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Hardy shrub

Douglas Asked

Hi, I need a plant for in front of my carport and in a planter along the front of my house. The front of the house faces 40 degrees so gets some sun. I really need something that doesn’t require much love. They need to live off of rain water.
Flowering would be nice but not necessary. An attractive weed? Thank you.

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Douglas: There are certainly plants that are lower maintenance than others but all will require a bit of love. This is especially true for  new additions to the landscape and container grown plants that are more exposed to the elements. Container grown plants will dry out much faster in our summer heat and will require more moisture than plants grown in the ground. During the winter, they are more likely to suffer from harsh weather. Be sure that the container has drainage holes and add a layer of mulch to the top of the soil to help retain moisture. Before choosing a specific plant, it is important to take into consideration the available sunlight and space limitations. Height and width restrictions will help narrow down plant choices. Each plant has its own specific growing requirements so choose plants that will thrive in the environment in which you can provide. A Northeast exposure will receive more shade than sun. The carport will likely shade the plantings as well.  Shade loving, evergreen options include: Aucuba japonica, Mahonia, English Laurel (‘Otto Luyken’ and Shipkaensis’), Pieris japonica Taxus and certain Azaleas. Deciduous shrubs to consider include: Oakleaf Hydrangea, Bottlebrush Buckeye and Virginia Sweetspire. Shade loving perennials are also worth considering. Hellebores (Lenton Rose), Hardy Ferns, Heuchera,  Tiarella and Brunnera are all good options. Depending on the space you may be able to do a combination planting. For more detailed information from our Cooperative Extension Service visit:


Angie Oakley

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