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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - May 29, 2011

From: Toledo, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen Deck Plant for Oregon
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Need evergreen shrub to grow in shade in container 5ft tall for deck.

ANSWER:

Wow!   You have a number of great choices.  I used the recommended species list for Oregon, then I selected “shrubs” as the aspect and “Shade <2 hrs sun”.  This still left 25 plants as possibilities.  When I read through the set, looking for evergreens, a reasonable size and native to the central coastline, I still had 9 plants on my list!

 Top of the list has got to be Mahonia aquifolium (Holly-leaf oregon-grape).  The record shows that Holly-leaf Oregon-grape is a 3-6 ft., mound-shaped, broadleaf evergreen shrub with pinnately compound, glossy, leathery leaves.  The 5-9 dark-green leaflets are armed with spiny teeth and turn reddish in fall.  Terminal clusters of bright-yellow, bell-shaped flowers are followed by clusters of tiny blue, grape-like fruits.  The bronzy copper color or the new growth in spring is an added bonus.  This stout shrub is the state flower of Oregon - Sounds like a good conversation piece to me!

Two other great choices are Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron) and Vaccinium ovatum (California huckleberry).  The rhododendron, of course, because it is showy, and the huckleberry as it has edible berries [whether or not you choose to]!

                   
Mahonia aquifolium
               Rhododendron macrophyllum        Gaultheria shallon

 Rounding out my list of possible shrubs:  Ledum groenlandicum (Bog labrador tea),  Gaultheria shallon (Salal)Ceanothus velutinus (Snowbrush)Ceanothus sanguineus (Oregon teatree), and Arctostaphylos columbiana (Hairy manzanita)

And – just to check – rather than a 5 ft. shrub, is it the container that is 5 ft tall?  If so, then a trailing shrub like Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick) may be a good choice instead.

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Ground cover for shade from Atlanta GA
May 28, 2012 - I am looking for recommendations for a ground cover. I live in the Atlanta, Georgia area and have a large shady slope on which I would like to use low maintenance/water native ground cover. What wou...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing shade tree for New Braunfels, Texas
January 29, 2009 - I would like to plant a tree in the back of my property which is located in the Hill Country just north of New Braunfels. Could you please suggest something that is fast growing and will grow in full...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for shade for Austin
September 21, 2009 - I just read with interest your article on multi-species native lawns. However, I believe the suggested grasses don't grow well in the shade, is this true. Are there any suggestions for native (mult...
view the full question and answer

Trees for shade in Austin
May 20, 2012 - I live in Austin and I am looking for a good tree to plant under a large live oak I have in my backyard. Something slow-growing of course and, the garden only gets late day sun for about an hour. Filt...
view the full question and answer

Perennial phlox for partial shade
April 16, 2008 - I am planting a butterfly garden in a plot that gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. I read that phlox does well in partial-shade areas, and was wondering which native, perennial phlox ...
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