Advice on what kind of shrub - Knowledgebase Question

Katy, Tx
Question by shiwi4
December 18, 2006
I need a medium size shrub to grow in part shade near a live oak tree. What do you recommend? The oak trees pull the water. I have a sprinkler system but can water more often. Would like something that maybe blooms or has color. I have very good luck with Monrovia plants but don't know what to place in this area. Thanks


Image
Answer from NGA
December 18, 2006

0

As long as you plant your new shrub outside of the dripline of your oak tree, it shouldn't suffer too much competition from the roots of the oak. Here are a few suggestions:
Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)
Size: 6 to 8 feet tall.
Hardiness Zone: 4
Leaf Characteristics: Leaves are dark green in summer. Fall color is red to purplish red.
Flowers: Clusters of small white flowers are produced in spring.
Fruit: Berry-like fruit turn red in fall and persist into winter.
Remarks: Plants grow in most soils. Best fruiting occurs in full sun.
Suggested Cultivars: 'Brilliantissima' produces a heavy fruit crop and has scarlet red fall foliage.

Korean Barberry (Berberis koreana)
Size: 4 to 6 feet tall.
Hardiness Zone: 3
Leaf Characteristics: Medium green leaves turn reddish purple in fall.
Flowers: Plants produce 3 to 4 inch-long clusters of yellow flowers in spring.
Fruit: Egg-shaped berries turn bright red in fall and persist into winter.
Remarks: The Korean barberry is a spiny, suckering shrub that performs best in moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants will tolerate light shade. Wet, poorly drained sites should be avoided.
Suggested Cultivars: Emerald Carousel? ('Tara') is a hybrid derived from a cross between Berberis koreana and B. thunbergii. This cultivar grows 4 to 5 feet tall and produces yellow flowers in spring. Foliage is green in summer, turns red in fall.

Common Sweetshrub or Carolina Allspice (Calycanthus floridus)
Size: 6 feet tall.
Hardiness Zone: 5
Leaf Characteristics: Leaves are dark green in summer. Fall color is variable, occasionally an
attractive yellow.
Flowers: Fragrant, reddish brown to maroon flowers are produced in late spring.
Remarks: Common sweetshrub prefers a moist, well-drained soil in partial shade to full sun.
Flower fragrance is variable. Most have a pleasant, fruity fragrance.

Summersweet Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)
Size: 4 to 8 feet tall with an equal or slightly greater width.
Hardiness Zone: 4
Leaf Characteristics: Leaves are lustrous green in summer, changing to pale yellow or golden brown in fall.
Flowers: Fragrant, white flowers are borne on 2 to 6 inch-long, bottlebrush-like racemes in mid to late summer.
Remarks: Plants tolerate partial shade and wet soils.
Suggested Cultivars: 'Hummingbird' (compact), 'Ruby Spice' (pink flowers).

Large Fothergilla (Fothergilla major)
Size: 6 to 8 feet tall.
Hardiness Zone: 5
Leaf Characteristics: Foliage varies from dark green to blue-green in summer. Fall color ranges from yellow to orange to red.
Flowers: Small, white, honey-scented flowers are borne on 1 to 2 inch-long, upright spikes in spring.
Remarks: Fothergillas perform best in well-drained, acid soils in partial shade to full sun. Suggested
Varieties: 'Mount Airy' blooms heavily in spring and also has excellent fall color.

Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
Size: 4 to 5 feet tall.
Hardiness Zone: 5
Leaf Characteristics: Foliage is medium to dark green in summer. Fall color varies from yellow to orange to reddish purple.
Flowers: Plants produce fragrant, white flowers in 2 to 6 inch-long, upright spikes in early summer.
Remarks: Virginia sweetspire performs best in moist to wet soils. Can be grown in partial shade to full sun.

Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
Size: 6 to 8 feet tall.
Hardiness Zone: 4
Leaf Characteristics: Leaves are leathery, dark green, semi-evergreen, and aromatic.
Flowers: Small, inconspicuous flowers are produced in spring.
Fruit: Small, round, gray fruit are present on female plants from fall through winter.
Remarks: The wax from the fruit is used to make bayberry candles. Grows well in poor (sandy and clay) soils.

Eastern Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
Size: 6 to 8 feet tall with similar spread.
Hardiness Zone: 2
Leaf Characteristics: Leaves are medium green in summer. There is little or no fall color.
Flowers: Small, white (sometimes pinkish white) flowers are borne in 1 to 2 inch-wide flower clusters in late spring.
Fruit: Small, reddish capsules are present in fall.
Remarks: While not highly ornamental, the bark on older stems exfoliates into long, papery strips exposing brown inner bark. Eastern ninebark is a tough, adaptable shrub.
Suggested Cultivars: 'Dart's Gold' (compact, yellow to yellow-green foliage), Diabolo? (reddish purple foliage that turns to bronze by summer).

Flowering Almond (Prunus glandulosa)
Size: 4 to 5 feet tall.
Hardiness Zone: 4
Leaf Characteristics: Foliage is light green in summer. There is little or no fall color.
Flowers: White or pink, single or double, 1 inch-diameter flowers are produced in April or May.
Remarks: While attractive when in bloom, flowering almond provides little interest the remainder of the year. Rather straggly in appearance and tends to be short-lived.
Suggested Cultivars: 'Rosea Plena' has double, pink flowers.

Hope these suggestions help you choose just the right shrub!

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Fleur569 and is called "Working with Purple & White"