The Q&A Archives: Shrubs for Shade

Question: I have moved into a new house and the front of the house is always shaded - I want to use small and medium size bushes - hopefully some that will bloom and will be evergreens - what is your sugesstion

Answer: Camellias come most readily to mind, as well as azaleas. Others to consider:
Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica). Fragant white flower spikes occur in midsummer. 'Henry's Garnet' has reddish-purple fall color. Moist to wet soil, sun or shade. Three to four feet tall.

Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia) has highly fragrant midsummer flowers. 'Ruby Spice' has rose flowers. Acid, moist, well-drained soil.

Mountain pieris hybrids (Pieris floribunda). White panicles in spring. Moist, acid soil, although mountain pieris doesn't need as much acidity as Pieris japonica does. Two to six feet high, depending on cultivar.

Drooping leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana). Graceful, fountain-like shrub with drooping foliage. Acid, moist, well-drained soil. 'Scarletta' has burgundy fall foliage, and 'Girard's Rainbow' has colorful new leaves.

Hope these suggestions are helpful!

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