The Q&A Archives: What can I plant for a live screen in a shady area?

Question: Our house is on a corner lot facing southeast. We have 2 50 yr. old Oak trees on the south corner and a 10' Crepe Myrtle tree about 50' to the right of the Oaks. I would like to plant some kind of live screen between the Oaks and Crepe Myrtle to give us more privacy. The area where I would like to plant the screen gets only morning sun. Any suggestions?

Answer: Sherry,

Getting shrubs to grow into a dense screen in the shade is difficult. They need light to support dense leaf growth. If you could brighten the shade or plant them on the edge where light is brighter, that would probably work much better. Some shrubs to consider are Southern Wax Myrtle (probably the best), Laurestinus Viburnum (Viburnum tinus), Carolina Cherry Laurel, and Camellia (if your soil pH is not too high). Japanese Aucuba (Aucuba japonica) is the densest in shade but only get to about 5-6 feet tall. Gold Dust plant is also good in shade but also reaches only about 5-6 feet in height.

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