En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

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

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Ground cover under Juniper for San Antonio
September 14, 2012 - I have a shaded area under juniper in the Hill Country of Texas that has many sprouts from the tree. We have to weed whack it to keep them under control. What ground cover could I use to enhance tha...
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine for shade in Southern California
May 11, 2012 - Flowering climbing plant for shade in Palm Desert, CA.
view the full question and answer

North-central Texas shrubs for part-shade
March 30, 2011 - I need a shrub that will be OK in shade (2-3 hrs a day max.), in fairly well-drained soil, will grow to around 8 ft. tall and 4-6 wide, for the region between Denton and Gainesville. If it flowers, al...
view the full question and answer

Drought and Shade tolerant plants for Wichita Falls, TX
July 24, 2015 - I can find lots of information about planting drought tolerant, sun loving native plants, a number of which I've planted over the years. But I can find very little information about drought tolerant ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in shade in Round Rock, TX
May 04, 2010 - I have a flower bed that is 3' deep by 15' wide. It is in front of my front porch. Half of it only gets sun right now from about 3:30-5pm (a little filtered sun for maybe another hour). The other ha...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center