Looking for Evergreen shrubs happy in partly shady spot in zone 5.
August 19, 2013 9:05 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for some evergreen shrub/bush/small tress suggestions to plant along the front of our house. I am originally from Australia and have little idea of plants etc here in the US so any help or suggestions appreciated, and I'm happy to try something people might think is unusual if it meets the requirements. We are in Zone 5 (Northern Indiana) and the spot we'd like to plant them is part shade in summer and pretty much full shade all winter. We'd be looking at around the 3 to 5 foot range in height and are happy to prune them thought I'd prefer them to not need pruning all the time but also not to be so slow growing they take years to reach the desired size. I am not planning on trimming to fancy shapes so the plants don't have to be hedging style plants, just keep their leaves all year around.

Other things we'd like but are not deal breakers.

- They not need to be planted in a special garden bed that needs to be kept weeded etc, I have problems with bending down so would like bushes I can just dig a hole in the grass, maybe put some edging around it and plant the bushes in it.

- Clear the ground high enough that a lawn mower could be pushed under it to keep weeds under control.

- Pretty flowers or berries would be nice, but I plan on putting large pots of annuals between the bushes to add colour so not necessary.

- Not crazy expensive or too fussy to grow.
posted by wwax to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd do rhododendrons or azaleas, though they tend to be slower growing than, say a few Yew varietals (e.g. "Hicksii").
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 9:26 AM on August 19, 2013

Best answer: In my previous house, I pulled out a hedge of boxwood and replaced it with a variety of gold-tipped juniper.. I loved the color of it and juniper meets all your criteria. But it does spread, so the area needs to be at least three feet wide.
posted by raisingsand at 9:29 AM on August 19, 2013

Best answer: We're zone 5, and have had a lot of luck with holly. They're about the size you want, evergreen and the females produce an abundance of red berries. You do want both a male and female to get berry production. They grow relatively slowly, so pruning isn't a huge deal with them, though maintenance is a benefit for shape. They seem to do very well in partial sun and mostly shade.
posted by bonehead at 9:32 AM on August 19, 2013

Best answer: You might try Pieris japonica; there are numerous cultivars, but I favor 'Mountain Fire', as it has brilliant red new growth, as well as copious white flowers in spring. While it can get 6ish feet tall, it is not a particularly fast grower, so is easily kept at whatever height you deem best.

Another choice would be one of the many Kalmia latifolia (aka Mountain Laurel). Again, there are many to choose from; they have pretty, glossy leaves, and the flowers in late spring/early summer
are big, showy clusters.

I would steer away from Juniper spp., since it sounds like you probably don't get enough sun for l them to thrive.
posted by PlantGoddess at 7:44 AM on August 20, 2013

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