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Thursday - February 19, 2009

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Low evergreen shrubs for shade in Spring TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am looking for an evergreen plant that grows no taller than 2 feet and will grow in shade. I would love to have one that would also produce flowers. Please help and thanks.


Evergreen, no more than 2 feet tall, shade and with blooms pretty much limits the list. Two of our favorite evergreen shrubs Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) and Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) grow taller than that but we understand both now have dwarf cultivars that may be purchased. Even with a dwarf, you would probably have to do some pretty consistent  pruning to keep it within your height requirements. Both of these plants are dioecious, meaning that only the female plants produce berries, and then only if a male of the same species is planted within 50 ft. of the female. Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush), Mahonia repens (creeping barberry), and Paxistima myrsinites (Oregon boxleaf) all remain fairly low or can be pruned to stay low, but perhaps would still be taller than you are looking for. These are all shrubs, but if you chose to consider some non-evergreen plants, there are a number of perennial flowering plants that bloom and will do well in the shade, but do go dormant and die back to the roots in winter. If you would like to check these out, go to our Recommended Species section, click on East Texas on the map, NARROW YOUR SEARCH, selecting "Herbs" (herbaceous flowering plants) and "Part Shade" and "Shade" under light requirements. You will get a list of plants, not evergreen, but native to your part of the state. You can follow the plant link to each and learn how tall the plant grows, when and what color it blooms, and something about its culture, moisture and soil requirements. 

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera

Leucophyllum frutescens

Mahonia repens

Paxistima myrsinites



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