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Gardening Q&A: Gardeners can help out 'shady' spots

Ray Ridlen advises readers about gardening and horticulture.
BY RAY RIDLEN, For The Oklahoman Published: March 4, 2013
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Shady locations don't have to be dull or empty. There are a number of shrubs that will grow well in shady areas and provide color or greenery.

Here is a list of some of the shrubs that can be grown in shady spots in Oklahoma landscapes:

Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla): Hardiness Zone 6-9; deciduous; shade to morning sun; six-feet tall and eight-feet wide; broad, round shrub; large ovate leaf, medium green; large blue flowers in high pH soil and pink in low pH soil; moderate grower; amend soil with organic matter before planting; cultivar “Glowing Embers” three-feet tall, “Pia” one- to two-feet tall.

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia): First Oklahoma Proven shrub selection; hardiness zone 5-9; deciduous; partial shade to full sun; six to 10 feet tall and eight to12 feet wide; broad, round shrub; large ovate leaf, medium green in summer, turning burgundy in the fall; large spikes of white flowers; fast grower; cultivar “Pee Wee” only four-feet tall.

Foster Holly (Ilex x attenuata): Hardiness zone 6-9; evergreen; shade to full sun; 20-25 feet tall and width half the height; conical shape; narrow slightly toothed leaf, glossy dark green year round; red winter berries; fast growing.

Nellie R. Stevens Holly (Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens'): Hardiness zone 6-9; evergreen; shade to full sun; 10-20 feet tall and width two-thrids the height; pyramidal shape; traditional holly leaf, dark green year round; red berries in winter; moderate rate of growth; dense growth habit.

Oregon Grape Holly – (Mahonia aquifolium): Hardiness zone 5-8; evergreen; shade to early morning sun; three to seven feet tall and width one half the height; upright growth habit; ovate, dark green glossy leaves in the summer, red-purple color in the winter; yellow spring flowers; blue-purple fall and winter berries; slow to moderate rate of growth.

Leatherleaf Mahonia – (Mahonia bealei): Hardiness zone 6-9; evergreen; shade to early morning sun; six to10 feet tall and width ¾ the height; upright growth habit; broad, spiny, gray-green leaves in the summer, color lightens in the winter; fragrant, lemon yellow early spring flowers; purple-blue fall berries; slow to moderate rate of growth.

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