Ask a Question forum: Good plants for shade that are cold tolerant?

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Name: joseph wittenberg
high desert (Zone 8b)
Permaculture Region: California
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grizzlyjoe
Feb 7, 2014 3:17 PM CST
The east side of our house gets a little bit of morning sun, maybe 3-4 hours, and we would really like to plant something there and I was hoping for some good suggestions that people have tried. We live in the high desert so the plant would have to be able to tolerate temps as high as 100 and as low as 18. We can do a climber, a bush, really anything. It's our street facing side (more of a dirt road that sees around 30 cars a day) so we'd like something fairly attractive.
Sounds like a hard battle but I hope someone has tried and succeeded.
Thanks for any help...
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 7, 2014 3:29 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Our temps match yours, and the oakleaf hydrangeas are really popular here. They like quite a bit of shade but don't seem to be bothered by the heat, once they are established.

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Name: joseph wittenberg
high desert (Zone 8b)
Permaculture Region: California
Image
grizzlyjoe
Feb 7, 2014 3:38 PM CST
Thanks. That's a really pretty plant and i think it would do well in our soil. I'll see if our local guy here has some. We have room for maybe 6 good size plants and these seem like a good edge.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 7, 2014 3:41 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

It was just the first plant that came to my mind. Smiling I bet others have many other great ideas.
Name: joseph wittenberg
high desert (Zone 8b)
Permaculture Region: California
Image
grizzlyjoe
Feb 7, 2014 3:43 PM CST
Looks like a beautiful plant. I'm looking forward to what others have used and figuring out how to make a really attractive area there....one more project to add!
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Feb 7, 2014 4:54 PM CST
Unlike most plants, hydrangeas don't have the ability to close (or partially close) their breathing holes (stomata) when they run out of water. This means that if they wilt, they will wilt very quickly. While hydrangeas a great for shade, they will be a high maintenance plant in dry air, and I wouldn't think they would be very happy growing in dry desert conditions.

Sorry I can 't recommend anything for you, Joe. I am not that familiar with southern climates.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 7, 2014 5:14 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Rick, you must be confusing the other Hydrangea species (which don't do well for us for the reasons you specified) with the oakleaf variety. There's a reason why they are so popular in the south and southwest. So Joe, don't be discouraged by the post above this one.
Name: joseph wittenberg
high desert (Zone 8b)
Permaculture Region: California
Image
grizzlyjoe
Feb 7, 2014 6:33 PM CST
I feel like i have seen the oak leafed ones in my area so maybe I'll take a walk and see if anyone living close by has any, good excuse to meet and chat with some neighbors. I read that they like well draining soil which is great for my area.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Feb 7, 2014 7:49 PM CST
That's okay, then. The Oakleaf certainly is more tolerant of drought than any other hydrangea.

We'll just agree to disagree.
[Last edited by Leftwood - Feb 7, 2014 8:26 PM (+)]
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Name: joseph wittenberg
high desert (Zone 8b)
Permaculture Region: California
Image
grizzlyjoe
Feb 7, 2014 7:57 PM CST
I'm really bad with plant id (my goal for this year is to get better with it, at least native plants in my area). This did give me the idea though to go around to the other people in my area and s look around at their plants that i like and see if the owners know what they are... maybe i could even get a cutting or something.

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