Asked on Jun 28, 2013

Along one side of my house, I have forsythias which I planted

LouiseEllen HGail Salminen


many years ago when my trees were all small. Now they're not small and they give nearly total shade to that area. The shrubs still grow and I still have to trim the branches, but they haven't bloomed in years -- surely because there's nearly no sun. So today I had the idea to dig them all up and give them to someone with a sunny yard and plant hydrangeas there instead. But then I read online about hydrangeas and found they need some sun. So, is my idea a bad one?
4 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jun 29, 2013

    Louise, here is what the University of Georgia has to say about hydrangeas and shade: "Beware of deep shade – hydrangeas need 3-4 hours of direct sunlight to put on the best bloom show. The exception here is oakleaf hydrangea. This Georgia native is stunning as an understory shrub beneath mature trees. As long as it receives good slanted sun in either early morning or late afternoon, it seems to bloom fine." I personally would rather have an oakleaf than a macrophylla (the kind of hydrangea you have pictured) any day of the week, so this does not sound like bad news to me. There's more here:

  • Gail Salminen
    on Jun 29, 2013

    @Louise I have them in both areas - shade and full sun. The ones in the sun grow very tall and flower most of the summer. Those in the shade are quite short and do not bloom untl late summer. However the height in both areas is appropriate for what I want for the areas. I think it is a toss up as to what will happen in your garden. You may want to check soil conditions and water requirements. If there is an eave above the area it may minimize the water it gets. Good luck.

  • Ellen H
    on Jun 29, 2013

    Recently I've noticed several situations here in north Alabama that seem to break all the "rules". There is a house near me that gets direct sun from morning until well after lunch, when sun get high enough for house to provide some shade - in the flower bed out front are huge oak-leaf AND macrophylla hydrangeas in full beautiful bloom. On the other hand, last week my neighbor gave me a tour of her yard - under mature pines, in shade, she grows beautiful hydrangeas, daylilies and anything else she wants to plant. I don't think the area gets direct sun, but it is high shade so not dark and deep. Having daylilies in the shade was a surprise to me - really thought they needed more sun than that. I would try the hydrangeas - if they don't bloom well and seem to need more light maybe you could limb up a tree to allow that (called "raising the canopy"). You'll never know until you try. It's the South - our plants don't always know the rules.

  • Louise
    on Jun 29, 2013

    Thanks. All of this is great info. I think I'll go ahead and give away the forsythias and buy some oak leaf hydrangeas. :-)

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