Great Shrubs for Shade


Authored by Kate Beswick in Gardening
Published on 07-26-2009

When most of us envision our favorite hobby, gardening, we usually imagine a sunny patch of ground, waiting to be dug up and planted. But even in the sunniest garden, there’s bound to be a few patches of shade here and there, especially around the edges. Towering trees often provide gorgeous boundaries to our lawns and gardens. The cool shade that these trees allow may be just the thing that’s preventing you from planting under them. Instead of hindering your garden by this shade, use it to give the same natural boundaries to your garden by planting shrubs around it. There are plenty of shrubs that thrive in the shade. Knowing what those are, and how they can enhance your garden space, can be the perfect finishing detail!

Camellias are one of the best shrubs that can survive very well in the shade. Not only can they thrive with just some proper drainage, but these shrubs can be very fun to watch grow. Camellias display green leaves throughout the entire year but in the warmer months, they come alive with brightly colored blooms. Enjoying them this time of year is especially exciting but it doesn’t last long. Camellias only bloom for a few weeks a year, making the next season even more anticipated! Camellias do need a lot of attention when they are first planted and things such as fertilizer and proper weeding are extremely important. However, after the first few weeks, these plants pretty much take care of themselves.

Hydrangeas are another very popular shrub for the shade. These pretty shrubs can be recognized by their big and bright blooms that come in all the colors of the rainbow! Hydrangeas are very popular and their blooms do tend to stay for several months. These are perennial shrubs and so they do not have any blooms for many more months of the year. Hydrangeas also require a lot of watering and a lot of pruning during the months that they are in bloom. So they are perfect for the gardener that loves to spend the summer tending to their plants and shrubs!

After hydrangeas, gardenias are probably the second most popular shrub to plant in shady conditions. Gardenias are known for their bright and shiny green leaves with large white blossoms. The blossoms are extremely fragrant, making these shrubs even more attractive to gardeners. Gardenias do extremely well in shade however the shady patch still needs to be able to retain some warmth. These shrubs also need plenty of room to grow and overcrowding them can quickly lead to dying shrubs. Gardenias also need to be well protected against insects and pests, because their fragrance is so strong.

Just as with any other shrub or plant, the shrubs you choose for your shady patches will depend on which climate zone you live in. Climate zones dictate which type of soil and climate conditions are present in a particular area. Using these to further determine which shrubs will live best in your climate zone and it will be even easier to see how many options you have! Most seedling packages or small starter shrubs will clearly show the climate zone they will do best in.


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