How to plant & grow flowering bushes?


I have an over hang on my house that we dug out for some flowering bushes (azalea, etc.) We cannot get anything to grow under there to save our life. The year we plant it, it doesn't thrive or grow. It get partial sun, the soil is good except for the fact that we have ant mounds in the area.Not sure if that it a problem or not. It got to the point that last year I purchased 2 large pots and put flowers in them. But it is still so barren looking. We tried moving the plants out a little from the overhang, but just proved to look unappealing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Picture attached for sympathy purposes.

q how to plant grow flowering bushes
  9 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Feb 13, 2019

    Hi Lisa, I would check out your directory and find a local nursery to talk to about your area. I have two in my town so when I have a plant problem I just call them, "I need a tree that won't die and is native." And they know exactly what I need because they're locals that have lived in my area their whole lives. Because of your situation I think that would be your best bet to find the right bushes for you.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Feb 13, 2019

    Hi Lisa,

    Ants can go both ways. They are good in moderation for aerating the soil, but there can also be problems if there are a lot of ants.

    Something else you mentioned is that the plants you put in looked too far out from the house. If you're using evergreens or even perennials, those plants will grow so it's good to give them growing room in the back.

    That brings up what type of plants you're trying to grow. Most evergreens will do well in partial sun. I would suggest a visit to a local nursery to see what type of plants grow well in your area. A nursery should be able to help you pick the best plants to get a look that you will like. Take along the picture of your home as well. I've seen homes like yours in our area and the front gardens are a lot wider than yours so there is more room for the plants and a garden. I hope this helps you. Wishing you the best.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 13, 2019

    Ants have nothing to do with it unless you just do not want them there they help pollinate some plants and break down plant matter. You need shade dwelling plants; for most plants to produce flowers they need at least 6hrs of sun daily. Plant Hostas they are shade loving come in many colors sizes and different shaped leaves they will also produce flowers;put Begonias in the hanging baskets for flowering color.

    • Valleycat1 Valleycat1 on Feb 13, 2019

      We have had good luck with ferns in a similar area. Or shade loving flowers. Your county may have a master gardener associated with the farm extension office -they are a great resource for issues like this (and is free).

  • Gk Gk on Feb 13, 2019

    I would remove the grass from that area and add a border like rocks and fill in the area with pea rock or mulch-bringing it out from the house at least 4-6 feet. You can use landscaping fabric under the rock or mulch to keep the grass from regrowing and help with weeds. You can then plant some shrubs a bit farther out from the house--at least 18 inches as another person noted. You can use the big pots for annual flowers to fill in any empty looking spaces. You could add some hostas along the front of the garden.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Feb 13, 2019

    Have you tried hostas and purple heart? Some varieties of hosta are multi colored and have blooms. Both are hardy perennials. Consider clematis with a trellis.

  • Tina Sims Romano Martin Tina Sims Romano Martin on Feb 16, 2019

    My mother always has said that once you plant shrubs or bushes, the first year they sleep. The second year they creep. The third year – – they leap! It will take three years to really see what it’s gonna do. Don’t give up so quickly. Add some yard art or decorative Stones or an electric waterfall contraption.

  • Heidi Heidi on Feb 16, 2019

    I have discovered that it takes about five years for my flowering plants to get a good root system established. If it isn’t flowering or healthy looking by then maybe it’s not planted in an ideal spot.

  • Ruth Ruth on Feb 16, 2019

    Is your foundation concrete block? It leaches chemicals into the soil that a lot of plants don't tolerate. Check your soil ph in the areas you want to plant and adjust as needed for the plant requirements.

  • Judy Sherley Fodor Judy Sherley Fodor on Feb 16, 2019

    Have you tried adding compost to your dirt ?