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Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:43 am
Location: Kansas

shrubs for drought, heat, and shade in zone 6

I am trying to find some shrubs to plant on the North side of my house. This area only gets about 1-2 hours of direct sunlight per day. in addition to this I live in South-central Kansas (zone 6b), so my area can get down to -5 degrees in the winter and over 100 degrees in the summer. We usually see a lot of drought (like right now) all year long, and the wind blows continuously. In addition to all this, we have very sandy soil, so it drains really fast.
Could anyone give me some ideas of shrubs that get 3'-5' tall and wide that would do well in this part of my yard? I am considering Pee wee Oak Leaf hydrangea and Blue Shadow Witch Alder, but does anyone have any other suggestions?

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

The oakleaf hydrangea sounds like a very nice choice. Other options include ceanothus (new jersey tea), spicebush, coralberry, ninebark, serviceberry.

The ninebark is one I think not used enough. It comes in a variety of forms including purple leaved and dwarf. Even the non-dwarf versions can easily be kept pruned to the size you want and once well established can be cut down almost to the ground and come right back. It is hardy to zone TWO, drought tolerant, shade tolerant (though the purple leaved varieties will have better color with more sun).

Serviceberry comes in tree and shrub forms. Here's some info on one of the shrub forms: Notice: "This plant is native to the Great Plains and tolerates harsh, dry, or alkaline conditions when mature." My experience trying to get one started is that you might do better keeping it in a large container in a sunnier area for a year or two while it gets a little fuller grown than what you can get from a nursery, then gradually move it to your shadier spot.

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