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Thursday - April 29, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Privacy shrub in part shade to shade in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Barbara Medford's July 1, 2008 reply regarding Little Emperor Japanese Blueberry Tree is exactly my experience with cherry laurel in partial sun/shaded area in Austin, Texas. For 6 - 8' height sight blocking hedge, what variety would you suggest for Austin?


For those interested, here is the  Previous answer. Shrubs for the Austin area that need part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day) and shade (less than 2 hours a day of sun) are going to find slim pickings. We live in an area with a lot of sun, and the plants native to this area are used to that. We assume you also want evergreen, for privacy year round. For Central Texas, there are 5 shrubs or small trees that fit those requirements. With the exception of Ilex vomitoria (yaupon), however, all require sun or part shade. We would think anything less than 4 hours of good sun would cause the  shrubs to languish. Even though it will mean not very thick coverage for a few years, about 5 ft. from trunk to trunk of any of these when they are planted would be the minimum.  Shrubs will often grow to nearly their height in circumference; that is, a 6 ft. tall shrub will spread out about 3 feet on each side, total of 6 feet. If their trunks are 5 ft. apart, their outer branches will mingle with each other with minimal pruning. Follow each link to the page on that plant to determine how tall it gets, what width it should be and what light exposure it requires.

Evergreen Shrubs for Part Shade in Central Texas:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - sun,part shade or shade

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - sun or part shade, but will bloom better with higher percentage of sun

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) - 3 to 6 ft. tall, sun or part shade

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) - sun or part shade

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) - 10 to 15 ft. tall, sun or part shade.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Mahonia trifoliolata

Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora





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