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What to Plant in a West-Facing Garden

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Finding the right flowers or vegetables to plant on the west side of your house can be a real challenge. The morning sun is blocked, which means that your plants have to be able to withstand a little shade, but they will also be exposed to direct, hot sunlight in the afternoon. Stick to plants that can grow in full sun to partial shade. If you’re at a loss for what to plant in this tricky section of your garden, this helpful list could give you some ideas. 

A good tip to keep in mind is that plants that do well in the southern part of your garden will often have success in the western part as well.

Flowers

Pholx

Phlox paniculata thrive in vary little sunlight and can withstand the hot afternoon temperatures of a west-facing garden. These plants are well-known for their intoxicating aroma and white, pink, red, or purple blooms that stick around from summer through fall. 

Tulip

If you want to have an explosion of spring color with very little work in your west-facing flower bed, be sure to plant some tulip bulbs in the fall. Plug tulip bulbs into any bare areas and enjoy their colorful flowers throughout spring.

Roses

For a timeless look, plant shrub or rambling roses in your western garden. Rambling roses are perfect for filling in an empty fence or climbing up a border wall, and shrub roses will grow quickly to cover any bare spots. There are hundreds of varieties of roses with different colors, scents, and growing patterns, so take the time to research before planting. 

Geranium

This edible, fragrant flower is one of the easiest plants to grow. Stick it in the ground, plant it in a container and set it on your west-facing porch, or bring it indoors and set it by a bright window. Geranium comes in a huge variety of colors, so be sure to get a few to experience the full, rainbow effect. 

Jasmine

Jasmine will quickly cover a west-facing wall and let off an intoxicating perfume that you’ll love to enjoy as you sit and watch the sunset. Plant jasmine near a seating area so that you can enjoy its delightful scent. 

Daffodils

One of the most inexpensive ways to add early spring cheer to your garden, daffodils will come back each year and brighten the still-chilly days. Simply plant the bulbs in your garden in the fall. 

Vegetables

Peppers: Peppers of any variety need a lot of heat and sun to achieve that delicious ripe flavor that they are famous for, which is why many peppers are grown commercially in the intense sun of Mexico.

Corn: If you have a large western garden area, corn is an excellent choice. It can shade other veggies, if needed, and will flourish in the hot, afternoon sun. 

Radishes: Like potatoes and onions, radishes will do well since they are a root veggie and require more sun than other crops. 

Squash: Butternut, zucchini, and spaghetti squash will all grow excellently in a west-facing garden.

Potatoes: Potatoes love strong sun and heat, making them the ideal vegetable for this challenging garden area. 

Onions: Not only will onions thrive in the long days of a west-facing garden, but they are also helpful for deterring pests when planted between other crops. 

Houseplants

If the main source of light in your house comes from a western-facing window, these plants are your best chance for a successful houseplant empire.

Coleus: Plants such as coleus with unusual foliage and interesting leaf color make great options for a western window. It comes in shades ranging from green to yellow, orange, red, maroon, and purple.

Aloe vera: This succulent can withstand neglect and will thrive in the sun of a western window. Just be sure not to keep it in the windowsill as the leaves could get burned. 

English Ivy: The beautiful trailing tendencies of English Ivy and its hardy nature make it the perfect houseplant for a western window since it doesn’t need morning sun and can thrive in various environments.

What are your favorite plants for a west-facing garden? Let us know in the comments below!

-Susan Patterson

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