The Q&A Archives: Narrow evergreen for the shade

Question: Is there an evergreen like the Italian cypress (tiny tower) that will grow in the shade and also on the east coast in the Ocean City, MD area?

Answer: Unfortunately, most evergreens really need full sun for at least six hours a day including the hour of noon to stay healthy. The Italian cypresses such as Tiny Tower also need a climate with drier air/less humidity in order to thrive. You might be able to grow an upright yew or boxwood clipped to form a fairly pyramidal shape, or probably your best substitute would be a Japanese holly such as "Skypencil" which has that narrow tall look naturally and tolerates shade better. It has small leaves akin to a boxwood rather than needles so it isn't really the same, but it does have the overall shape and should grow well for you. Your local professionally trained nursery staff may have other suggestions, too. Good luck with your project!

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