Shade tropical for Virginia

kgyimesi(7B)September 19, 2007

We have a beautiful Mediterranean style home that we're in the process of re-landscaping in Richmond, VA. We're looking for a nice tropical tree/shrub that we can plant by one of the side entrances.

The area is mostly shady, very little direct sun, its by a door and would get strong protection from the wind (near a corner), ideally would grow to 5-8 feet... and of course it needs to be able to survive in the ground in Zone 7.

... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Well, when you say tropical, do you mean tropical as in something that will need to come inside as soon as temps get down to 32 degrees? It's a bit late in the season for that.

If you mean something that is hardy, but looks rather tropical, that opens up a whole range of shrubs. Basically I would think you would want something that is evergreen, broadleaf with maybe some variegations or maybe flowers - or maybe just handsome foliage.

For a mostly shady spot you could try the following shrubs that should be hardy in your region (these are some of my favorites):

Viburnum 'Chindo'
Aucuba japonica
Cleyera (Ternstroemia gymnanthera)
Cammelia japonica
Variegated Osmanthus heterophyllus (looks like a holly)
Evergreen Euonymous japonica 'Silver King'
Fatsia japonica (stays smaller)
to name a few.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 9:04PM
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Thx for the list... I decided to try the Fatsia Japonica, I think it'll look great in that location. Is there anything I need to do special to protect it in the winter??

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 10:39AM
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