Looking for shade shrub suggestions

squirrellypete(z7b AL)May 17, 2008

I've got a very shady garden under a tree canopy that has mostly hosta and impatients. I'd like some suggestions on a shrub to use as a backdrop behind the hostas. I currently have 1 peegee hydrangea there but it never blooms so I guess it's not getting enough sun and it also doesn't seem to grow much here. This area gets maybe an hour of morning sun (if that) and then very little filtered evening sun and that's it. Almost completely shaded all day.

Ideally I'd like something that will fill out around 3-5 foot high/wide with some kind of bloom. It doesn't have to be a spectacular bloom and I am actually moreso concerned with lovely full foliage than bloom. Prefer it to be deciduous and green in color. Any suggestions that fit the bill? Would oakleaf hydrangeas be good here or do they need a bit more sun to grow and bloom?

Sincerely, Danielle

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the whole time I was reading your post, I was thinking oakleaf hydrangea and then you said it yourself.....my red buckeye is also looking very good this year :) p.s. my oakleafs are in very shaded areas and doing very nicely

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 10:36PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Aucuba: variegated or the solid green or fatsia Japonica - these both have done really nicely in a shady spot for me.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 11:54PM
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This doesn't mean two of your criteria ... but I just found Canadian Hemlock 'Jeddloh' at my Home Depot. Dwarf hemlock that grows to about 4 feet tall according to the label.

However, it doesn't flower and it is evergreen. But it does love shade.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 11:56PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Dwarf skimmias would be nice there too. My Oakleafs get a lot of sun to get nice fall color and bloom well. A small japanese maple, or camellia japonica would be good to.
I know you said deciduous, but I'm throwing out ideas.
I absolutely love skimmias. They are so beautiful in bloom.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:25AM
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Leucothoes are supposed to be good in deep shade too, they have tiny flowers but some have really nice foliage.
I have some sarcococcas that are super in complete shade, but they only get about 2 ft high.
I think Pieris can take quite a lot of shade.

These are all evergreen though...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 4:50PM
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azalea, rhododendron, pieris, english laurel, camelia, gardenia, viburnum. They all flower and do well.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 11:13AM
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squirrellypete(z7b AL)

Thanks for all the suggestions. I googled everything ya'll mentioned and I think I'm leaning towards a dwarf variety viburnum, oakleaf hydrangeas, and someone else mentioned Sweetspire. Those shrubs have more the look of what I had in mind as a backdrop. I also have tons of oakleaf hydrangea babies on the property so I may transplant a few and see how they do.

That dwarf hemlock esh mentioned looked interesting too, I may have to find a spot for it in a different shady bed.

Thanks again! Danielle

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 5:26PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

What variety of viburnum likes shade? I'd be interested in one that did. I have lots of different ones and I have moved them from shady areas where they didn't bloom.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:24PM
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The only viburnum that I'd recommend for light shade (not full shade) would be mapleleaf viburnum (viburnum acerifolium).

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 10:27PM
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