Hydrangeas or Evergreens?

flutterbug(NH 5b)April 16, 2006

I want to plant a shade garden along the back of my house. It is northern exposure, but does get some late afternoon sun. I just moved into my house in January. So I am not sure if it will get stronger afternoon sun as the sun gets higher and the days get longer. Right now the sun is more dappled through trees. I would like a shrub or two to break up the straight run of the back of the house. I was thinking of hydrangea, which is what a women at the nursery suggested. I would like something that flowers, but an evergreen would be nice too. IÂd like opinions / suggestions. I am worried a hydrangea will not bloom well here, or that it wonÂt be able to take the afternoon sun. Especially, if the area gets more direct afternoon sun in the summer.

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Istanbuljoy(Z 5 CO)

It is your preference...I have a hydrangea (Annabelle) in a spot where it gets some afternoon sun...it may be that your afternoon sun is not for that long and then it should be fine. If you want something that blooms, then your hydrangeas are the answer.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 3:55PM
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I'd second 'Annabelle' as a shrub that will provide you with GUARANTEED bloom, no matter what, enough sun, not enough sun, cold winter (you are in z5!), warm winter etc.
The only thing this plant is intolerant is a drought.
Provide ample moisture in a most dry months of the summer and you'll not be disappointed.
One more thing, if you are not familiar with this particular hydrangea, keep in mind that it will be not erect as more common macrophyllas, but rather have droopy appearance due to VERY large and heavy blooms on a new thin canes. Accept this and enjoy it as it is, not try to change the nature.
As for evergreens, I'd think that many rhododendrons (from the PJM family especially) will be happy there, though they'll bloom in a spring.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 11:24PM
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flutterbug(NH 5b)

Thanks for the input. I was at home depot and got rhododendron catawbiense 'boursalt', the tag says shade. I was looking at the same plant, when the women at the garden center told me it wouldn't thrive in shade. Oh well, I made out by paying only $20.00 when the garden center was charging $69.00. Maybe it was just luck on my part!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 10:14PM
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ImaHockeyMom(SW Mich--Zone 5)

I have an "all summer beauty" hydrangea in almost complete shade that flowered all summer long.... loved it!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 10:45AM
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Our landscaper recommended Douglas Fir and White Spruce in full shade. The Firs died after one winter due to lack of sun. Does anyone know if Canadian Hemlock will grow in the shade?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 9:30PM
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CAMELLIA is evergreen and has gorgeous flowers.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2006 at 12:12AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I don't think camellia is hardy to zone 5.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 9:51PM
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sandykk(z6 MD)

Yes to Canadian Hemlock in shade. We have some that are 15 yrs old growing under Maple trees. They have had a rough road in the past few years because of the Wooley white bug (forget the proper name). Bayer Advanced Tree has helped. They won't be quite as full and lush as in the sun though.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 12:54PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

I've had exceptional success w/ oakleaf hydrangea 'Snow Queen'.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 2:43PM
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trish_ns_z5(z5 Nova Scotia)


How long have you had your oakleaf hydrangea? Does it bloom? Did it take a while to bloom? Do you do anything special to care for it? I planted a snow queen last year - no blooms this year although it has grown. I've heard they were marginally hardy in zone 6 and that they really like long hot summers, which we don't get here in Nova Scotia. Thanks for any advice!


    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 12:41PM
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