Shade Shrub as Hedge/Topiary?

onthebrinck(6 Central New Jersey)June 12, 2013

I have a small plot of earth near my kitchen door which up til now was occupied by a dense boxwood that was shaped to be 5' wide, 2' deep and 8' tall --- the boxwood was trained to grow that shape against the brick wall of the adjoining garage. Amazingly, this area is in shade or at best, dappled sunshine thru the cherry and maple trees nearby. But since I bought the house 4 years ago the boxwood has been in steady decline despite by best efforts at feeding it and rejuvenation pruning, clumps of branches turned yellow, shriveled and died. I'd like to replace it with something that can be trimmed to fill those same dimensions --- I was considering mountain laurel. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

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I think that the mountain laurel will look a bit sparse trimmed to only 2 feet deep.

I am not sure how Ilex crenata 'Sky Pencil' will do in that much shade.

Hydrangea arborescens could be pruned or tied back to conform to the 2' depth, but will only grow to about 4' tall.

Yews are shade tolerant and don't mind pruning, so a narrow form of yew might work.

You could also try a vine on a tellis or obelisk a bit shorter than your maximum height. Lonicera sempervirens, a native honeysuckle, will grow in some shade.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Perhaps there are some Japanese hollies (Ilex crenata) that will fit that space although they will get much more dense with more sun and in shade will need pruning as they will grow more open.

Ilex crenata 'Hetzii', 'Steeds', 'Convexa' are some to look into.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Mountain laurel would not like the soil near a cement or masonary foundation. The climbing hydrangea takes a while to become established, but would be lovely.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 7:11AM
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onthebrinck(6 Central New Jersey)

WOW! Thanks guys! I looked at the climbing Hydrangea, and it is indeed perfect. Now if any of you know where I can get a somewhat established one --- surprisingly, even though Monmouth County NJ has many garden centers, I have a hard time finding anything beyond your 'typical garden variety' shrubs. It took me 5 weeks to locate a single Yoshino cherry tree.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 9:34AM
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It will take quite a bit of pruning work to keep a climbing hydrangea under your maximum height. It can get to 60 feet.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 7:59PM
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onthebrinck(6 Central New Jersey)

I should live so long --- lol

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 3:01AM
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