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Shrubs For Shade

The catalogs have arrived in the mail, so we are all thinking about what to order...

Rhododendron 'Capistrano'.

The catalogs have arrived in the mail, so we are all thinking about what to order.

If you are interested in planting some shrubs in shady areas of your garden, you should choose carefully as some shrubs languish in too much shade, especially if it is dry.

Mahonia aquifolium, commonly called Oregon grape holly, is a native that grows in both sun and shade. It has clusters of yellow flowers in early spring and then blue-black berries in the fall. It reaches 3-5 feet tall and as wide and is tolerant of drought and poor soil. In addition, deer do not seem to like it.

Another yellow bloomer in partial shade is Rhododendren ‘Capistrano’. This evergreen is attractive year round and grows 4- 5 feet tall, though does thrive best with adequate moisture.

An excellent hydrangea for shade is ‘Forever and Ever Red’ with red mop-head blooms that, despite its name, change to shades of purple. Since it blooms on new growth, there are no buds lurking in the old branches to be damaged by spring freezes. So, it blooms reliably, just later in the summer once new buds form as the weather warms up. It is just 30-36 inches tall and will bloom well even in dark shade, so it’s useful in small shady yards.

Other hydrangeas to consider are ‘Glowing Embers’ and 4-6 feet tall ‘Mounds of Snow’. All hydrangeas need regular watering in dry weather in order to flower well.

And every garden should have the hardy and deer resistant Pieris Japonica, which looks good in all four seasons and has both pretty flowers and regrowth of red shiny foliage in the spring. I have it in dry, deep shade, but still this evergreen soldiers on.


Source: Direct Gardening

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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