Stephanie Hudak is a garden coach and specializes in designing container gardens. Currently she is working to establish drought tolerant but unique plant combinations for municipal street containers.

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Shade Container Recipe
by Stephanie Hudak       #Containers

Indoor plants play a large part in this crisp container situated in the heavily dappled shade of an entryway.  Alocasia amazonica takes center stage in the arrangement with its strong lines and bold colors, which almost seem to be pointing to the light green, ruffled leaves of the bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus).  Echoing the long, narrow leaf structure of the fern is Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’.  This shady site causes the Eucomis to lose its normally deep burgundy color, but it still performed well.  A real find at the nursery was an unnamed tropical plant with strappy leaves and a small lavender orchid-shaped flower – a perfect complement to ‘Sparkling Burgundy’.   Lysimachia (creeping Jenny) and Muehlenbeckia axillaris spilling over the edge of the pot provide a nice change in leaf shape and texture. 

Tips for Success
There are wonderful colors and leaf textures available in the houseplant section of your local nursery that can be used in outdoor containers.   Treat them just like you would any other annual, using them just for the season, or bring them indoors during the winter for added enjoyment.  Because they are basically tropicals be sure to protect them from outdoor temperatures below 55 F.  The best lighting for this container combination is morning sun or dappled shade – keep the moisture level even but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.    

Alocasia amazonica
Asplenium nidus
– bird’s nest fern
Eucomis ‘Sparking Burgundy’
Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ – creeping Jenny
Muehlenbeckia axillaris - creeping wire vine
Tropical orchid-type plant – name unknown


Posted: 04/06/11   RSS | Print


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