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FutureStarrShrubs for Shade in Texasor
Keep in mind that some shrubs can take almost full shade, but others need so-called bright or high shade—in other words, dappled light or morning sun. Still, others are versatile enough to grow even in the sun. Here are some of our favorites for shady spots. For a nearly carefree shrub, you can’t beat this native hydrangea. Its leaves change from bright green in summer to stunning red, purple, burgundy and bronze in fall, and its white flowers take on a pinkish tinge as they mature. These shrubs will thrive in morning sun with afternoon shade (especially in hot climates) or in full shade. They prefer well-drained, slightly alkaline soil with lots of good organic matter. Keep them watered during the first year after planting. They’re hardy in zones 5b to 9.
Shade tolerant "rhodies," as they’re also known, are hardy in zones 5 to 9 (some are hardy to zone 4). Azaleas — another great choice for shady spots — are in the same genus as rhododendrons. Both like filtered sunlight or part shade, acidic soil and moist, cool summers. Both also have shallow root systems, so don’t plant them under shallow-rooted trees that will compete for water and nutrients. They like deep, regular waterings, but should be planted where the soil drains easily. Pine straw, if available, is a great mulch for these acid-loving shrubs. Rhododendron 'Bloom-A-Thon' is shown here. 'Bloom-A-Thon' rhododendrons, commonly known as reblooming azaleas, produce white, pink, lavender or red blooms in spring. After a brief rest, the flowers start up again in summer and fall. These evergreen, drought-tolerant shrubs need shade to part-shade and are hardy in zones 6b to 9b.Mountain laurel is a go-to favorite when it comes to shrubs that thrive in shady conditions. This native shrub grows as an understory plant in forests east of the Mississippi River. The true native form opens white flowers. 'Pink Charm' brings on spring color with bright pink blossoms that attract hummingbirds. Evergreen leaves add to the landscape year-round. Plants grow 8' to 10' tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Good to know: Light shade with some sun coaxes best flower color.
Hardy in zones 5 to 9, this deciduous shrub grows 3' to 4' high and spreads 4' to 6' across. Fragrant, tiny white flowers appear in May and June, held on drooping stems. Sweetspire is easy to grow and tolerates many growing conditions, including heavy shade, clay soils and wet soils, so you can even use them in a rain garden. While they’re fine for part shade, they’ll also take full sun. 'Little Henry' is shown here. For fragrant, shade-tolerant shrubs, you can’t beat Daphnes. Depending on your climate, they may lose their leaves in the fall or stay semi-evergreen. Daphnes like moist soil that drains easily and a neutral to acidic pH. Keep them well mulched. 'Carol Mackie' is a popular cultivar that grows 2' to 3' high and 3' to 4' across. Its pale pink or white flowers open in spring and form small red berries. You’ll get more blooms if you give the plants part sun, but the foliage, which is gray-green with creamy-white edges, is attractive in itself. (Source: www.hgtv.com)