The Q&A Archives: Shrubs for Shade

Question: My yard is very shady. I'd like to plant flowering shrubs. I'm in zone 4. Any suggestions?

Answer: I'm afraid there arent too many flowering shrubs which will grow well in the shade in your zone 4. Here are a couple of suggestions: Abelia mosanensis (fragrant abelia). Most abelia are tender at best, but this species is hardy to Zone 4, and considered to be more fragrant than a lilac! Pink-red buds open to wonderfully fragrant white flowers in May and June. The glossy dark green foliage turns a wonderful orange-red in autumn. It is hardy to Zone 4, grows to approximately five feet in height, and prefers a position in full sun to partial shade. Itea virginica ?Morton? Scarlet Beauty (sweetspire). This particularly hardy selection has the usual fragrant spires of white flowers in early to mid summer, and the dark green foliage that turns a wonderful blend of reddish purple in the fall. It is hardy to Zone 4, ultimately reaching a height of approximately four feet, and is very easy to grow in full sun to full shade. Dogwood, Red Twigged: (Cornus baileyi) An excellent red stem plant growing to 8-10'. Shade tolerant and very adaptable to soil conditions. Zone: 3-8. At least it's a start. You might find other shade loving shrub choices at your local garden center. Enjoy your garden!

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