Columnar or Upright Evergreen for Shady Area?

zooba72August 12, 2014

Hello, I have a gate that's about 8' wide and 6' high and I'm looking to plant two shrubs on the exterior side. The gate area is shaded by a large cherry tree. It gets some sun, but it's limited. I would prefer something that's evergreen and grows columnar. I was originally thinking of trying something like a dragon lady holly, I have several that have done well, but they're in the sun. I also read someone's recommendation of Euonymus japonicus 'Green Spire' ... but have read mixed reviews of its performance in shade. I already have a lot of schip laurel in that area, so I'm looking for something different. Is there something that I'm not considering? Oh yeah, and I would love it to be deer resistant :-) ... not asking for too much.

I'm in zone 7 (Long Island, NY). Thank you!

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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Nandina? It spreads, but is easily controlled if you don't want that. Its texture would provide a nice contrast to the laurels and it does have berries all winter which is nice. I keep mine pruned as a tall narrow-ish shrub.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 12:20PM
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zooba72

Thank you for the response. I hadn't heard of that so I just reviewed the characteristics. According to what I've read, this shrub prefers Full sun to part shade... I definitely think that this area would currently be considered full shade. I'm actually thinking of putting a rhodo on each side and shaping a bit as it grows. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:57PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

I have nandina in both full and part shade. It is like a weed. It grows just about anywhere. I find rhododendron much more difficult-they don't like me! Best of luck in finding what you want. One thing to note, rhodies are not at all columnar-like azaleas, I think they look best with minimal if any pruning.

1 Like    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:31PM
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Lodewijkp

i think nandina doesn't look good in shade , it gives less leaf colour and it doesn't have nice contrast unless you buy a cultivar like firecracker or gulf stream. if you buy a nandina do buy these 2 cultivars or a similar cultivar.

''Gulf stream'' cultivar doesn't get large , that's a plus. ( firecracker is looking the most colourfull )

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 3:29PM
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sc77

Buxus sempervirens 'Graham Blandy' or 'Dee Runk' or 'Fastigiata' All evergreen, deer resistant, columnar, and shade tolerant.

Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Fastigiata' (Japanese Plum Yew). VERY shade tolerant and unlike regular yew, deer do not like plum yew.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 4:12PM
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zooba72

Great suggestions. I wasn't aware of several varieties you mentioned and wasn't aware of any boxwood that are shade tolerant. Thank you

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:04PM
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lovekutedn

Buxus sempervirens 'Graham Blandy' or 'Dee Runk' or 'Fastigiata' All evergreen, deer resistant, columnar, and shade tolerant.
Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Fastigiata' (Japanese Plum Yew). VERY shade tolerant and unlike regular yew, deer do not like plum yew.

Here is a link that might be useful: nhac san

    Bookmark   December 3, 2014 at 5:40PM
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thewronghands(Zone 7B WA, Sunset Zone 5)

Some smaller magnolia grandiflora cultivars might suit that location. Plant descriptions usually say full sun, but they will grow in partial shade, they'll just be less dense and may bloom less or not at all. Look for 'Little Gem', 'Baby Doll' or 'Teddy Bear'. 'Little Gem' is planted a lot in my area as a columnar evergreen small tree, and does well in a variety of conditions. I don't know anything about its deer resistance, sorry.

Edited to add: have you considered trellis panels and some climbing vines? There are lots of shade-tolerant climbing vines to choose from, though they can require a little maintenance.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2015 at 3:23PM
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