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Bedding flowers for under established trees

Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,556
I have two trees out front along the side walk, an apple and a plum.  Both are established trees (planted six years ago, one potted one bare root).  Apple is on dwarf rootstock.  I put in daffodils when planting the trees.. and they all seem to get along together.  This year I decided to put in some bedding plants in the mulch under the trees.. African daisies and some ever-flowering cousin of petunias.  They have really failed to thrive.. and haven't grown much beyond the size they were planted.  Slow release fertilizer upon planting.. plenty of water to establish (and the daffodils as they finished), etc, etc.  It might be in part to light levels.. but they get full sun for part of the day and dappled shade the rest.  This being Utah, that is usually plenty for full sun plants.  

There are too many roots to sink in pots of nice soil.. and pots above ground dry in half a day unless they are very large.  

What are some good bedding plants for full/part sun that do well in drought conditions for next year? (I'll water them, but they are competing with a tree).  I'm not worried about fruit production..  wildlife, codling moths, and wasps are the main consumers.  I even watched a vole the other day trying to roll off a dropped apple half his size back to his tunnel.  
Utah, USA.

Posts

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 10,089
    Begonias may be worth a punt if you want a splash of colour but are not known for their wildlife benefits.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,556
    Thanks @BobTheGardener I didn't think of those.  I have tons of open pollination flower beds and wildlife spaces.. so wildlife beneficial isn't a focus.  More 'looks pretty and thrives' is my priority for this space.
    Utah, USA.
  • strelitzia32strelitzia32 Posts: 767
    I was going to suggest cyclamen too, I have them under apple trees happily growing. Interestingly violas and ganzania are doing well at the "front", in mostly shade but with a couple hours sun...
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,556
    Thanks for the suggestions!
    Utah, USA.
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