Dry Shade

pauln(z7B Arkansas)October 19, 2004

Hello folks. I'm searching for shrubs, understory trees, and wildflowers that do well in shade under oak/hickory trees. I'm located in Central Arkansas, and our summers often get pretty hot and dry. My hill faces west, and the shade is dappled to heavy. I've had success with calicarpa (beautyberry), yaupon holly, and parsley hawthorn and rusty black haw seem to do well also. I'm attempting to plant mostly natives, so even though nandina and winter honeysuckle do well, I'm slowly taking them out. My hill gets pretty dry in the summer and I don't want to be a slave to the water hose. Our dry spell spelled the end of an american holly and dogwood that were planted in the spring. I may try again with the dogwood, but perhaps the holly is a stretch. Any more ideas are welcome. Thanks.

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Christmas fern does fine in dry shade if you are looking for perennials. Native blueberries can also handle this condition and native azaleas once they are adapted.

I'm sure you realize that you do have water new plants the first year or so before they can handle being unsupplemented.

You might want to start with smaller sizes of shrubs and trees as those will adapt faster than more mature plants.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 11:50AM
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The link below has a nice list showing which shrubs will tolerate dry conditions and shade. There's just not very many that will tolerate both. Maple leaf viburnum is one I've seen recommended before that you didn't mention. What kind of dogwood did you lose? This lists pagoda dogwood and gray dogwood as drought and shade tolerant. You may have to click on the magnifying glass at the top and zoom in to be able to read this.

Here is a link that might be useful: native shrubs

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 10:25AM
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pauln(z7B Arkansas)

Thanks for the link Christie. It's a great list. My dogwood was the standard B-flat Flowering dogwood. I missed a couple of weeks of watering late in the season, and that spelled it's doom.
Esa, christmas ferns are some of the more drought tolerant ones, but it's just too dry on my hill without regular watering. I have one native azalea (prinophylum) and it is the first plant to show water stress along with the hydrangaes. The blueberries are a good suggestion. I need to find some of the deerberries to plant because they color so well in the fall.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2004 at 12:14PM
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Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

Letherleaf Viburnum grows very well in dry shade. It flowers in spring. Check out the link, it is one of my best info sources.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leatherleaf viburnum

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 9:20AM
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