The Q&A Archives: Shrubs for Dappled Shade'

Question: Has anyone created a lilac bush yet that will do well in either dappled shade or 3 hours maximum of sun each day? Dappled sun/shade describes my S.E. PA yard all year 'round.

Answer: Unfortunately, lilacs still need lots and lots of sun. Some shrubs that would enjoy your dappled shade include many viburnums (some of which are intensely fragrant), the hydrangeas (in addition to the usual macrophylla types there are a number of other nice hydrangeas such as H. arborescens and H. paniculata); Summersweet Clethra (Clethra alnifolia) is a wonderfully fragrant bloomer as is Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica). Granted, none of these are lilacs, but they are still very nice plants!

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