Ask a Question forum: Need shrub advice

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Name: Sue Forster
Lutz, FL (Zone 9b)
To plant or not to plant.....
plantnerd
Sep 23, 2015 10:33 AM CST
Hello! I garden in zone 9b and have a bed that in summer is in full sun all day. However, starting in September through the winter, it receives only a bit of morning sun (maybe 1.5 hours) and the rest of the day it gets filtered light. I currently have shell gingers at the back of the bed which is against the lanai but I am planning to move them because they look terrible all summer (which is half the year for us!) because of the harsh sun. I am looking for advice on shrubs that will do well in these conditions and will get no more than about 4 feet tall so as not to block our view of the pond at the back of the property. Any advice?
"Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them." A.A. Milne
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 23, 2015 11:05 AM CST
Welcome! Welcome to ATP plantnerd...

In which part of the world is your zone 9b; the answers will vary depending if you are in a Florida 9b or say, a California 9b. Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sue Forster
Lutz, FL (Zone 9b)
To plant or not to plant.....
plantnerd
Sep 23, 2015 11:09 AM CST
Central Florida 9b, where it will still be 90 degrees on this first day of Fall..... Sighing!
"Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them." A.A. Milne
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 23, 2015 11:25 AM CST
I don't live in Florida buy my mom does. You could look at Hamelia patens "Compacta" which enjoys the sun and will tolerate the less sunny time of year. The plant is good for butterflies. Thumbs up
Someone gardening in Florida should be along soon to chime in with better suggestions.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 23, 2015 12:10 PM CST
Sue, my favorite shrub that stays relatively short and blooms all the time is plumbago. It also responds really well to pruning if it does get taller than you want, but it probably won't. It has what I'd refer to as a 'relaxed' habit meaning it tends to cascade or sprawl. Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)

A hummingbird magnet is Red Firespike which will do fine in that condition as well, but you'll be pruning it all the time because it tends to get taller than you want. Firespike (Thyrsacanthus tubaeformis)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sue Forster
Lutz, FL (Zone 9b)
To plant or not to plant.....
plantnerd
Sep 23, 2015 1:57 PM CST
Thank You! thanks for the responses Greene and Elaine! I have Hamelia out front but didn't think it would tolerate more shade. Time to root some cuttings! And I have some firespike in hat bed already. You are right about the pruning- I have a hard time pruning it because I hate to cut off any branches with blooms since the hummingbirds love it so much. It would like a little more sun I think; either that or my pH is off.

Do you think plumbago will tolerate shade? I have one in the sun but I think I may end up moving it.
"Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them." A.A. Milne
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 23, 2015 2:33 PM CST
Yup, most of my plumbago are in semi-shade, since my yard is largely shaded by oak trees. They bloom fine, but would bloom more with more sun.

You could plant a plumeria out there, too but it would lose its leaves and be naked for the winter. However, in summer you'd get to enjoy the fragrance and they'd love the full sun. One of the people on our orchid forum grows Dendrobiums in her plumeria, and the types that are cold tolerant would do wonderfully in that location, shaded by the foliage in the summer, and open to the light in winter. There are dwarf types of plumeria that stay under 4ft. too, but even a taller one would not really block your view, as they are sort of open anyway.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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