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partial shade

Q Can you give me some ideas for shrubs that grow well in the shady areas?

Q: My wax myrtle hedge has been over pruned and now they look terrible. I would like to replace them with some type of evergreen but I don’t know what to plant. Can you give me some ideas for shrubs that grow well in the shady areas?

A: I have a few ideas but the number of semi-evergreens in shaded areas is limited.

  • Glossy Abelia, Abelia x grandiflora, is a durable shrub which can reach a height of 10 feet and 6 foot spread. It produces white or pink flowers during the spring and summer and the leaves remain a reddish color throughout the summer. It has no real disease problems and only the occasional aphid infestation, which can be easy to control. However Abelia does prefer some sun so it should be planted only in partial shade.
  • Wintergreen barberry, Berberis julianae , grows to a height of eight feet and spreads to about 4 feet. It produces white flowers in the spring as long as it has some exposure to the sun. Because of the sharp spines on its stems few people will walk through this hedge more than once!
  • Another possible choice in partial shade is Silverthorn, Elaegnus pungens , which is a fast growing evergreen. It loves sites that are hot and windy and is highly salt and drought tolerant. It can reach heights of over 15 feet and spread to over 10 feet, so give it plenty of room to grow. The winter and spring flowers are white with a very pleasant odor.
  • Of course you can always use Photinias, hollies, azaleas or camellias. Hollies and camellias can tolerate the most shade and may be good choices for layering hedges. Consider mixing a few varieties of these plants (not too many varieties) to give you changing textures and colors.