If you’re an ambitious gardener, you might want to know what plants to choose for your newly established garden to keep it in shape as long as possible. If your balcony or garden is exposed to deep shade in the morning and strong sunlight in the afternoon, such conditions can be difficult for some plants, but ideal for others.
Some of the plants that do well in morning shade and afternoon sun are Succulents, Thyme, Sage, Roses, Marigold, Sunflowers, Wax Begonias, Hosta, Geraniums, Lavender, and Irises.
If you do your research before planting, you can have a stunning garden all year long without worrying about your plants dying or wilting because of too much or too little exposure to the sun.
So make sure you know your climate and determine which direction your garden is facing to choose the most suitable species for planting.
There are more than 10,000 species of Succulents in the world! The vast majority of them are tolerant of drought and afternoon sun. Succulents grow on every continent except Antarctica.
They have fleshy leaves, trees or roots, and that is a way to store water for a longer period and thus survive in harsh conditions. Here are some of the most famous and most commonly grown specimens:
Echeverias is an ideal species for anyone who wants to have a plant, whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner. They are easy to grow and very drought tolerant. They thrive remarkably well in good lighting and ideally have at least 5-6 hours of direct light per day.
Agave is native to arid and semi-arid regions of the Americas and Mexico and loves the afternoon sun. They have large fleshy leaves and can reach over 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in length.
In addition to green Agaves, varieties with white lines give the garden a decorative tone.
Stonecrop (Sedum spp.)
Stonecrops are resistant and easy to maintain. They thrive in both part sun and full sun conditions. There are many varieties of Stonecrops, with a wide range of colours and shapes. They fall into two main categories: Low-growing Sedum and Upright Sedum. Some of the types of Sedum are Black Jack Sedum, Soft Cloud, and Brilliant Sedum.
Aloe Vera originates from the tropical regions of Africa and grows best in partial shade and direct sunlight. It is known around the world for its healing properties. It comes in several varieties: Aloe Variegata, Aloe Aristata, Aloe Nobilis, Aloe Rubroviolacea and many more.
Aeonium prefers full sun to part shade. Depending on how much sun they get, the colour of the leaves change – from green to dark purple. Unlike many other succulents that prefer dry soil, Aeonium prefers its soil moist but not soggy. They thrive best in Mediterranean conditions.
There are many varieties of Thyme, and some of the most famous are Thymus Serpylum Goldstream, T.X.Citriodorus, T.Praecox, etc.
This shrub has narrow, ellipsoidal leaves, and the flowers have a pleasant aromatic scent. It is a welcome guest of every garden because of its healing properties and culinary use, and it belongs to the very resistant perennial species. In addition to tolerating the afternoon sun well, it is resistant to low temperatures and evergreens.
Sage can thrive in full afternoon sun combined with partial shade. Durable and resistant to attacks by various insects and pests, it attracts useful pollinators and is also used for medicinal purposes.
Although Roses bloom best in full sun, they also tolerate partial shade. Therefore, the healthiest and most beautiful specimens of Roses need 6-8 hours of sun per day. In addition, they require medium watering and well-drained soil. These rules apply to all types of Roses – shrubs, dwarfs, climbers and columnar Roses.
Although it belongs to the vegetable family, this species has beautiful tall sunflower-like flowers, only smaller. Its benefits are twofold – they can be used for food and as a decoration. In addition, it tolerates morning shade and afternoon sun very well, and they’re easy to grow. In fact, they are so easy to grow they’re considered almost invasive in some climates.
The best way to grow Sunflowers is in full sun. Although Sunflowers need only 6 hours of direct sunlight, the more sun they receive, the better they grow. Ideally, Sunflowers should be exposed to full sun for about 8 hours per day and protected from the wind. Don’t pack them too closely together, or they’ll suffer from a lack of sunlight.
Daylillies are one of the most popular perennials that are easy to grow. Most species of Daylilies bloom in the spring, although there are varieties that bloom in the summer. The flowers are set on tall flower stalks and are mostly orange to red.
Marigolds prefer full sun exposure and well-drained soil to grow and reach their full potential. Many ancient cultures such as Greeks, Indians, and Romans used this plant for medicinal purposes. The flower is typically used in various cosmetic products, and dried Marigold can be consumed as a tea. It has a mild and pleasant aroma. The plant’s name comes from the golden colour of the flowers – orange-yellow, which bloomed during the festival of the Virgin Mary during the Renaissance.
Most Irises thrive in full sun but tolerate morning shade. They are mostly grown outdoors because they require a lot of space and expand quickly. Iris Foetidissima is the species that tolerates the highest shade of all Irises. Its other name is Stinking Iris because its leaves, when cut, have an unpleasant aroma. On the other hand, The Walking Iris (Neomarica sp) lasts in the sun and tolerates partial shade well. Iris flowers can be white, blue, purple and yellow, and they come in a combination of these colours.
This plant is suitable for beginners due to its extremely easy cultivation. It has a characteristic appearance, with red flowers and leaves that resemble wax when touched. It thrives in most soils and on most exposures. Wax Begonias usually do best if they have 6-8 hours of sunlight exposure per day.
They need to be watered regularly, but less frequent watering is enough when the root system is established. Some popular cultivars are Paint Splash Pink, Cocktail Series, Super Olympia and Victory Series.
A popular annual flower that comes in countless colours and variations. It is mostly grown in nurseries and planted in the spring. It tolerates the afternoon sun very well, and it is suitable for regular watering in the early morning hours. Petunias are very easy to grow, but if you want to get the most out of them, plant them in the full afternoon sun with well-draining soil.
Peonies typically bloom in spring. Among the many varieties of Peonies, there are generally three main types: Tree Peonies, Itoh Peonies, and Herbaceous Peonies.
The majority of Peony types require a full day of sun, between 6 and 8 hours. Therefore, it is preferable to have a garden that faces south without obstruction from walls or other structures. Tree Peonies and some herbaceous cultivars prefer the morning sun and a little shade in the afternoon.
The foliage of some Hosta varieties becomes vibrant and colourful when exposed to periods of direct sunlight. While these cultivars benefit from a little sun, it is not recommended to leave them in full sun all the time, as they may burn and turn brown.
To produce flowers, Hosta Plantaginea requires exposure to the sun. It thrives even when exposed to 4-6 hours of the afternoon sun, making it one of the sunniest Hosta species out there.
Geraniums need 4-6 hours of full sun a day, or longer if the light is diffused. Therefore, they do best in southern and western exposure. Ivy-leaved Geraniums have the highest light requirements of all Geranium varieties out there.
Under the right conditions, this perennial will last for several years. The best way to ensure that Lavender thrives is to give it direct sunlight for at least 8 hours each day and plant it in high-quality potting soil with good drainage. Due to its Mediterranean origin, Lavender thrives in hot, dry weather without too much shade. The best varieties for cooler climates are English Lavenders and their hybrids.
Not all plants are created equal. If you want to have the perfect garden all year long, it is important to get to know it well and plan ahead.
If your garden is exposed to morning shade and afternoon sun, you will want to choose between any of the following plants: Succulent, Thyme, Sage, Rose, Jerusalem Artichoke, Daylily, Marigold, Sunflower, Iris, Wax Begonia, Petunia, Peony, Hosta, Geranium, or Lavender.
All the plants mentioned in this article are not only visually appealing and low-maintenance but are more than up to the task.