Which species keep dense in the shade?

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)November 24, 2012

Are there any particular species that tend to stay more dense in the shade like plants grown in full sunlight? I have a need for quite a few specimens that will need to range in different color, texture and form.

For example burning bush is one but I don't plan to plant one.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I wouldn't agree that burning bush in the shade are as dense as those in the sun. Probably the way to go about it is to look for plants that resemble 'Compactus' burning bush in that they are already quite dense to begin with, and also able to grow in the shade.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 1:14PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

also two procera ... what??? abies procera???


    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 3:40PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

My question wasn't stated properly. I wasn't necessarily meaning that the plant stays the same density whether they are in full sun vs. shade but a particular plant that is dense in the shade.

Lack of vigor, no problem. Just don't want leggy specimens as you typically see in shaded areas.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 7:16PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

You just gave me an idea with that Abies procera comment.

I forgot that Abies lasiocarpa is very shade tolerant.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:02PM
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Plants that are shade tolerant (or even shade preferrant) will not get leggy in shade - they are genetically programmed to thrive in low light conditions so do not develop etiolation under those conditions like most sunlovers would.

There's a long list of shade tolerant shrubs and an even longer one if in a zone that will include more broadleaved evergreens. Yews, boxwood, fothergilla, itea, euonymus fortunei, various viburnums, rhodies and azaleas, daphne, clethra, leucothoe, kerria, hydrangeas, Japanese dappled willow, shrub dogwoods.......etc. Not all of these are necessarily dense by nature to begin with but they certainly won't become any more leggy in a shady position.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 2:03PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Thanks for the suggestions, a few that I hadn't thought of.

I've been cruising several lists but I'm not having much luck with hardy wind tolerant plants that are also shade tolerant.

I didn't want to limit the suggestions so I left out a few details so where we go!

Area 1:
South exposure but completely shaded by mature lindens. Gets two hours sun at most. EXTREMELY dry location that is mostly sandy. Mature evergreen screen blocks wind from the south but otherwise somewhat open. I'm planning on using abies lasiocarpa glauca compacta and varigated Aralia to brighten things up. Some nice golds would be nice...hmm a plant that stays golden in the shade?

Area 2:
North exposure up against the house. Maximum two hours sun.
One a slope but good moisture. Somewhat of a micro climate but strong northeast winds. I was considering Fothergilla gardenii and...

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:32PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Ummm...er...ah, hemlocks, perhaps? ;-)
I keep hearing 'Everitt's Golden' needs sun to color but mine on the north side of my garage keeps decent color.

Picea omorika also do quite well in shade (native to steep north mountain slopes).


    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 7:22PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Indeed! Wonder if the hemlock will be unhappy with the northeast wind?

Otherwise a couple nice white variegated cultivars that might look nice there.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:26PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

"Wonder if the hemlock will be unhappy with the northeast wind? "

This is SE Wisconsin. The species can take it in Michigan's UP. Yes, cultivars can be more tender, but we're talking two full zones south.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:09PM
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