When you want a shrub that will grow in partial or full shade, Little Henry is a great choice. This small deciduous shrub has long, drooping stems adorned with tiny, white flowers that are deliciously fragrant. Little Henry grows to about 2 feet tall and wide and suckers easily, so you’ll need to keep an eye on its moisture needs. This plant makes a great addition to water features or rain gardens.
Viburnums thrive in sun or partial shade
The soil pH level for viburnums must be 5.5 to 6.5 and must be moist and organically rich. Planting these trees in spring or fall is best, as their roots can grow up to 18 inches deep. Use a mixture of soil conditioners with 10 to 20 percent organic matter, and be sure to add a good mulch. Viburnums are perennials, so make sure you choose a space four to ten feet apart.
Viburnums have two types of flower heads. The double-file variety is the showiest, featuring long, spreading branches covered in pure white flowers in June. Summer Snowflake has the same display, but blooms continuously all summer and into the fall. These shrubs reach between six and eight feet tall and ten feet wide. While the double-file variety is the showiest, it rarely bears fruit. In a sun or partial shade garden, Viburnum ‘Snowball’ is a great choice.
If you’d like to plant viburnums in a container, keep in mind that they are self-incompatible. Unlike some other plants, they need several neighbors to cross-pollinate. The best time to plant viburnums is spring or fall. Their blooms will be a beautiful addition to your garden for years to come. You can also purchase viburnum trees and train them to form a trunk.
Hydrangeas grow best in full shade
If your garden is in a part shade to full shade location, you can still get great blooms from hydrangeas. They are tolerant of most soil conditions, as long as they receive plenty of moisture and protection from afternoon sun. Depending on the variety you choose, you can expect large bloom clusters in late summer. The flowers will turn pink as the summer progresses, and the panicles will continue to grow, producing new flowers at the tips.
In addition to being happy with partial shade, hydrangeas will benefit from additional water if you live in a hotter climate. They thrive in filtered light or morning sun, but will require additional watering during the hottest parts of the day. If you live in a partly sunny area, however, you can get away with rain only, while hydrangeas in full shade will need more water than their partial-shade cousins.
Some varieties of hydrangeas do well in light shade, including the Bigleaf hydrangea. This plant grows to eight feet tall, and its oakleaf-shaped leaves and peeling bark add beauty to the landscape. Another full shade option is the Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris, which has lacy white flowerheads and can reach 50 feet, provided it is supported properly.
Indian pink grows to about a foot tall
This flowering shrub is native to the southeastern U.S., and is commonly called Indian pink. Its tubular flowers have a deep pink color and a yellow throat, and the plants are very drought tolerant once established. It grows to about two feet tall and wide. The blooms are fragrant and last into the fall. Indian pink grows in partial to full shade, but also does well in partial sun.
Mountain Laurel is a native of the north eastern US, and grows wild in shady woods in New Jersey. It blooms in clusters in late spring. Its leaves are shiny dark green, and it prefers a moist and acidic soil. It also grows to about a foot in height. Its flowers are edible, but be careful not to eat them!
Kerria has yellow flower heads that will dry out on the plant. This will help the plants flower the next year. The plant requires partial shade to bloom well. It can tolerate full sun but does not do well in this climate. Kerria shrubs can also cause gastrointestinal issues, which can lead to coma or death. The genus name, Kerr, comes from the British botanist William Kerr, who introduced the Japanese Rose to the West. As such, the Yellow Rose of Texas is a result of the Japanese Rose.
Black gum is another shade-tolerant plant native to eastern Asia and Japan. It can grow slowly to about 50-60 feet tall. It has showy pink flowers in the summer and beautiful fall foliage. New selections of black gum are resistant to leaf spot and have good form. ‘Wildfire’ will grow slowly to 60 feet tall and 25 feet wide and has a red fall color.
Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna
Sarcococca hookeriana var, digyna, is a compact, winter flowering shrub with lanceolate, dark green leaves. In the winter, it produces clusters of tiny, fragrant white flowers that are followed by a flurry of black/red berries. The shrub is native to western China and is deer-resistant.
The deep red stems of Sarcococca hookeriana var, digyna, give this variety a rich purple hue. It is easy to grow and is also as beautiful as its cousins. Its flowers are pink and white and held close to the stems. Small, black berries follow the flowers. Once established, this species is very hardy, so you don’t have to worry about watering it every day.
When choosing a shrub for full shade, consider the type of light your area receives. Most varieties will be happy in filtered to part shade, but they’ll need more light in hotter areas. It needs protection from the afternoon sun, so choose one that receives filtered light. The roots of this evergreen shrub are not invasive, so you can safely plant it wherever you’d like.
Lipstick redvein enkianthus
The ‘Lipstick’ variety of Enkianthus has a star-shaped foliage with yellow veins on the margins. After 20 to 50 years, it will reach a height of 2 meters with a spread of one meter. Its foliage will turn orange in fall, and the plant will need full sunlight to thrive. This shrub has a low water requirement and requires no pruning.
The fall color of the Redvein Enkianthus is spectacular. The flowers are creamy-yellow or whitish-pink in color. The foliage of the shrub is densely packed at branch tips. The plants will grow to between 6 and 10 feet tall. They prefer peaty, acidic, or organically rich soil. ‘Showy Lantern’ is an excellent selection if you’d like to have an exotic appearance in your full shade garden.
‘Lipstick’ redvein enkianthus is one of the best shade plants for fall color. This compact shrub is a beautiful specimen, reaching up to six feet in height, with bright red new growth stolons. It also complements other plants, including Azaleas. Its narrow habit makes it an ideal choice for small gardens.
The Mona Lisa is another attractive lipstick plant that has dark green leaves and bright red-orange flowers. The plants can grow up to 2m in height, but will lose their shine if too much sunlight is given to them. Fortunately, the plants will bloom again once they have a sunny location. They are also great indoor plants, thanks to their easy care. Since they are native to the tropics, this succulent enjoys warm, humid conditions. Look for the variegated variety with red-orange flowers.
If you’re looking for a plant to beautify your full-shade garden, consider bayberry shrubs. These native shrubs are known for their scent, which is a result of the waxy coating that covers the berry clusters. They are hardy to zone 3 and are often planted along seashores and roads salted during the winter months. Bayberry shrubs also tolerate drought and winter cold, and once established, they become drought-tolerant.
Despite the name, bayberry shrubs can tolerate full shade and partial sun. For full blooming, they need four hours of full sunlight per day. Although they thrive in any soil, they do prefer sandy or neutral soil. The best pH level for bayberry shrubs is 6 to 7.5. They are nitrogen-fixing plants, and need only minimal fertilization in order to grow. They also tolerate poor soil conditions.
If your garden has full shade, bayberries can act as erosion control plants due to their fibrous roots. In addition to being attractive, they’re also beneficial for the environment, as they attract many species of birds. Bayberries are native to coastal regions of the U.S., but they’re also a popular choice for full-shade gardens. If you don’t like the idea of a shrub that grows in the middle of a pond, consider a bayberry hedge.