always love the transition between a landscape and a wooded area. Let’s take a look at a great example of using splashes of color that define the shady edge of the woods. Kong coleus is perfect for this shady border. Kong was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion award winner in 2006 and is still a winner in the landscape today. Kong coleus are a group of shade loving plants with large leaves like these featuring bright colors. I love the planting of Dragon Wing begonias. These lush growing plants are interspaced throughout the shady border. The angel-like leaves and the large pendulous red flower clusters add a dramatic look. The caladiums are grown for their colorful red leaves and being used as massed fillers in shady pockets helping to define the border edge. Colorful caladiums provide a striking contrast with the green foliage of other plants and caladiums are colorful additions to the landscape during the growing season. While the 2011 Mississippi Medallion winner Sunpatiens are promoted for growing the in full sun, these Pink Blush plants are loving the shady border and some relief from a hot Mississippi summer. Another great plant for a shady border planting is holly fern. Named for the pointy tips and leathery leaves, the dark green foliage color makes a great background when mass planted with more colorful flowering and foliage plants. This planting is a great example of using repetition of flower and foliage color for creating a fantastic shady border. I’m MSU Extension horticulture specialist Gary Bachman and I hope you’ll join us next time on Southern Gardening.

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