Shrubs for mostly shaded bed - Knowledgebase Question

Charlotte, NC
Question by alice_grier
October 6, 2006
I have a 15x about 6 area to make a bed that borders an old wooden fence. It is under a white pine and some oak trees and gets only some filtered light. Are there any hydrangeas that might work? This small bed runs into an existing larger bed full of formosa azeleas under more of the same trees. Would any azeleas work? Also are there any shade vines that I could start on the fence in this mostly shaded area to kind of break up the fencing? Soil is very hard and almost like cement. What is the best soil mixture? Could you also suggest an accompaniment for these bushes like hosta or ferns?


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Answer from NGA
October 6, 2006

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I'd start by amending the soil. Spread 4-5" of organic matter (compost, aged manure, etc.) over the entire bed and dig it in to a depth of 8". Then plant one or more of the following small shrubs. Several of the plants in this group, if completely forgotten, will grow higher than 4 feet and broader than the typical 3-4 feet. They are listed here because they can easily be kept in the smaller size range.


BOTANICAL NAME: Abelia grandiflora
COMMON NAME: GLOSSY ABELIA
GROUP: semi-evergreen
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun, part shade
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: irregular to oval
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-5'


BOTANICAL NAME: Aucuba japonica 'nana'
COMMON NAME: DWARF AUCUBA
GROUP: Evergreen
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: shade
TEXTURE: coarse
FORM: upright rounded
HEIGHT: 2-3'
SPREAD: 3-4'


BOTANICAL NAME: Berberis thunbergii var. 'Atropurpurea'
COMMON NAME: RED JAPANESE BARBERRY
GROUP: Deciduous
GROWTH RATE: medium
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: medium-fine
FORM: rounded
HEIGHT: 3-6'
SPREAD: 4-6'


BOTANICAL NAME: Buxus microphylla
COMMON NAME: LITTLELEAF BOXWOOD
GROUP: Evergreen
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: semi-shade
TEXTURE: medium-fine
FORM: compact rounded
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-4'
'Compacta', useful for low hedges

BOTANICAL NAME: Buxus sempervirens
COMMON NAME: TRUE DWARF BOXWOOD
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: very slow
EXPOSURE: semi-shade
TEXTURE: medium-fine
FORM: rounded
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 4-5'
True dwarf English Boxwood, requires excellent
drainage

BOTANICAL NAME: Chaenomeles japonica
COMMON NAME: JAPANESE FLOWERING QUINCE
GROUP: D
GROWTH RATE: medium
EXPOSURE: sun-part shade
TEXTURE: medium
FORM: rounded
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-4'
Low growing, densely branched

BOTANICAL NAME: Cotoneaster dammeri
COMMON NAME: BEARBERRY COTONEASTER
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: medium
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: spreading
HEIGHT: 1-2'
SPREAD: 3-5'
White flowers/red fruit. Good for groundcover effect as branches take root.

BOTANICAL NAME:Cotoneaster horizontalis
COMMON NAME: ROCKSPRAY COTONEASTER
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: spreading
HEIGHT: 2-3'
SPREAD: 4-7'

BOTANICAL NAME: Daphne odora
COMMON NAME: WINTER DAPHNE
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE : semi-shade
TEXTURE: fine-medium
FORM: rounded
HEIGHT: 2-3'
SPREAD: 2-3'
Flowers in winter. Very aromatic. 'Alba'-white flowers

BOTANICAL NAME: Deutzia gracilis
COMMON NAME: SLENDER DEUTZIA
GROUP: D
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun, semi-shade
TEXTURE: medium-fine
FORM: rounded
HEIGHT: 2-3'
SPREAD: 3-4'
Very adaptable to adverse conditions

BOTANICAL NAME: Euonymus japonicus
COMMON NAME: DWARF JAPANESE EUONYMUS
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: fast
EXPOSURE: sun or shade
TEXTURE: fine-medium
FORM: oval
HEIGHT: 1-3'
SPREAD: 2-3'

BOTANICAL NAME: Gardenia radicans
COMMON NAME: CREEPING GARDENIA
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: semi-
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: spreading
HEIGHT: 1-2'
SPREAD: 2-3'
White, fragrant flowers

BOTANICAL NAME: Hypericum patulum
COMMON NAME: ST. JOHN'S WORT
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: rapid
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: medium
FORM: spreading
HEIGHT: 3'
SPREAD: 3'

BOTANICAL NAME: Ilex cornuta
COMMON NAME: (DWARF) CHINESE HOLLY
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun, semi-shade
TEXTURE: coarse
FORM: rounded and spreading
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-4'

BOTANICAL NAME: Ilex crenata
COMMON NAME: JAPANESE HOLLY
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun or shade
TEXTURE: mediume-fine
FORM: dense rounded
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-4'

BOTANICAL NAME: Ilex vomitora 'Nana'
COMMON NAME: DWARF YAUPON HOLLY
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun, semi-shade
TEXTURE: medium
FORM: rounded
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 4-5'

BOTANICAL NAME: Jasminium floridum
COMMON NAME: SHOWY JASMINE
GROUP: semi-evergreen
GROWTH RATE: slow-medium
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: weeping
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-4'

BOTANICAL NAME: Juniperus conferta
COMMON NAME: SHORE JUNIPER
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: moderate
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: spreading
HEIGHT: 1-2'
SPREAD: 4-5'

BOTANICAL NAME: Juniperus horizontalis
COMMON NAME: CREEPING JUNIPER
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: medium-rapid
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: upright spreading
HEIGHT: 1-2'
SPREAD: 3-4'

BOTANICAL NAME: Juniperus procumbens
COMMON NAME: JAPGARDEN JUNIPER
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: very slow
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: spreading
HEIGHT: 1-2'
SPREAD: 6-8'


BOTANICAL NAME: Leucothoe fontanesiana
COMMON NAME: DROOPING LEUCOTHOE
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: shade
TEXTURE: medium
FORM: spreading
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3'

BOTANICAL NAME: Ligustrum japonicum 'Rotundifolium'
COMMON NAME: CURLYLEAF LIGUSTRUM
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun to part shade
TEXTURE: medium
FORM: upright columnar
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3'
Lustrous dark green foliage

BOTANICAL NAME: Mahonia aquifolium
COMMON NAME: OREGON GRAPE HOLLY
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: part shade, shade
TEXTURE: coarse
FORM: upright stems, broadly clumped
HEIGHT: 2-3'
SPREAD: 2-3'


BOTANICAL NAME: Nandina domestica
COMMON NAME: DWARF NANDINA
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun, part shade
TEXTURE: medium-fine
FORM: upright
HEIGHT: 1-2'
SPREAD: 1-2'


BOTANICAL NAME: Pinus mugo 'Compacta'
COMMON NAME: DWARF MUGO PINE
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: globe-shaped
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-4'


BOTANICAL NAME: Prunus laurocerasus
COMMON NAME: DWARF ENGLISH LAUREL
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: moderate
EXPOSURE: sun or shade
TEXTURE: medium-fine
FORM: upright spreading
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-4'


BOTANICAL NAME: Raphiolepis indica
COMMON NAME: INDIA HAWTHORN
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow
EXPOSURE: sun or shade
TEXTURE: coarse-medium
FORM: open spreading
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-5'


BOTANICAL NAME: Rhododendron eriocarpum
COMMON NAME: DWARF INDICA AZALEAS
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: slow-moderate
EXPOSURE: semi-shade
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: rounded
HEIGHT: 1-2'
SPREAD: 1-2'
LANDSCAPE REMARKS: 'Gumpo'


BOTANICAL NAME: Spirea thunbergii
COMMON NAME: THUNBERG SPIREA
GROUP: D
GROWTH RATE: moderate
EXPOSURE: sun, part shade
TEXTURE: fine
FORM: spreading
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-5'

BOTANICAL NAME: Viburnum davidii
COMMON NAME: DAVID VIBURNUM
GROUP: E
GROWTH RATE: moderate
EXPOSURE: sun or part shade
TEXTURE: coarse, medium
FORM: rounded, compact
HEIGHT: 3-4'
SPREAD: 3-5'

Hope some of these suggestions are just right for your garden!

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