Skinny shrubs

Lynn MarieSeptember 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

This weekend we pulled out the cypress (I think) shrubs that were on either side of our door because they just got too wide for the spot, even after severe pruning. So I've searched the internets looking for a very skinny replacement, but the "perfect" ones either won't take alkaline soils, or heat, or something else. Any ideas for a skinny, evergreen shrub in alkaline clay on the west side of the house??? Tall is OK, fat is not!

Thanks in advance!

Lynn Marie P

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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

Nandina is the only one that I've ever found that can be skinny. I have the very same issue on my west side and the nandina has done fine there. I use the gulfstream and the compacta cause they don't tend to spread by runners like the standard one does. No berries on the gulfstream and my tallest is about 5 1/2', but I do get berries on the compacta which will grow taller.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 5:49PM
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how about Sky Pencil Holly or Italian Cypress?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 6:39PM
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Lynn Marie

I was looking at sky pencil holly or green tower boxwood. But since green tower boxwood is patented by Monrovia, and they don't have any for sale in our area, sky pencil holly will probably win out. Besides, Monrovia is proud of their patented shrubs, and sky pencil holly can be had on the internet for $5.00!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 10:05PM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

Be careful with the sky pencil. It's too hot here for them and they don't like clay soil. Don't grow very fast either so that $5 plant on the intenet would take forever to gain any size, even if it survived. Sorry to be negative.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 10:14AM
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I just set out a sky pencil holly, and I had to shell out $27 for it in a 3 gallon pot. I just assumed it was still under patent. Mine will only get 4 hours of direct light. I would hesitate to put one in full sun.

I think nandina is a lovely plant, but you usually see them in groupings, not as stand alone specimens. If you don't cut them back from time to time, they will get leggy.

Boxwood might be your best bet, if you think it will take all that sun. Otherwise, you might go with photinia, and plan on doing a lot of pruning.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 11:37AM
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Lynn Marie

Well, they were selling them at Home Depot and I got one anyway. Now my hubby is perturbed with me! I did save the receipt though. I don't know why I ask for advice, then ignore it!

Lynn Marie

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 2:32PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Italian cypress get 100' tall. They have a dwarf version avalible on line.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 11:58AM
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I tried skypencil too, but killed it. I'm pretty sure it got too hot, so maybe it would do ok in a more sheltered spot. Photinia wants to get huge, you will be trimming it constantly. Boxwood is better behaved, and doesn't mind being shaped any old way.
Take a look at the "Will Fleming" yaupon holly. It might be perfect for your spot.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 12:49AM
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