Ask a Question forum: Cheaper ornamental trees/ bushes that need less water.. for shady area

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Name: Random Bunny
Indiana
random_bunny75
Jul 18, 2017 6:38 AM CST
I typed it and realized the subject line is quite loaded.

Ornamental trees/ bushes; for shady area; less water etc.

Water is expensive where I live--- really expensive. We do have sprinkler system but we don't use much because water bill goes to 150-200/ month for a very small piece of land (less than 3500 sq. ft.)

We also have 4-5 trees with big canopy.. so ground has shade. The trees are mainly hackberry/ serviceberry--- almost all except 2 are very tall, 50 ft+

Looking for a few suggestions on what type of ornamental trees/ bushes will grow in this type of environment.

I am in Indiana
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jul 18, 2017 6:45 AM CST
The kinds are many, but in general native trees and shrubs are adapted to the natural rainfall of your area.

Aside from that, grasses and sedges need the least water and some are good groundcovers.

For what it is worth, butterfly bushes don't seem to need much water and have nice flowers all Summer.
[Last edited by Yardenman - Jul 18, 2017 6:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 18, 2017 6:47 AM CST
In my opinion, the best place to start is with plants that are native to your area. Your extension service or master gardeners should be helpful.
Porkpal
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 18, 2017 6:48 AM CST
So far we agree: NATIVE is the key.
Porkpal
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Composter Cottage Gardener Hibiscus Enjoys or suffers hot summers Zinnias
Salvias Bulbs Amaryllis Lilies Clematis Region: Texas
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Altheabyanothername
Jul 18, 2017 12:14 PM CST
I would agree that native would be best. But with your square footage and the amount of trees and roots you already have there will be competition for water. I do not think 3500 sq feet with a house included could support any additional ornamental tree or large bush. They may grow for a year or two and then loose out to the trees. The trees you have are known for extensive root systems because of their rapid growth patterns. If you make a great compost hole and regularly water the new planting, the tree roots are going to run to that party. You might want to look at a couple of nice containers and pick plants for them.

Many blessings for your success!
I prefer to walk in the light, I prefer a world where people want to be kind and bless each other, I prefer a God who loves and shares so much that he gave up his only Son for me. I prefer to choose the God of Abraham. Let there be peace and let it begin with me.
Name: aud/odd
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Jul 18, 2017 12:23 PM CST
The only thing I can think of is Rose of Sharon, forsythia bush. I have the same high water bills so I understand that expense.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jul 18, 2017 12:28 PM CST
How much mulch have you been adding on top of the autumn leaves?

Seems to me that after you get enough mulch layer built up, plenty should grow.

If you have bare earth, after years of leaf raking, then... No.

Many people around here have this idea that bare soil is desirable...

But... Enough mulch under the hackberry trees... Great butterfly plants by the way... We still need some idea of the amount of light that hits the ground.

I would actually want to plant forest ephemerals...

Indiana should grow easily without all the watering.
[Last edited by stone - Jul 18, 2017 12:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Random Bunny
Indiana
random_bunny75
Jul 18, 2017 8:37 PM CST
Sorry just to clarify- I have about 3500 sq ft of lawn already and I just cleared another 5000 sq ft of brush and left behind 4-5 trees (hackberry, serviceberry and maple- most are hackberry trees). All these trees have insanely thick vines all wrapped around- which were part of the brush that was there before. The vines on the trees are almost dead but they are all wrapped up and entangled.

The ground has mulched up stuff which I plan to clear while planting grass seed in part of 5000 sq ft. Rest I want to plant bushes. The landscaper says the mulch we have, left behind from clearing- is too thick to breakdown- will take several years, so he plans to haul it away and leave behind land for grass and bushes- and he'd want me to bring in mulch (finer mulch) and cover the land for bushes.

There is shade in about half of 5000 sq ft but our landscaper we are working with, recommending that we clear the trees- leave behind just 1 or 2. This will open up the skies and there will be light on the ground.
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all
Daylilies Composter Cottage Gardener Hibiscus Enjoys or suffers hot summers Zinnias
Salvias Bulbs Amaryllis Lilies Clematis Region: Texas
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Altheabyanothername
Jul 18, 2017 8:43 PM CST
That changes what I said about being crowded on 3500 square foot piece of land.

I agree Go native and contact your county extension office for a listing in your area. Thumbs up

May you be blessed with success!
I prefer to walk in the light, I prefer a world where people want to be kind and bless each other, I prefer a God who loves and shares so much that he gave up his only Son for me. I prefer to choose the God of Abraham. Let there be peace and let it begin with me.

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