I have a Pee Gee Hydrangea that is on the north side of my house. the first...
I have a Pee Gee Hydrangea that is on the north side of my house. the first one planted lived 3 year and I replaced it; the next one lived 2 years and did not survive last winter. I have a 2 story house; and this plant is in the shade of the house and once the trees leaf out it is in shade. What kind of accent plant can I replace this with?
Hennepin County Minnesota
Thank you for the question. Hydrangea's are woodland shrubs, preferring moist soil in part shade. It sounds like the conditions on the side of your house are unsuitable for them. Evaluate your site, noting soil moisture and availability of supplemental water source if needed, space available for planting, soil type, light exposure year round and then decide if you prefer perennials or shrubs. The right plant in the right place has the best chance of survival. Please review the plant options in this publication http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/landscaping/best-plants-for-tough-sites/. In the right hand column, there are links to perennial or shrub options in shade or dry shade and many other options as well.
Remember that plant material that grows in dry shade needs supplemental watering during establishment, typically the first year or two. Also pay attention to size of mature plants so that your plants don't outgrow their home.