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4 Jun 2020

Four pot plants that do well in the shady courtyards

Here are four easy plants that will do well in your shady court yard, with exceptional tips to keep them looking their best. Our Horticulturist, Javiera Bolivar has provided great tips and tricks that are well-suited to your own garden. 

Philodendron lots to pick from better in part shade

When it comes to philodendrons there is plenty of variety to choose from. Plants come in either climbing or non-climbing (self-heading) varieties. Leaf colour come in greens, reds & variegated types, leaf size and shape are incredibly diverse with too many to mention.

Climbing philodendrons can be very vigorous and If space is not an issue plants can be grown in troughs to climb up trellises or structures. They can be grown in hanging baskets or large pots, with regular pruning to control the size and shape.

Philodendrons like shade or dappled/filtered sunlight. They prefer to be grown in moist soils, but not left in soggy waterlogged conditions. Fertiliser is also important to philodendrons and should be given regular liquid feeds and given slow release fertilisers in their potting mix. Most Philodendrons are best planted in pots that are 2-3 times the size of the pot it is purchased in as they are fast growing and will require potting on as needed.

Image via Flickr by Forest and Kim Starr

Alocasia lots to pick from better in part shade

Alocasia’s commonly known as elephants ears (for obvious reasons) are a genus of plants that grow well in shade or filtered sunlight and thrive in warm conditions. Known for their amazingly large heart shaped leaves these plants have become incredibly popular over the years for their indoor plant appeal. The many varieties grow fast during the warm months and spread by rhizomes or tubers and will eventually require division or it will overgrow its pot. The good news this means new plants you can give as gifts.
 
Alocasias like growing in moist soils, having large leaves requires a lot of water to maintain healthy. They will respond well to regular feeds so invest in slow release fertilsers as well as liquid feeds during the growing month. They do like to grow fast when given the right conditions so pruning off older yellowing leaves will give your plant a neater appearance.

Image via Flickr by Dimitrio Lewis

Gardenias great in pots part shade nice sent from the flowers

Gardenias come in the form of ground cover, shrub and small tree. Their highly scented flowers make them a popular potted plant to grow. Gardenias are a Spring flowering plant and buds can start to develop from late Winter depending on the plants growing conditions. Gardenias are generally easy to grow in pots, and a cultivar can be found to suit most spaces.
 
Gardenias need well drained soil that is acidic and organic rich. A soil specifically designed for Gardenias or is rich in organic material is advised here. They are great for areas with plenty of shade or filtered sun or under trees.
 
Winter is the time of year that Gardenias tend to look yellow and the start of a liquid feed regime as soon as the weather starts to warm up in Winter or early Spring should take care of this. Make sure to provide a slow release fertiliser throughout the year and prune only after flowering. Pests and disease can be a problem for gardenias and looking out for scale, aphids and fungal diseases is necessary and is usually an indicator of unfavourable growing conditions.

Image via Flickr by Nullumayulife

Spathiphyllum good in pots for shade

Spathiphyllum or peace lily is a tropical plant that thrives in shade/semi shade and in humid conditions. They are naturally found in moist rich soils which should be mimicked at home. Buying a potting mix that promotes high water retention and organic material is the way to go. As is supplying it with ample water, especially throughout the warmer months. In regions or time of the year when humidity is low a light misting of water is recommended for plant health.
 
Spathiphyllums are a great understory plant as most don’t generally reach more that 80-90 cm in height. Once in flower the tall white spathes should be visible to give a stunning display. They should be planted in a pot at a minimum of twice the width of its original pot to give the plant plenty of room to grow outwards. Once it outgrows its pot the plant can be divided.
 
Pruning is not generally required unless its to remove dead, yellowing or damaged leaves. Spathiphyllums are not high feeders and a monthly liquid feed should be amp.

Image via Flickr by Peter Grima

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