Small Shrubs For Shade

There are many types of small shrubs for shade gardens, and many of them can be pruned or controlled with other means. Shrubs in shade gardens can provide color and flowers. The following are some of the best choices: Fatsia japonica, English holly, Kerria, and Enkianthus. Choose the right one for your landscape by reading this article. We’ll also discuss why these plants are so popular.

Fatsia japonica

Often grown for its foliage in the home, Fatsia japonica is also a successful shade-tolerant shrub. With its large glossy leaves, this plant is ideal for tropical planting plans. It has an extremely low maintenance requirement and is rarely bothered by pests. Plant it in spring before the ground freezes. Prune it back in spring to encourage more branching, and it will grow vigorously.

When planting a Fatsia japonica, be sure to fill the hole with compost at the same depth as the plant’s pot. Plant it around the rootball and water it regularly. Once established, fatsia japonica small shrubs for shade require minimal maintenance . Pruning is done in late spring to promote bushiness and aesthetic appeal. Pruning should be done only when the top third of the compost is dry.

The best Fatsia shrubs for shade are those that are resistant to diseases and pests. While they tolerate full shade well, they will lose their vibrant green leaves if they get too much sunlight. They also tolerate moderate drought and air pollution. Fatsia japonica needs an adequate moisture level during the growing season, but their water requirements decrease dramatically in late winter. You can also use them in large containers, such as hanging baskets.

Another great choice for shade planting is the Japanese Aralia. This beautiful, understory shrub is hardy and can reach up to 15 feet in height. It grows well in deep shade, but also tolerates morning and afternoon dappled light. Its hardy nature means that it can survive in any climate. If you don’t want a full tree, you can plant fatsia japonica as an evergreen shrub.


Kerria small shrubs are well-suited for shade gardens, where they provide dense cover and vibrant color. Their foliage is triangular and clean, unlike that of birch trees, and their leaves are doubly serrated and have pronounced puckering between leaf veins. Kerrias can grow in zones 4 to 9 and tolerate a wide range of soil pH. They also tolerate heavy pruning and are drought-tolerant.

This deciduous native shrub provides bright fall color and pretty flowers during the summer. This shrub grows to about four to five feet tall and doesn’t have many insect or disease problems. It is hardy, so it can grow anywhere and looks fantastic. It is also a great ground cover, especially if your soil is acidic. You can prune it in the winter or early spring to keep it from growing too leggy.

Despite being deciduous, Kerria is one of the most shade-tolerant shrubs on the market. Its flowers are bright chartreuse/yellow and bloom throughout the summer. Their bark turns yellow in the winter. They are a great choice for gardeners who want to keep the shade in the garden, but need a bit of color in the shade. Once they’re established, Kerrias will provide a stunning focal point in any shade garden.


The name Enkianthus comes from the Greek word enkyos, which means swollen, and refers to the unusual blooms of a single species. The shrubs are native to East Asia, with seven species in cultivation. Despite their low maintenance needs, enkianthus can be susceptible to disease and pests. The good news is that the plants don’t require pruning.

The Enkianthus family is comprised of numerous species, ranging from low shrubs to small trees. Most species bloom in mid to late spring and produce clusters of tiny bell-shaped flowers. The flowers are typically less than half an inch across, although some species are a bit larger and bear large, red or pink flowers. The foliage on Enkianthus plants is very attractive and can be used as a groundcover in an area that needs shade.

Most of the species of Enkianthus grow in Southeast Asia, but they were first introduced to England in the late 1800s by botanist Charles Maries. Maries discovered 500 new species of plants and collected seeds, which were shipped back to Veitch Nurseries in England for evaluation. The plants were subsequently introduced to the plant trade. The species is widely distributed and grows to about 10ft. Its foliage is a mixture of green, brown and yellow.

Some of the best-known hydrangeas for shade gardens grow up to 12 feet in height. This beautiful and deer-resistant plant is best for areas where sun is limited or insufficient. These bushes have beautiful flowers, which are good for drying or arranging. Many varieties also grow well in partial shade and are ideal for use as decorations. Moreover, hydrangeas are incredibly versatile and can grow to 12 feet in height.

English holly

A wonderful accent plant with its prickly foliage and vibrant red berries, English holly can be used to create a screening or barrier hedge. Although hollies are classified as trees, they make excellent accent shrubs that are also suitable for cutting gardens. Deciduous English hollies, on the other hand, do not provide great topiary options. They do not do well in full sun and prefer a bit of shade.

The English holly is a conical shrub that grows from seven to fifteen feet tall and wide. Its dense, evergreen foliage looks beautiful in winter, when the berries appear. Its dense, dark green leaves last through the winter season. Because of its conical shape, it is ideal for group plantings and tucked wherever a classic holly look is desired. A variety of leaf colors is available to complement the winter’s colors.

Insects on English holly are generally harmless, but prolonged infestations can cause the shrub to suffer from damage. Larvae of Phytomyza ilicicola create blotches on the leaves of English holly. The blotches, which are not harmful to the plant, are easily spotted by plucking leaves that are affected. Sprays may also be used to control the larvae.


Aucuba small shrubs for shade are reliable perennials that thrive in shady locations. Their distinctive foliage, low water needs, and drought resistance make them excellent choices for a wide range of gardening conditions. While they are not tolerant of high temperatures, they do recover quickly from winter damage. The temperature range in which they thrive is between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. These shrubs have long been overplanted in gardens but have recently fallen out of favor. The good news is that they are easy to care for and are worth considering for any garden.

Aucuba plants are native to eastern Asia and the Himalayan region, and they have attractive leaves with yellow spots. The Japanese variety grows to five feet tall and wide in seven years and has clusters of red berries in the fall. It can tolerate drought and adds light to the shade garden. In addition to growing well in shade, this variety is also hardy, which makes it a valuable addition to your landscape.

Another cultivar of Aucuba small shrubs for shade is Crotonifolia. This shrub has a distinctive variegated foliage, looking like paint splattered on the leaves. It is also tolerant of air pollution and salt. Gold Dust aucuba has an even faster growth rate than the others, and its leaf margins are toothed. Once established, Gold Dust aucuba will live for twenty years.


If you want a lush carpet of shade, pachysandra is the perfect choice. Plant them about 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the size and spacing of your planting area. Once they’ve reached full size, they will need two to three years to fill their area. If you want to reduce the chance of overgrowth, prune them once a year before they start to bloom. Once the leaves appear, you can replant them in the same location or move them to another part of the yard.

Because of their slow growth, pachysandra can be planted close to one another and will cover the gap between plants faster. The best way to plant this shrub is in light to deep shade . You should thin it periodically and clean it of fallen leaves. Regular thinning will improve air circulation and decrease ambient moisture levels. These are both good for the plant’s health. It can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, from very acidic to neutral.

Pachysandra is a perennial plant that grows up to 12 inches tall, with short, coarsely-toothed green leaves. The flowers of this plant are non-showy, but they have a strong fragrance that evokes gardenia or jasmine. When the weather warms up again, the pachysandra bounces back to life. Its flowers are primarily used as ground cover, but it also makes a good ornamental specimen.

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