What to substitute with in my landscape: gardenia..... ???

tracey_bMay 24, 2011

Brand new house, blank palette (Raleigh, NC area):

Our landscape design plans show 5 Crown Jewel Gardenias in the front landscape of our house---in the little area created by the sidewalk coming around the side of the garage/house to the front door (in front of the front porch / dining room window). That part of the house has western exposure, BUT there's a natural area of tall trees starting about 12' away from the sidewalk, so it gets a fair amount of shade except for straightup midday. However, add in a Crape Myrtle getting planted in the middle of that space, the proposed gardenias will eventually be fully shaded. From what I'm reading, they won't do well in full shade. I don't want to waste money on 5 plants that aren't going to make it.

Those gardenias get 2' tall by up to 4' wide, so I guess I want to stay with those growing dimensions (these will be right up next to the porch, which is 2' off the ground). Any suggestions for me?

I have several free camellias (3-gal pots)--both spring and fall blooming, but I don't know their variety. I guess I could plant them temporarily and prune as needed and replace if/when they get too ugly from pruning (would save money for now). I also have some free boxwoods (1-gal pots) I could substitute (but boxwoods are already in other areas of the design).

Thanks for any suggestions for me!


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It's hard to imagine a crape myrtle providing very dense shade.....your gardenias should be fine. An alternative would be an azalaea......pruning camellias to maintain at that height for any length of time is a lot of unnecessary work, not to mention reducing their flowering potential significantly.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:21AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

None of my crape myrtles provide more than dappled shade. Don't know your zone, but down here gardenias appreciate some shade. My original Gardenia augusta 'Radicans' is planted under one of the crape myrtles and seems to thrive there.

Save those camellias for an area where they can grow naturally.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:27PM
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I'm now in Zone 7 (NC); I updated it on my member page, but I guess it doesn't update automatically? I guess now that I'm posting again on the landscape forum (lots of landscaping to do! I've been on the other forums while building the house), I'll have to remember to change it.

Anyway, I guess I'll go ahead and stick with gardenias since I'd sure love to have them (Ah, that aroma), but I can't find Crown Jewel anywhere. Size-wise, I think I can substitute Kleims Hardy, so I guess that's what I'll do.

As for shade--the house will shade the gardenias from morning sun (the front of the house faces almost due west) then eventually the crape myrtle will shade it from overhead sun. In the later afternoon, tall oaks out in front of the house offer up shade. I hope it's not too much shade, but I figure the landscape architect should've taken it into account already.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 6:49PM
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