A plant for shady situations

Authored by Ryan Falk, Nursery Sales Manager
20/08/19

Helping customers pick out plants for different areas of their yards is a big part of my job. Finding the right plant for the right place is critical for success. I often find the area that has the most restricted selection is deep shade. This makes sense in the end as all plants need sunlight to some extent.

When I am making recommendations for such areas I always start with Dogwoods. There is a wide selection of Dogwoods to choose from in all shapes, sizes and colours. If I had to choose only one I could sell it would be the Siberian Variegated Dogwood.

Its name says quite a lot about it. Siberian; it is a cold hardy selection suitable for Manitoba winters. Variegated; white and green mixed foliage gives it a colour appeal especially when you consider most shade plants are mainly green. Dogwood; as previously stated they grow in shade. There are many plants that can tolerate shade but the Dogwood is one of the few that will thrive there. It is important to note that even shade loving plants like dogwoods will stretch out to find sunlight. This makes it all the more important to prune them at least once every spring to retain a full rounded shape.

There is more to this plant than even the name can say. It grows to a full height of 5’ tall making it a mid-sized yet space efficient option. Like all Dogwood it has subtle white spring flowers which produce white berries that bird can eat over summer.

After all these things I believe it is the fall foliage that really sets it apart. While other Dogwoods turn to browns, oranges and reds the Siberian Variegated stands alone with a stunning show of pink. The green portions of the leaf remain the same while the white edges turn to a bright, eye catching pink. They will hold this colour for several weeks before the leaves are finally shed for winter.

Even in the dead of winter the Siberian Variegated Dogwood puts on one last show. With the foliage gone its red stems are now on display all through the winter months until the spring growth arrives.

 

All in all another personal favourite. If only I could find room in my yard for one…

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