Q: I planted pink Knock Out roses last year, but they seem to be having a hard time. Trees have grown and created more shade now, so I think they aren’t getting enough sun (less than four hours direct). Is there an alternative rose or another shrub which can provide pink flowers and stay under 2 to 3 feet?
A: It’s hard to beat Knock Out roses for easy color all season long, but without full sun most roses aren’t going to flower well — and they may become disease magnets.
Most shrubs that work for your conditions are one-season bloomers, but they can be stunners. Here’s a list of some alternatives, some with multiple season interest. Search for them on the internet to get pictures and cultural information.
• Cotoneaster horizontalis
• Daboecia cantabrica (some cultivars)
• Daphne arbuscule or odora
• Deutzia compacta, D discolor elegantissima “Rosealind” or D. rosea
• Escallonia ‘Apple Blossom’
• Gaultheria X wislegensis
• Hydrangea macrophylla and serrata cultivars. (They come in a number of colors and sizes and some will repeat bloom throughout the season. Some blue ones can be made pink by liming the soil.)
• Kalmia polifolia (Some cultivars are small)
• Kalmiopsis leachiana
• Magnolia ‘George Henry Kerns’
• Peonies (many cultivars of herbaceous or tree type)
• Pieris japonica (some cultivars)
• Potentilla fruticose (‘New Dawn’ or ‘Pink Beauty’)
• Rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas (some cultivars)
• Weigela coraceensis, ‘Feerie’, ‘Florida Variegata’, ‘Looymansii Aurea’, ‘Praecox Variegata’, ‘Ruby Queen’ or ‘Victoria’
– Weston Miller, OSU Extension horticulturist