Shrubs For Shade

Shrubs for shade gardens can be of many different types. You can prune them to shape, and control their growth with other methods. This article will provide information on several different types of shrubs that are suitable for shade gardens. They provide foliage and flowers in a wide range of color schemes, from blue and pink to white and red. Learn how to select the best shrubs for shade gardens and how to prune them to suit your particular needs.


If you are looking for a native plant that will thrive in shade , consider Clethra. This shrub grows wild in mashes, along the banks of streams and along seashores. Its flowers attract butterflies, hummingbirds and native bees. These shrubs also look great in a woodland garden . Clethra shrubs can tolerate damp soil and low to moderate light levels.

For a lush, green, and fragrant shrub, plant Clethra in part or full shade. It will tolerate a wet, acidic soil and is not particularly tolerant of salt spray. Planting it in a well-drained, moist location is ideal because the clethra grows best in the shade and doesn’t like dry soil. If you’d like to grow your Clethra in the shade, dig a hole twice the size of its root ball. Add 20% compost to the soil.

Another popular choice is Clethra alnifolia. This deciduous shrub grows best in light shade , but will tolerate full sun as well. Its sweet-scented flowers bloom in late summer and last well into the fall. The foliage of this shrub turns golden yellow in the fall. This plant is also known as summersweet. Its flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and other wildlife. It produces a small, fragrant white flower cluster in the summer and fruiting spikes in autumn.

This shade-loving shrub is native to coastal Maine, northern Florida, and the western edge of Texas. It’s useful in ornamental gardens and hedges and is also an excellent plant for mass planting. It produces aromatic flowers and responds well to pruning. It’s disease and insect resistant. A dense mulch will help protect the roots in winter. And the leaves and flowers are attractive in both summer and autumn.


Dogwoods make excellent shrubs for shade, but they can also be troublesome. Dogwoods can spread to form large, sprawling colonies. For this reason, they are often used as informal hedgerows, borders around ponds, and wildlife habitats. These shrubs can be challenging to manage, however, as they can often grow in unwelcome places. To prevent this from happening, prune the shrub in late winter or early spring.

While dogwoods grow quickly, they can be susceptible to disease and lack hardiness. If your area is very shaded, consider growing a variety of dogwoods for shade. Depending on where you live, you may find them a beautiful and shade-tolerant addition to your yard. Just be sure to plant at least one variety, as they tend to grow at a rapid pace. In just over a decade, a dogwood tree can reach its full size and begin producing fruit.

Red Twigged dogwoods are a beautiful choice for the landscape, offering colorful foliage year-round. Red Twigged Dogwoods are especially beautiful in snowy climates, adding color to the landscape in the wintertime. You can even find a variety of variegated dogwood varieties. Ivory Halo (Cornus alba ‘Bailhalo’) is a variegated variety of Red Twigged Dogwood. White flowers bloom in the spring and will be appreciated by all.

Red Osier dogwood is an excellent choice for shade. Its large branches and bracts become red as the autumn season approaches, and its clusters of bright red berries appear in the winter months. The foliage of this tree is dark green and changes to red and purple in autumn. Variegated dogwoods, on the other hand, have beautiful green and white foliage. They are also excellent for shaded areas, as they are highly tolerant of most soil conditions.


Virescens is a beautiful narrow evergreen with glossy dark green foliage. At maturity, the tree grows to be thirty to thirty-five feet tall and nine to twelve feet wide. While it is a native of Western North America, Virescens is also well adapted to growing in part shade and full sun. Its noninvasive nature makes it an ideal choice for a shade garden .

Virescens is an upright form of Western Red Cedar and can survive in very low to moderate shade. They have feathery foliage and grow well in moist soil. If you’re planning to plant Virescens shrubs in your shade garden, it’s best to choose two separate types, Green Giant and Virescens. Both varieties are excellent choices for shade gardens , but the former is the superior choice.

Virescens is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance. It grows fast without getting too large. The foliage is dark green and bears berries that ripen black. Plant Virescens at eight specimens per m2 in early spring. Virescens tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, including heavy clay soil and rocky soil. It is relatively drought-tolerant and does not need pruning or pest control.

Another popular shrub for shade gardens is the mountain laurel, also known as spotted laurel. It grows to fifteen feet and is an excellent landscape plant. It has glossy, elliptical leaves and blooms in early spring. Aucuba shrubs should be fertilized once a year when new growth starts, with a fertilizer containing acid. You can expect this shrub to grow quickly if planted regularly in an acidic soil.

Fatsia japonica

If you want a shade-tolerant shrub with large, glossy leaves, Fatsia japonica is a great choice. This species grows well in shade and can be used as a hedge or buffer. Its flower buds appear in late fall, but are not particularly numerous. This shrub prefers partial to full shade . This shrub is a hardy plant and can tolerate a low water supply.

Most cultivars of fatsia are not available in most retail nurseries. If you’d like to grow this shrub in your garden, you’ll need to order it from a specialty mail order nursery. ‘Variegata’ is one cultivar that has irregular white edges. It is very attractive, especially in the shade. You can also purchase other cultivars of this plant if you’re not able to find the species you’d like in your local garden center.

A great choice for a garden full of shade, Fatsia japonica shrubs will grow up to 2.5m. These shrubs are strong, low-maintenance, and have a tropical appearance. Despite being a tough plant, Fatsia japonica will struggle in full sun. The foliage grows fast and its berries are an excellent source of food for many beneficial insects.

This evergreen Japanese shrub tolerates partial to full shade . It produces bright red berries in the fall and needs moist but well-drained soil. Plants with a high-quality soil can tolerate salt-laden winds. Fatsia japonica shrubs for shade


As a visually attractive shade plant, enkianthus can easily spruce up the shade of your home. Its upright habit and white bell-shaped flowers make it an excellent choice for a small space. Enkianthus prefers moist, humus-rich soil with a neutral or acid pH level. However, you can choose a shrub that is tolerant of drier conditions.

The deciduous shrub or small tree Enkianthus is part of the Ericaceae family. This species grows to between six to eight feet tall and four to nine feet wide. The Greek genus name, Enkyos, means “swollen flower,” which is a reference to the swollen urn shape of the blooms. The plant’s flowers are reddish beige in color and may be white or pink. They thrive in acidic soil and can be used as foundation plantings and shrub borders.

Redveined Enkianthus is a flowering deciduous shrub that is similar to rhododendrons. It produces small bell-shaped flowers in May and June and its foliage changes to shades of yellow and orange in the fall. Enkianthus ‘Red Bells’ is a particularly beautiful variety, with the flower petals a deeper red. Its compact growth habit also makes it a popular choice for planting around a patio or in partial shade.

Another popular shrub for partial shade is the witch hazel. Its flowers are great for arranging and drying. They grow up to ten feet tall and can grow in zones three to eight. The foliage is very attractive in fall. Some species grow up to twelve feet tall, and they have a wide range of color. If you have a small yard, enkianthus can grow up to 10 feet tall.

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