Need Ideas for Tall Shade Plants for Screening

teresa_ohio(z5/OH)July 14, 2006

Hi there!

Ok, they are quickly building houses all around our property, so I am looking for some nice tall plants that are fast growing for privacy. The only problem is that the fence line is very shaded and I'm having trouble coming up with ideas of what to plant there. Anyone have some suggestions for shade loving, fast growing, tall plants? (I know, I'm probably asking alot. lol. But I can try! ) T

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jgsturd(Z6 KY)

I don't know how fast these grow, but I do know that cedars will grow very well in shade. Also the all invansive old fashioned honeysuckle does just fine too, but I don't know if you want to get that started because it will take over. I think boxwood shrubs will grow in shade but that is not a positive you'll have to check that one out on your own. Of course rhodedrens are beautiful in the woods. The cedars, honeysuckle, and rhodedendrens are from personal experience. A word of caution if you try the rhodedendrens, dont plant them close to shallow rooted trees such as maples, they will die.
I really don't think your going to find anything that will grow as fast as you want it to. With neighbors sometimes tomorrow isn't fast enough! lol

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 12:57AM
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How bout dogwoods, as well as hydrangeas and viburnums and azaleas. Azaleas come in all sizes from dwarf to very tall.

Gunnera, rhubarb, and petasite also prefer shade. Or put up a fence and grow clematis or a pretty honeysuckle on it. I would not advise the wild (Hall's) honeysuckle. It's just awfully invasive. But there are pink and red tame honeysuckles.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 2:07PM
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dustydigger(z4/5 NY)

Try Hydrangeas! I can get you some from Hiam if you need then.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 2:08PM
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lol, Yes, it's never fast enough when dealing with neighbors. I put off doing anything to this side of the yard because I thought they would build there last. So I focused on the other fence line. Well, wouldn't you know they are building right where I have nothing planted first. Argghhh. I just love my privacy, so I'm anxious to get something up. And privacy fence is just not in my budget right now.

I have one rhodedendron now, but it's not doing very well. Maybe because we have so many trees. And they are mostly maples. I put an acid stake in it awhile back hoping it would perk up, but still hasn't yet. I thought I heard they like acidic soil. Does that sound right?

I looked into gunnera a couple weeks ago. They had it clearanced at Springhill, but it said it's not hardy to zone 5. I was so excited to get it til I realized that. If anyone has any experience though with growing it in zone 5 or if there is a hardy variety, please let me know.

You know, I never even thought of hydrangeas. That would be really pretty and would definitely brighten things up. How tall do they get? I think I may just try that. Dusty, if Hiam has some extras, I'd love it!!
I've done alot of areas in lattice fence panels and love it for climbing stuff. But it's a pretty big area and I think it would cost more than I can afford right now. I'll have to look at the vibirnums too. I just got some rose of sharons for another area at Lowe's the other day for 3 bucks each. And they are at least 2 feet tall. Maybe they'll have some clearanced hydrangeas or vibirnums also. Thanks for the great ideas everyone! Gives me some hope that something will grow there. lol. Even if it's not fast enough. :) T

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 11:53PM
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dirtdivarocks(z6 SW PA)

Hemlocks and Hollies are evergreens and do well in shady areas. They will give privacy all year round. You'll get beautiful red berries on the hollies if you get male and female shrubs. The downside is that some hollies are slow growers.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 10:55PM
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aka_margo(z5a WI)

If you are looking for a nice, big tall perennial to put in that spot try a Joe Pye Weed. I have two of them in shade (one white flowering, one pink flowering). They are both about 6 1/2-7 feet tall. They also get pretty thick, and they draw in butterflies.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 3:06PM
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Thank you both for your suggestions. I'll have to look up the hemlock and holly and see what they look like and how easy they are to grow. And actually I think my sister has some Joe Pye Weed . I may have to raid her gardens. :) Teresa

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 11:07PM
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dustydigger(z4/5 NY)

Lil T,
The Hydrangeas Hiam has are pretty darn tall..... 3-5 feet. Did you ever get that Giant Grass she has that grows like 7 feet? I can't remember. I see her often... either she pops into the shop I I stop down.. she's been working on a new garden by the road.... so If I am driving by I'll stop fast for a chat... will wait until later in the summer to send. I know she'll be happy to share with you.. as you found out when we visited her. I grow the Tall Phlox in full shade if that helps you any....


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 1:09PM
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Hey Dusty,
Thanks, that sounds great if she has plenty to share. Also tell her that I'd be happy to send her something in return. :) I never thought about phlox either. I do have that growing in a couple other shady spots. I think most of it is what you gave me when I visited too. :)
Lil T

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 1:34PM
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onesherri(z5 OH)

Teresa, those jerusalem artichoke will grow in the shade. They just won't bloom very well in it. My neighbor has hers under a tree. I don't know if your trumpet vines ever took off but I have tons of those too. Guessing they would grow anywhere.

I seen a ladies yard a few weeks ago where she braided them and turned them into trees. It was really nice. They grow like weeds so they would cover pretty quickly. sherri

Hi Dusty.:) Sherri

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 7:42AM
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fgilles02420(z6 MA)

What about Hydrangea paniculata varieties, such as 'Grandiflora','Tardiva', 'Burgundy Lace'? These will reach 10'-15' or more, bloom July - September. There's a house in our community that has a front hedge of 'Tardiva' screening it from a busy street, looks beautiful in the late summer and fall.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 8:19AM
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I'll have to look up the Hydrangea paniculata varieties. Don't think I have any experience with those. I finally got the beds already there along the fence, now I just have to decide what to plant. lol.

Sherri, Thanks for the tip on the Jerusalem artichokes. I didn't know they could be grown in the shade. I don't mind if they bloom or not as long as I have privacy. My trumpet vines are just now taking off this year. Haven't seen any blooms yet, but I'm hopeful. :) Teresa

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 10:26PM
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