Perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Virginia Beach, Vi
Question by shovkiacald
March 31, 2010
What are the best type of perenials and evergreen shrubs to plant in hardiness zone 7-8 and heat zone 8-11. I would like something low maintenance.

Answer from NGA
March 31, 2010


Evergreen shrubs to consider include:
Berberis x gladwynensis ?William Penn? (William Penn barberry) a medium, evergreen shrub that is armed with spines. This densely growing barberry has somewhat showy (upon close inspection) yellow flowers in spring and is relatively drought-tolerant. William Penn barberry is typically used as a low hedge or in border plantings.

Clethra alnifolia* (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.

Ilex cornuta1(Chinese holly) does well in Zones 6b-8 in Virginia. It is a beautiful evergreen shrub that withstands heat and drought. A few cultivars of this species have leaves with very sharp teeth (e.g., ?Rotunda?); the cultivar ?Burfordii? has a single spine at the tip of the leaf.

Juniperus chinensis (Chinese juniper) is a large shrub or a tree. Like all junipers, it needs full sun. Many cultivars are susceptible to the fungal diseases, Phomopsis blight and Kabatina tip blight, but some cultivars, such as ?Keteleeri?, and ?Pfitzeriana Aurea? var. sargentii, and var. sargentii have resistance to these diseases.

Some outstanding perennials for your region include : Cosmos sulphureus (orange cosmos), Gaillardia pulchella (blanket flower), Gomphrena globosa (globe amaranth ), Leonotis nepetifolia (annual lion's) Phaseolus acutifolius (tepary bean), Portulaca grandiflora (moss rose), Zinnia elegans (zinnia) and Zinnia haageana (Mexican zinnia). Succulents include: Agave americana (agave ), Aloe saponaria (soap aloe), Aloe vera (medicinal aloe), Euphorbia tirucalli (pencil tree), Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi (South American air plant), Opuntia humifusa (hardy prickly pear), Stapelia spp. (carrion flower) and Tradescantia pallida (purple heart).

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