Shrubs for filtered/part shade

Asked April 9, 2019, 5:54 PM EDT

1. We have large euonymus shrubs that were severely pruned and we've lost privacy they provided. These are situated in the southeaset corner of the yard. This area gets light from east morning sun and filtered light overhead from east to west during the day. Small (stunted) spirea shrubs beside/under the euonymus were also pulled. What shrub would you recommend for this area that would have as fast growth as possible. Deciduous shrubs would be my preference. I want to fill in the mangled area to regain some of the privacy.
2. What and when should we fertilize this area.
3. We have a healthy 7 foot tall, 5 foot wide cotoneaster that needs pruning as it is next to an air conditioning unit and is becoming overgrown. Should this shrub we pruned from the bottom, from the inside and/or the top and sides or a little of everything?
Thank you for your advice.

Arapahoe County Colorado

1 Response

Hello there,

Here is a fact sheet with a list of shrubs. Spireas, barberries and potentillas would all fill in that lower area below your euonymus nicely.

As far as fertilizing goes, you probably don't need to add any. The dangers of adding too much outweigh the advantages. If you want to verify your fertilizer needs, I would suggest you have a soil test done at CSU, and explain to them that you are going to plant shrubs there. The cost is $35.

Besides, you can always add fertilizer at another time.

However, I would amend the soil. You can do this by adding 5% peat moss to the backfill when you plant the shrubs. But don't add more than that because that will be harmful to the plant establishing itself.

With regards to pruning your cotoneaster, if you prune now, you run the risk of your shrub contracting fire blight.
It is best to prune in the winter so that the pruning cuts have time to harden off before spring. However, it you do need to prune, follow the directions of sterilizing your pruners to minimize the risk of contracting the disease. And then throughout the summer, monitor the plant for signs of infection. Last year was a banner year for fire blight. I'm not sure how this year will be.

Here's some information on how to prune. You can pick and choose what you want to prune. Basically, you can prune out main branches all the way to the bottom. You can prune side branches at a crotch. Don't prune out more than 1/3 of the total growth of the shrub.

Let me know if you have any other questions.