Shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

Vienna, Vi
Question by nlonkar
April 13, 2009
Please suggest understory shrubs near a pine - abt. 8-10 feet away , with mostly shade/filtered sun to brighten the area,provide backdrop for Buddha-could be 6 ft tall and wide. Blooms desired.
Soil has dry pockets but also wet spots not seen till it rains and we dig up.

Answer from NGA
April 13, 2009


Here are a few suggestions:
Clethra alnifoli* (sweet pepperbush) is tolerant of wet soils. It tends to form colonies slowly, and the cultivar ?Sixteen Candles? remains compact. Its very fragrant white flowers open in July.

Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle (smooth hydrangea) is a low-growing, native shrub that produces pretty white flowers in July. It prefers partial shade, but can be grown in full sun with supplemental water. It can be cut back every year because it flowers on new wood.

Hydrangea quercifolia (oakleaf hydrangea) is an upright shrub with nice fall foliage color and leaves that remain on the plant until late in the fall. It grows best in moist, well-drained soil and in sun to partial shade. Many cultivars that vary in size and flower characteristics are available.

Ilex verticillata (winterberry) does well in both heavy and light soils, but is native to swampy areas and prefers moist, acid soils high in organic matter. It produces persistent red berries that are a nice accent to the winter landscape. The cultivar ?Winter Red? is a prolific fruit-producer. Compact, dwarf cultivars, such as ?Red Sprite,? are also available.

Best wishes with your landscape.

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