Deep shade is a big challenge for annual container plantings. The usual suspects are new guinea impatiens, begonias, fuchsia, and coleus. Thankfully there are so many varieties of coleus in so many shades, hues and foliage colors that the opportunity to create stand out containers is only as limited as one’s imagination. Much can be done with leaf texture, height, and subtle changes in foliage tones that the lack of color one might otherwise find with the sunny perennials is rendered moot.
My philosophy with the shade annuals is that less is more. Rather than overload with too many plant varieties, I like to simplify my choices. Select a red and green caladium, pair it with a deep rust coleus, a chartreuse coleus, a bright red begonia, a red or white new guinea impatiens and a stunning annual display is born.