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I need a 'no brainer ' for the north side

Posted by n2bach1 SW Mo. - zone 6 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 15, 07 at 16:53

I am new to gardening and really need some help. Is there a "no brainer" plant that would do OK on the north side of my home? The ground is rocky, but we could bring dirt in. I'd like something that blooms, maybe a hydrangea, but I just need some experienced gardeners to give me an idea. Thank you very much and I know this question may sound a little wishful.

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RE: I need a 'no brainer ' for the north side

  • Posted by pauln z7B Arkansas (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 16, 07 at 9:29

There's plenty of things that grow in deep shade provided by a house. Your limiting factor will be the soil, or lack thereof. Hydrangaes will do nicely if they have enough soil and moisture. They seem to be the thirstiest plants in my garden. Other choices include azaleas, japanese maple, hosta, ferns, dogwood (needs some light to bloom), pieris, camellia (find one of the new cold hardy ones), acuba, and ground covers such as ajuga, vinca minor, and mondo grass.

Do a little research, check out one of your local nurseries and talk to gardeners. Try out what you like, and if it doesn't work out, you can always try something different. Enjoy!

RE: I need a 'no brainer ' for the north side

I think hydrangeas are a great choice especially if there's no root competition from trees close to your house. There is one called 'Endless Summer' that supposed to be more winter hardy. I don't have that one (wish I did) but have other hydrangeas around my foundation. They've been long blooming and pretty much pest and disease free for me so far. The unusually late freeze that we had this year was hard on them. They still look healthy, they're just not going to bloom well this year.

If you like white, hydrangea 'Annabelle' is easy to grow. If you get a lot of afternoon sun on the northwest corner of your house, Annabelle will tolerate some heat and still blooms well, even with the late freeze this year.

Whatever you plant, you will need to water occasionally in the summer, especially July and August when it's hot and dry. The NE side may be drier by the foundation that the NW side depending on which way the rain comes from, and where your downspouts are.

The site below has a description of Endless Summer, Annabelle, and others.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrangeas - MO Botanical Gardens

RE: I need a 'no brainer ' for the north side

lily of the valley will do well on the north side. I never water mine in the summer. It blooms early spring. the native ginger is a nice ground cover but the bloom hides under the leaves. liriope will bloom in August on the north side of the house. Something else I never water. it spreads a little without any summer water. The hardy perrenial begonia should bloom although maybe not as well as under trees with dappled shade. Some sedums will grow and bloom in shade. For annuals impatiens and begonias will bloom but at a reduced rate. The best ferns for deep shade I think are the native sword ferns and the native maidenhair. And the sword fern has the added advantage of staying green all winter Good luck

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