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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - April 29, 2009

From: Rockford,, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Shrub for shade in Rockford IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Rockford, IL and would like to know what kind of bush to plant in pretty much, full shade. I would prefer to stay away from evergreens due to allergies. Thanks.

ANSWER:

We are assuming when you say "evergreen," you are referring to the conifers like juniper and spruce, which are well-known for being a bigger threat with allergens. There are shrubs that are not conifers that maintain green leaves year-round, but there probably isn't a big selection of those for Illinois. Anyway, we will go to our Recomended Species section, click on Illinois on the map, and then use Narrow Your Search, selecting on "shrubs" under habit, and "shade" or "part shade" under Light Requirements.We consider "sun" to be 6 hours or more of sun daily, "part shade" 2 to 6 hours of sun, and "shade" less than 2 hours of sun. Follow each plant link to the webpage on that individual plant, and read about its preferred soils, water use and other characteristics. If you would like more information on it, go to the bottom of that page, and you will find a link to Google on that plant.

Shrubs for shade in Illinois

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry) - deciduous, 6 to 12 ft. tall, blooms white, pink June to September, part shade, shade, water use high

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea) -  deciduous, 3 to 5 ft. tall, blooms white March and April, part shade, shade, water use low

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) - evergreen, 6 to 12 ft. tall, blooms white, pink June to September, part shade, shade, water use high

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood) - deciduous, 20 to 35 ft. tall, blooms white May and June, part shade, shade, medium water use

Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood) - deciduous, 6 to 12 ft., blooms white May and June, part shade

Diervilla lonicera (northern bush honeysuckle) - deciduous to 3 ft., blooms red, orange, yellow, purple June to August, water use low, part shade, shade

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry) - deciduous to 6 ft., blooms white, green April to July, low water use, shade, part shade

Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw) - deciduous, 12 to 15 ft., blooms white April and May, medium water use, part shade


Amelanchier arborea

Ceanothus americanus

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Cornus alternifolia

Cornus sericea

Diervilla lonicera

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Viburnum prunifolium

 

 

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