The Q&A Archives: Is There A Pine Shrub That Can Thrive With Little Sun (3-4 Hours Per Day)

Question: I would like to cover a basement window that is about 4.5 feet wide and 4 feet tall. The location faces west and there is a large shade tree in the parkway. During the longest summer days the location gets 4 hours of sun.

Is there a pine shrub that could cover this area and remain healthy with this amount of sun light? Thanks very much for your time and help.

Answer: The Mugo or Swiss Mountain Pine, (Pinus mugo) will tolerate partial shade and can be pruned annually as needed to keep it compact and at the right size. This is a true pine and if the sun is direct sun in the mid afternoon hours it might do well enough for you. If the sun is less intense than that, you might consider a yew instead. These evergreen shrubs can also be pruned as needed to maintain the desired size and are perhaps a bit more shade tolerant than the pine would be. Yet another option for immediate coverage would be to hang a lattice panel in front of the window and plant a shrub or climber in front of that. This way your choices would be broader, perhaps to include something like Euonymus fortunei or even a fully deciduous plant. Your professional nursery personnel may also have some suggestions as to what to try there.

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