Medium sized evergreen shrubs for shady area - zone 7b/8

Raleigh, NC(Zone 8a)

Looking for evergreen suggestions for the north side of my home, which gets only minimal morning & late afternoon sun. Prefer something medium sized (or that I can prune if needed) that would be about 1-2 ft wide and about 3 ft tall. I have a couple of gardenias (radicans, the lower variety) and rhododendrons there as well on the front of these asreas, but looking for something to put against the house, behind those plants. If it's a bloomer, great, but with limited sun, I know that will be a challenge.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Dearborn, MI(Zone 5b)

How about boxwood?

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I'm all ears too!

Raleigh, NC(Zone 8a)

Don't boxwoods need some sun? This spot is almost zero sun.

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Pieris Japonica is a beauty in the shade.

"up against the house..." - make sure you can supply water if your house overhang keeps that area dry. One of my obstacles when trying to plant too close to the house. I second postman on the Pieris.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Sorry to be a contrarian, but we had a Pieris as a foundation plant, and I hated it. Formless and ugly. (Running and ducking.)

Dearborn, MI(Zone 5b)

Boxwood will do fine in partial shade. If you have some sun coming from the east and the west in morning and afternoon, that should be enough. Boxwood do like enough water, however, and I agree with Cindy that you should think twice about planting under your home's overhang. Other thoughts: some of the barberries are small, and quite shade-tolerant. Holly and euonymus will also grow in similar conditions, but I think you'd have trouble maintaining the small size you seek with them.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I agree -- that spot is very dry. I want to find plants whose ultimate size will be fairly small -- I hate it when plants "outgrow" their spot. Makes me sad!

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

How about sarcococcus? I have a spread of it growing in totally dry shade.
Or dwarf aucuba? There are some cultivars just a couple feet tall which make red berries.
Or harder to find, I love ardisia crenata. An evergreen 3ft tall shrub w/ leathery crinkled foliage w/ beautiful dangling berries.
Or one of the dwarf varieties of nandina. Nice fall color and red berries to boot.


This message was edited May 11, 2012 5:00 AM

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

What sarcococcus do you grow in the dry shade? I was thinking of using it in two big planters by my front door that (trust me) will never get watered. I have a few (can't remember the variety off-hand) but they grow sooooo slowly.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

The only one I have is s. hookeriana, but it's only about 6 inches tall.
I suspect the taller species would do OK in similar conditions.
I agree about being slow growing...

Raleigh, NC(Zone 8a)

The area is only covered by an overhang by about a foot, but does stay fairly moist, probably because it gets so little sun. I will look at the plants suggested here. Thanks so much!

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