Small shrubs that thrive in low sun areas
I live in Littleton, Ken Caryl Valley, with an altitude of 6200 feet . I have one side of my home facing East, that gets very little sun. I have tried numerous small shrubs to act as screens against the large brick wall of the home. Currently I have Karl Forester ornamental grass, approximately 3 ft. high, planted two weeks ago, that are doing poorly and look like they will soon die. I need a plant that will remain small and compact, as I have a tiered ,landscaping plan, consisting of river rock as a mulch cover. I have tried numerous other shrubs, all dying from lack of sunlight. Getting tired of digging and pulling out expensive plants each year.
Jefferson County Colorado
Part of the problem might be soil conditions in addition to low sunlight. Rock over weed fabric over clayey soil can create low-oxygen levels in soil, especially when it is excessively watered.
Here's a few shrubs/grasses to consider, all about 5 feet or less when mature:
Korean Feather Reed Grass - pretty blooms in Aug/Sept but needs a few hours of sun
Annabelle Hydrangea - big white flower clusters
'Compactum' Oregon Grapeholly - broadleaf evergreen may winterburn after dry windy winter
'Manhattan' Euonymus - broadleaf evergreen may winterburn after dry windy winter. May grow to 6 - 8 feet unless trimmed
'Julia Jane' boxwood - broadleaf evergreen that appears to be the best of the boxwoods; seems to tolerate local winters better than other boxwoods
'Kelseyi' Dogwood - some leafspot diease likely if leaves wetted regularly in shady conditions
Japanese barberry - there are MANY named nursery varieties, most under 5 feet tall. Varieties with red/purple leaves may turn green under shadier conditions.
Yew - needled evergreen, several varieties might work for you