En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Evergreen Deck Plant for Oregon

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

South Austin Groundcovers for Oak Shade
March 29, 2013 - Hi! I live in S. Austin now but used to work at the Wildflower Center! My backyard is shady with several oak mots. Do you have any suggestions as to what if any ground cover will grow in all that sha...
view the full question and answer

Low plants for shady, damp area in Roanoke, TX
November 13, 2008 - First, thanks for answering my first question about Texas Native Trees for our new home! I have just started working on plans for our back yard and have a question about Texas Native Shade plants. W...
view the full question and answer

Native shrub for part shade in Austin
April 16, 2009 - I live in SE Austin (Dove Springs area). I have a 3' by 3' area near my front door. It gets morning sun, but not the entire morning because of the tall tree in my front yard. By 11 o'clock or noon,...
view the full question and answer

Plants to disguise plastic rainbarrels in dry shade
April 29, 2008 - What plants would you recommend to disguise blue plastic rainbarrels in dry shade?
view the full question and answer

Recovering neglected garden space from Grapevine TX
March 22, 2014 - I live in Grapevine TX (Dallas). I just moved into a house where almost the entire large backyard is covered by oak trees that shed tons of leaves throughout our mild falls/winters. The yard has not...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center