En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

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

Native plants for shady small spaces in Houston, TX
June 18, 2006 - What are the best plants and flowers to plant in small spaces in an urban area in Houston, Texas? I have several flower beds that are 3 foot wide and 10-12 foot long that get half day sun. The area...
view the full question and answer

Flowering plants for shady garden in Bastrop
July 02, 2010 - We live in Bastrop, 8 miles west of the Historical district. We have a small flower garden in a shady spot around 25 feet from the back patio of our home. We'd like to find out what native plants, f...
view the full question and answer

Different shades of green in Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)
June 05, 2008 - I have two bald cypress trees 50 feet apart, but there was very different soil in the two holes. One was a clayey soil and the other was much more the Austin limestone soil. The trees are about 2 ye...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for part shade in Albany NY
July 02, 2014 - Hello! I'm looking for: a native ground cover, mostly shade with only some morning sun, on a slope, edible is preferred but not necessity, mostly clay type soil for the Albany, NY area. Thanks for yo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center