Planting Taller Shrubs behind Shorter Ones

prairiegirlz5May 23, 2010

I need the voice of experience please. I know that a plant's growth habit is a range of heights (like 4-6') and widths.

Here's the problem. I want to plant clethras behind hydrangeas. Will the clethra be taller, as desired?

I have one Ruby Spice and another that was labeled RS but turned out to be white! The spot I have for them is in part to full shade. It is close to the hose, which drips when I water, so they should get plenty of extra water. Would you add a third cultivar? If so, which one?

I want to plant these behind an existing hedge (three plants) of Neon Flash spirea. These will be replaced eventually with hydrangeas, hopefully in a similar size, like Annabelles, or a dwarf, like Dharuma. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

The hydrangeas will be taller than the clethra, in my experience.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiegirlz5

Thanks ademink, that's what I needed to know!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jimmy2010

Clethra can get tall in wild situations (I've seen 7 or 8 feet) usually when they are in a wet shady area. In a landscape situation they usually don't get that tall. Also if you're in zone 5 you may get tip dieback every year which could limit their height.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiegirlz5

thanks jimmy~I'm going to keep the spirea there for now, they get just enough sun to flower once. I may put Ruby Spice off in the corner. It does get tip dieback, and chlorosis, and is not my favorite shrub right now. Eventually, I'll replace the spirea with hydrangeas, or something taller. Possibly layering a couple of shrubs, any suggestions for mostly shade with alkaline, clay soils?

I wonder if I prune the clethra down hard if it will get fuller at the bottom? I think if I could get it to grow low and spread out, that would work for me too. I just want every inch of ground covered.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 5:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiegirlz5

I had another brainstorm. If I leave the spirea for now, would viburnum Summer Snowflake look good as a background shrub? Several sources I have consulted say this shrub will be 6-8 feet H x W, all the way up to 10 x 5 feet. They're about the same height as the spirea now.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 10:27AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Will nandina firepower old leaves constantly change color with season?
I want to plant some of these firepower shrubs. I know...
tlbean2004
Screen behind basketball goal
Hello. We just moved into a new house. I'd like to...
bcurrey
Pruning Young Loropetalum
I planted a 5 gallon last summer, and it is starting...
misterleadfoot_z9
Want to make a VERY small boxwood hedge/garden border
Really love the very small boxwood hedge/borders that...
towsonite
Shot hole disease- Can my laurels be saved?
I recently purchased a new home with Otto Luyken cherry...
hafamily5
Sponsored Products
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Home Decorators Collection Rugs
$32.00 | Home Depot
Tierra-Derco Large Self Watering Tray - GP70
$34.99 | Hayneedle
Hartman and Rose Barclay Dog Collar
$69.50 | FRONTGATE
Rust Round Resin Festonada Urn - A635033
$156.15 | Hayneedle
Mixed Peony 24-inch Wreath
Overstock.com
Bamboo Palm 4-foot Silk Tree
Overstock.com
Safavieh Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Safavieh Rugs Bohemian Green 3 ft. x 5 ft.
Home Depot
Six-shelf Metal Cookware Stand
Overstock.com
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™