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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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Saturday - March 06, 2010

From: Burkburnett, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Small shrub for shady area
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to find a shrub to plant on the north, northeast side of my house, but it will be in mostly shade. It needs to get between 21/2' to 4' tall. Do you have any suggestions please?

ANSWER:

These plants will all grow in part shade (2 to 6 hours sun per day) and some will grow in shade (less than 2 hours sun per day).

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle) can be pruned to the size you desire.

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry) can be pruned each winter to keep in your size range.

Chromolaena odorata (Jack in the bush) will die back to roots in hard winter.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) will grow in shade, part shade and sun.  There are dwarf varieties and it can be trimmed into a shrub of the desired size.  Also, it is evergreen.

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) is evergreen and but it does have sharp spines on the end of its leaves.

Salvia regla (mountain sage) grows in shade and part shade and recommended to be pruned to encourage busy growth.

Glossopetalon planitierum (plains greasebush) grows in part shade and is low-growing.

Rhus microphylla (littleleaf sumac) grows in part shade, can be pruned and is fast-growing.

Zinnia grandiflora (Rocky Mountain zinnia) is very low-growing (6-8 inches) in part shade.

Here are some photos of the above from our Image Gallery:


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Callicarpa americana

Chromolaena odorata

Ilex vomitoria

Mahonia trifoliolata

Salvia regla

Glossopetalon planitierum

Rhus microphylla

Zinnia grandiflora

 

 

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