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Need a small shrub or large perennial recommendation

Posted by graceland z9 TX (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 15, 10 at 1:22

I planted shrubs along the fence on both sides of our house when we moved in years ago so that I wouldn't be seeing fence pickets when I look out the windows.

I alternated a gold leaf abelia with loropetalums (aka Chinese fringeflower) - a pretty combo but the loropetalums are really too big for the space & my DH is tired of pruning them back so he wants me to give them a different home.

Can anyone recommend a small shrub or large perennial for the hot & humid zone 9 Houston area? It needs to be part shade or maybe it would count as part sun - these areas only get sun during the hottest part of the day when the sun is high overhead (~11am to 2pm during summer) because it is inbetween 2-story houses.

I would love to find something ~3ft tall that has purple leaves like the loropetalums but smaller, but at least something that can add some kind of fairly constant color besides green to the area for a nice window view.

(I have seen a dwarf form of loropetalum online called Purple Pixie, but have not noticed it anywhere yet in our NW Houston area - has anyone seen it or does anyone own it? Or a somewhat larger but still small variety called Purple Diamond?)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need a small shrub or large perennial recommendation

I have a smallish loropetalum called Chang's Ruby - nice purple leaves right now - it does tend to green out later in the season. There are purple leaved barberries if you don't mind the thorns. Chocolate eupatorium gets to 3-4 feet and has chocolaty brownish red leaves with white flowers in fall. It dies to the ground in DFW area in winter - don't know what it would do in zone 9. I've heard it can be invasive as in reseeding like crazy, but it hasn't happened in my garden....yet! Black Pearl Capsicum annuem pepper has dark leaves with neat green to black to red round peppers througout the season. Mine is perennial in a pot protected in winter, but might do fine in the ground in your zone 9.

RE: Need a small shrub or large perennial recommendation

I've tried the short lorapetalums and had them die from lack of water. Maybe that wouldn't be a problem in Houston. They sell little yellow leaved spireas that are cute. Maybe some purple leaved euphorbias would look nice behind them?

RE: Need a small shrub or large perennial recommendation

How about Duranta (golden dewdrop) ... very lovely, elegant perennial shrub-like plant with beautiful blue flowers (there is also a white flower variety) and clusters of golden berries. The leaves are beautifully serrated. It's my most favorite plant in the wide world right now :)

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