The Q&A Archives: Evergreen Shrub Selection

Question: What are several low to medium height (2.5'-4') evergreen shrubs that I can use in medium to dense shade to form a continuous hedge along the edge of the woods in my yard? I would like to achieve the classic separation betweeen kept yard and wild woods.

Answer: The first thing that comes to mind is a variety of dwarf rhododendron called Rhododendron 'Helene Curtis'. It is evergreen, grows to a height of about 2 to 2.5 feet high and 3 feet wide. It has fabulous white flowers. Being in zone 8 you may be concerned about being on "the edge", but I think it would thrive in the medium to dense shade if your soil drainage is good. As a matter of fact there are several rhododendrons that fit the bill...Wayside Gardens has a pretty good selection, you can reach them at 1-800-845-1124. I also thought of boxwood (Buxus). There are varieties that reach the heights you are looking for. Boxwood is usually listed as a partial shade to full sun shrub but I have 3 growing in quite dense shade (once again, if drainage is good). Dwarf holly is also an option as is azalea. Most classic hedges such as privet won't thrive in the shade, require a great deal of trimming and are generally only recommended to zone 7.

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