Question: I want to plant some cold-sensitive shrubs. Would they be best on the south or east side of my house?
Answer: Actually, they’d be best on the north or northwest sides. This catches almost everyone off guard, but the explanation is fairly simple. Those tender plants on the south and east side of the house will stay vegetative and active farther into the fall, increasing the chance that a sudden and quick freeze might damage them. Remember, too, that our coldest nights are usually clear. That means that the sun will be bright the following morning, hitting those frozen leaves on the east-facing plants before they have a chance to thaw out gradually.