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.)

There are plenty of stunning, showy plant options for shady areas of the yard, such as kalmia polifolia. (Getty Images)
There are plenty of stunning, showy plant options for shady areas of the yard, such as kalmia polifolia. (Getty Images)

• 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