What Shrubs Can Be Planted on the West Side of a House?

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The west side of a house is exposed to four to six hours of direct sunlight during the hottest time of day. Shrubs planted there are more likely to thrive if they prefer full-sun to partial-shade exposure. Evergreen, deciduous, needle-leaved and flowering shrubs can be combined to provide a variety of year-round colors and textures.

Deciduous Shrubs

  • Japanese barberries (Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea) and Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) are deciduous shrubs that can be planted on the west side of a house. Japanese barberries are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8, although they can be grown in partial shade in USDA zone 9. They are drought-tolerant, deer-resistant and have thorny stems. The “Rose Glow” cultivar (Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea “Rose Glow”) grows to a height of 3 to 6 feet with rose-pink leaves. “Atropurpurea Nana” (Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea “Atropurpurea Nana”) grows to a height of 1 1/2 to 2 feet with burgundy leaves.

    Virginia sweetspire is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9 and produces fragrant white flowers in the spring or early summer. It grows to a height of 3 to 5 feet with green leaves that change to red in the fall. The “Henry’s Garnet” cultivar (Itea virginica “Henry’s Garnet”) grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet with garnet-red fall foliage. Virginia sweetspires will grow in clay soil that drains slowly.

Broadleaf Evergreen Shrubs

  • Mahonia (Mohonia trifoliolata) and winterberry or wintergreen barberry (Berberis julianae) are broadleaf evergreen shrubs that can be planted on the west side of a house. Mahonia is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 9 and grows to a height of 2 to 6 feet. It has gray-green, spiny, holly-type leaves and produces yellow, fragrant flowers in early spring and berries that ripen to orange or red. This is a drought-tolerant shrub that grows best where it is protected from strong wind.

    Wintergreen barberries are hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9a, bloom in white in the spring and produce small red berries. They grow to a height of 4 to 6 feet with thorny spines and green leaves that change to red in the fall. Wintergreen barberries are only moderately drought-tolerant.

Needle-Leaved Evergreen Shrubs

  • Small western red cedar (Thuja plicata) cultivars and shore junipers (Juniperus conferta) are needle-leaf evergreen shrubs that can be planted on the west side of a house. Western or giant red cedar trees, also known as giant arborvitae, grow to about 70 feet tall with scale-type leaves. The “Cuprea” cultivar (Thuja plicata “Cuprea”), however, grows to a height of only 2 to 4 feet, and “Rogersii” (Thuja plicata “Rogersii”) matures to 3 feet tall. They are deer-resistant and hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9.

    Shore junipers, also known as Japanese shore junipers or Blue Pacifica junipers, grow to a height of 6 inches to 1 1/2 feet and width of 6 to 10 feet. They have soft, gray- or blue-green needle-type leaves and are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10. These are drought-, air pollution-, deer- and salt-tolerant shrubs that can be planted right on the shoreline.

Flowering shrubs

  • Red Knock Out roses (Rosa “Radrazz”) and “Chickasaw” crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia “Chickasaw”) are deciduous flowering shrubs that can be planted on the west side of a house. Knock Out roses are drought-tolerant shrub roses that are highly resistant to common rose diseases. They grow to a height of 3 to 4 feet and are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9. Their flowers are produced from spring to first frost. “Radrazz” produces single-form red flowers, while “Radtko” (Rosa “Radtko”) produces double-form red flowers. There are also pink-, multicolor- and yellow-blooming Knock Out roses. They thrive with as little as three hours of sunlight each day.

    “Chickasaw” is a dwarf crape myrtle cultivar that grows to a height of 1 to 2 feet. It is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9 and blooms in pink-lavender from summer to first frost. They are mildew-resistant and tolerant of air pollution and drought.

References

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