31 Shrubs For Shade Gardens and Shady Areas

Do you need some shrubs for shady areas of your garden? Perhaps you are creating an entire shade garden but aren't sure which shrubs to plant? The good news is, there are plenty of shade loving options, no matter your hardiness zone or geographic location. In this article, we look at our favorite shade-loving shrubs.

Shrubs for Shade Gardens

Not quite trees and not quite low-growing plants, shrubs provide the perfect in-between size and shape. There are several different types of shrubs that you can grow in a shade garden or shady area. Some have flowers, while others let their foliage speak for itself. You can grow a stand-alone shrub or create a robust hedge. 

When choosing the right shrubs for your garden, you must pay attention to the growing needs of each plant. Some grow easily without any help, while others need special care. The plants on this list also range across several zones. When planting a shade garden, or planting in a shady area, it’s important to plan out your plants ahead of time.

A shade garden can often pose some difficulty to those who think full sunlight is needed for robust shrubs. Luckily, there are plenty of great options if you want to find shrubs that work well in shade. Let’s take a deeper look at some of our favorite shade-friendly shrubs, that will grow well in your shade garden, or in shady areas of your landscape!

African Scurf Pea

Psoralea pinnata
African Scurf Pea – an elegant short-lived shrub with blue, purple, and white flowers.
Scientific Name: Psoralea pinnata
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Africa
  • Plant Size: 6-10 ft tall, 3-6 ft wide. 
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 9-11

This unique shrub offers beautiful white and purple blooms in the late spring. These blooms are known for their fragrance which is similar to grape soda. The flowers look very similar to those produced by pea plants. The African Scurf Pea has linear leaf blades, which also contain some scent.

African Scurf Pea can do well near water, but it can also survive a drought. It is vital to make sure that you plant this shrub in soil that drains well. 

Alpine Currant

Ribes alpinum
Ribes alpinum, commonly known as alpine currant, has red fruits with an insipid taste.
Scientific Name: Ribes alpinum
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Europe 
  • Plant Size: 6 ft tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 2-7

Pick this shrub if you are looking for a hardy option that will not need much upkeep. If you want your shrubs to produce berries, you will need to plant both male and female plants. While you can eat these berries, you may not want to due to the taste. 

There is no particular time that is best for pruning when it comes to this plant. They are just generally agreeable under most conditions. Alpine currants can handle sun or shade. However, there are some geographic areas in which it is illegal to plant this due to its ability to host white pine blister rust. 

Andromeda

Pieris japonica
Andromeda is an evergreen perennial shrub with white bell-shaped flowers.
Scientific Name: Pieris japonica
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 9-12 ft tall, 6-8 ft wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5-7

This slow-growing perennial shrub is a relative of the rhododendron family. It is known for its unique smell, which garners mixed reviews. An early bloomer, this plant produces clusters of small white bell-shaped flowers. This shrub is a great choice if you want flowers in your garden in late winter or early spring.  

Keep Andromeda’s solid, moist, and well-draining. This shrub does not enjoy soggy or overly dry soil. While this plant does well in a range of conditions, it is a good idea to try to give it a bit of sun if you want as much blooming as possible. 

Arrowwood Viburnum  

Viburnum dentatum
Arrowwood Viburnum is a fast-growing shrub that has white flowers and small blackberries that bring butterflies by the thousands.
Scientific Name: Viburnum dentatum
  • Plant Type: Flowering shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 6-10 ft tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 2-8

A relative of the honeysuckle, this small shrub is known for its compact shape, glossy leaves, large white flowers, and small blackberries. Expect fiery orange and red foliage in the fall. These do well in borders and hedges. The shrub can spread with suckers. So, trim those back if you want to keep them contained. 

Unlike many other shrubs on this list, Arrowwood Viburnum enjoys wet soil. It is best if this soil drains well and is acidic. This shrub can do well in the shade, but a bit of sun can increase flowering. So, partial shade is ideal. 

Azalea

Rhododendron spp.
Rhododendron lives up to 50 years, in natural conditions – up to 100 years.
Scientific Names: Rhododendron spp. 
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia, Europe, North America
  • Plant Size: 3-12 ft
  • Sun Exposure: Part to full shade
  • Plant Zone: 3-9

Azaleas are known for the gorgeous color they add to gardens. They can come in a range of shades of pinks, reds, and purples. These plants come in so many shapes and sizes that you can easily choose the variety you want for your particular garden. 

While azaleas are very closely related to Rhododendrons, they are different in a few ways. For example, while rhododendrons are usually evergreen, most azaleas are deciduous. However, there are a few evergreen varieties of azaleas. 

Bigleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla
Macrophylla is commonly known as Bigleaf Hydrangea, which is considered a very beautiful and rather amazing plant.
Scientific Name: Hydrangea macrophylla
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Japan
  • Plant Size: 7 ft tall, 8 ft wide
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 4-9

As you may be able to guess from the name of this shrub, it has particularly large leaves. These big leaves are usually serrated and wide. The small flowers of the plant grow in round pom-pom-like collectives. These flowers on this shrub are blue, or pink, and can sometimes be purple.

These colors are determined by the pH of the soil. An acidic soil causes blue blooms, while alkaline soil produces pink flowers. Hydrangeas grow easily and with minimal care in the zones they are hardy to.

California Holly

Heteromeles arbutifolia
Heteromeles arbutifolia – a California native evergreen shrub with red berries.
Scientific Name: Heteromeles arbutifolia
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 20 ft tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 7-11

While the leaves of this plant do echo that of holly, the plant’s overall shape is different from traditional holly. In early summer, this shrub produces little white flowers, and in fall and winter, these flowers lead to red berries. California Holly is popular amongst the wildlife. 

This plant is drought-resistant, and it can do well in a range of sun levels. Fun fact: this shrub is the only species in its genus. 

Camellia

Camellia sinensis
Camellia sinensis, known as the tea plant and is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Scientific Name: Camellia sinensis
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 2-12 ft
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade
  • Plant Zone: 7-9

This long-lived flowering shrub is known for its glossy green leaves and lush, colorful flowers. There are several varieties of Camellia. These varieties come in different sizes and with different blossom colors. You may be able to find red, yellow, purple, white, and pink flowers on these plants. 

Put a fair amount of space between this plant and others since they will try to compete for resources. These plants can be somewhat finicky about their growing conditions. They need consistent moisture since drought can lead to several issues, including spider mites. 

Canadian Bunchberry

Cornus canadensis
Canadian Bunchberry is a creeping shrub no more than 6 inches high.
Scientific Name: Cornus canadensis
  • Plant Type: Deciduous Subshrub
  • Geographic Origin:
  • Plant Size: 6 in 
  • Sun Exposure: Shade
  • Plant Zone: 2-6

The Canadian Bunchberry is an ideal choice if you are looking for a native plant for your shade garden. It is considered a subshrub. So, it is a somewhat different shape than many other shrubs. As a result, it is used a groundcover. You can recognize this plant by its large, light green leaves, its four-petaled flowers, and red berries. 

This plant grows best in the shade with moist soil. They can even handle some amount of soggy soil and cold. Make sure that the soil is nice and acidic. 

Canadian Hemlock

Tsuga canadensis
Canadian hemlock is an evergreen long-lived monoecious coniferous tree from the Pine family.
Scientific Name: Tsuga canadensis
  • Plant Type: Evergreen conifer
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 70 ft tall and 30 ft wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 3-7

This plant may be called hemlock, but it is not the same plant as the one used for poisons. Frequently described as elegant, Canadian Hemlock is a type of tree, but you can keep it trained as a shrub for a few years. The plant is considered slow-growing. 

Provide this plant with moist and well-drained soil. It is also best to keep these shrubs safe from wind, given that their roots are fairly shallow. Finding a balance is key with this plant since it does not enjoy drought or soggy soil. 

Checkerberry

Gaultheria procumbens
Gaultheria procumbens, also known as snowberry or mountain berry, is a low, evergreen shrub belonging to the Ericaceae family.
Scientific Name: Gaultheria procumbens
  • Plant Type: Evergreen subshrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 7 in
  • Sun Exposure: Partial Shade
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

This evergreen subshrub is a popular groundcover choice. You can recognize them by their bright red berries and reddish-green leaves. Small white or pink flowers are visible before the berries appear. Checkerberry spreads using its rhizomatous roots. It takes a while for it to grow to its full width of three feet. 

Since this plant is also known as wintergreen, you may want to know that it is traditionally used to flavor food. These plants can thrive in a variety of conditions. However, they do best in acidic, moist soil. Too much sun can scorch the plants, but filtered light can help the plants produce blooms. 

Chinese Fringe-Flower

Loropetalum
Loropetalum, also called Chinese Fringe-Flower, is a beautiful winter flowering shrub.
Scientific Name: Loropetalum
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 15 ft tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 7-9

This evergreen shrub provides color throughout the whole year. Between the beautiful, spangly blossoms, and the color-changing foliage, there are many reasons to add this plant to your shade garden. The foliage transitions between green and red, while the blooms can be pink, red, and white. 

There are several varieties of these plants, but they generally have similar care needs. All varieties are generally low-maintenance, and they usually do not encounter pest problems. Some protection from the sun is vital for these shrubs. This plant is fairly drought resistant. 

Clethra

Clethra alnifolia
Clethra alnifolia is widely distributed in North America under natural conditions.
Scientific Name: Clethra alnifolia
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 3-8 ft tall, 4-6 ft wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 3-9

Choose this shrub if you want to add some fragrance and pollinators to your garden. This plant is also a popular option for those who wish to grow a plant that blooms later in the summer. The tiny flowers can range anywhere from white to darker pink. The leaves are long and serrated. 

This shrub is often used to create a hedge. It can even do well in areas with very moist soil, including near a pond or marsh. Clethra prefers acidic soil, but it can do well in several circumstances. While many plants still need some sun to bloom, this shrub can do well in the shade. 

Coast Leucothoe

Leucothoe axillaris
Coast Leucothoe is an easy maintenance bush that blooms in winter.
Scientific Name: Leucothoe axillaris
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 4 ft tall, 6 ft wide
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 6-9

Prized for its unique foliage, this shrub provides interesting colors throughout the year. While the leaves are green for most of the year, they take on purple shades during the fall. Many people also enjoy the honey-like scent of the white flowers this plant produces. These clumps of white bells trail down from the plant. 

Under certain circumstances, you can grow this plant in zone 5. However, it is more likely to do well in zones six through nine. When planting in these zones, ensure that your Coast Leucothoe does not have too much sun or heat directed at it. Besides this need, this plant does not have many requirements since it is so hardy. 

Common Boxwood

Buxus sempervirens
Common boxwood is an evergreen shrub or tree with glossy dark green ovate-oblong leaves.
Scientific Name: Buxus sempervirens
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Europe, Asia
  • Plant Size: 2-8 ft tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Plant Zone: 5-9

This type of boxwood is just one member of this large genus. Within that genus, there are several shapes and sizes of boxwoods. Some are dwarf-sized, while others are the size of trees. The Common Boxwood is loved for its versatility. It can be planted individually or used in a hedge.  

Protect these plants from the sun and wind since these can damage the roots of the plant since they are so shallow. This protection can be carried out by adding mulch around the roots of the shrubs. Plant these shrubs in well-draining soil and deep watering. 

Common Witch Hazel

Hamamelis virginiana
Hamamelis virginiana, known as witch-hazel blooming in autumn with reddish-yellow flowers.
Scientific Name: Hamamelis virginiana
  • Plant Type: Deciduous flowering shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 12-15 ft tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 5-8

Often, this is one of the first bloomers of the year. Its spider-like yellow blossoms usually appear in late winter or early spring. After this, the green ovular leaves appear. They eventually turn orange in the fall. Common Witch Hazel grows at a steady pace, taking a few years to reach its maximum height. 

This easy-to-grow shrub prefers acidic soil, but it will tolerate other pHs, as well. Beyond this, the plant does not have many needs. You do not need to prune the plant too frequently. Some caterpillars and beetles enjoy trying to eat this plant. 

Creeping Barberry

Mahonia repens
Mahonia blooms in spring, very abundantly, in clusters of yellow, fragrant flowers.
Scientific Name: Mahonia repens
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 1-3 ft tall
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade
  • Plant Zone: 5-8

Creeping Barberry tends to sprawl rather than grow tall. It creates small yellow flowers that then transition into purple fruit. The leaves look similar to holly leaves in shape and color. The foliage turns shades of red in the winter. It is often used as a groundcover. 

This plant grows relatively easily. However, it does best when protected from extreme heat or winds. 

Daphne

Daphne odora
Daphne is a broadleaf evergreen shrub with beautiful and fragrant flowers.
Scientific Name: Daphne odora
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Africa, Asia, Europe
  • Plant Size: 1-6 ft tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 4-9

Several different species make up the Daphne genus. These species have also been hybridized to create even more varieties. All of these varieties tend to be small and rounded. They usually have tubular white or pink flowers that grow in bunches and tapered leaves. Eventually, berries arrive in the fall.

Since these plants are slow growers, they may take seven to ten years to reach their final size. You should be aware that these shrubs can sometimes die suddenly. This tendency may be related to them being picky about the amount of moisture they want. They also do not like being transplanted. 

Emerald ‘n Gold Euonymus

Euonymus fortunei
Euonymus fortunei has a large number of useful properties, it is widely used in alternative medicine.
Scientific Name: Euonymus fortunei
  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia, Europe
  • Plant Size: 60 ft vine or ground or 2-4 ft as a shrub
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 4-9

This plant is the most popular member of a broad genus. Part of the Emerald n Gold Euonymus’ popularity is surely due to its unique green and gold foliage. While you can keep this plant pruned into a shrub shape, you can also let the plant behave like a climber or ground cover. With proper support, this plant can climb to around 60 feet. 

It is considered invasive in some areas. So, keep an eye on it and trim it after its brief annual flowering. This variety does well in many growing conditions as long as the soil is not too moist. It can even tolerate several bad growing conditions. 

Fire Cracker Plant

Aesculus pavia
Fire cracker plant is attractive because its flowers are an unusual red color.
Scientific Name: Aesculus pavia
  • Plant Type: Semi-evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: South America
  • Plant Size: 3-5 ft tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 9-11

The Fire Cracker Plant gets its name from its fiery and exciting blooms and its thin, striking foliage. The blooms are red and tubular. These look gorgeous when planted so that they can trail down a trellis. This plant needs to be watered about once a week. Water this plant more often if it is very hot. 

Hetz Japanese Holly

Ilex crenata
Japanese holly is one of the most interesting shrubs that can be grown in almost any garden.
Scientific Name: Ilex crenata
  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 3-8 ft tall, 4-6 ft wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 5-7

This shrub is often confused with boxwood, and while they can be similar in some ways, there are a few key differences. Both shrubs are dioecious, so grow a male and female plant if you want to pollinate. When this plant’s white flowers are pollinated, black drupes are produced. 

Pick this plant if you want a solid, low-maintenance option. The Hetz Japanese Holly also responds well to pruning. This shrub does well in a range of sun levels. Shade may lead to the production of fewer berries. To prevent yellow leaves, it is best to plant this shrub in acidic soil. 

Japanese Rose

Kerria japonica
The Japanese rose is an ornamental shrub with thin inclined branches, graceful leaves, and bright yellow flowers.
Scientific Name: Kerria japonica
  • Plant Type: Deciduous flowering shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 5-10 ft tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part to Full Sun
  • Plant Zone: 4-9

While these shrubs are from a different genus of the Rosaceae family, they share several features in common with the roses that you may be more familiar with. The shape of the shrub echos that of a climbing rose, with tall, arching branches. The blooms have five petals just like other roses. 

The blooms of this shrub are yellow, and the bark is light green. You can find varieties of this plant that are single flowering or double flowering. The Japanese Rose can reach its full size within the first year of it being planted if you provide it with optimum conditions.

Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica
Skimmia japonica is a dioecious plant – small star-shaped male and female flowers, alternate leaves, with an entire margin.
Scientific Name: Skimmia japonica
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 3-4 ft
  • Sun Exposure: Part to full shade
  • Plant Zone: 6-8

This shrub is known to provide interest all year long. The flowers that appear in the summer are not only beautiful but fragrant. Flowers can be yellow or white. These blooms give over to red berries in the fall and winter. It does well in hedges or when standing alone. This plant is dioecious, which means that it has male and female plants. Get some of each if you want berries. 

Plant this shrub with plenty of shade since too much sun can bleach the leaves. Choose a spot in acidic soil for this plant. Also, make sure that the soil has good drainage. After getting established, your Japanese Skimmia does not need too much attention. 

Mountain Laurel  

Kalmia latifolia
Mountain laurel flowers are collected in brushes, from light pink to white.
Scientific Name: Kalmia latifolia
  • Plant Type: Evergreen Shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 5-15 ft tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade
  • Plant Zone: 4-9

This plant is not a rhododendron, but it does offer similar aesthetic benefits. The shrub produces roundish blooms in clusters, and it has glossy green leaves. The blooms can be pink or white with purple accents. You can deadhead the blooms if you want to avoid the appearance of brown fruit. 

Mountain Laurel has a few particular needs in terms of planting. If those needs are met, it can grow about a foot a year. Make sure that this plant is planted in moist but well-drained soil. You will need to give your plants about four feet of space between these shrubs. 

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea quercifolia
Oakleaf hydrangea is a large textured deciduous shrub reaching 3–12 feet tall with an open crown.
Scientific Name: Hydrangea quercifolia
  • Plant Type: Deciduous flowering shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 4-8 ft tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to full shade
  • Plant Zone: 5-9

This shrub provides many of the benefits of other varieties of hydrangea but with a bold leaf shape. These leaves look very similar to those of oak, hence the name of the shrub. The flowers grow in large groups. The blooms are white at first, and then they gradually turn light pink. Foliage turns purple or red in the fall.  

Moist soil is a must for this plant. Provide plenty of mulch to help the soil retain its moisture. The amount of shade your Oakleaf Hydrangeas need will depend on the zone that you live in. In general, the warmer the zone, the more shade you will need. 

Rhododendron

Rhododendron spp.
Rhododendron is a genus of shrubs with flowers that look like bluebells.
Scientific Name: Rhododendron spp.
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 5-25 ft tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 4-8

The large shrubs produce similar flowers to their Azalea relatives. The blooms can be white, yellow, pink, red, purple, blue, or any color in between. The main difference is that the blooms on a rhododendron are generally grouped while Azalea blossoms are scattered throughout the shrub. 

These shrubs are fairly easy to grow, though they do have a few requirements. They do best in well-draining, acidic soil and plenty of shade. Rhododendrons are somewhat sensitive to an excess of sun. 

Serviceberry

Amelanchier spp. 
Serviceberry is a small shrub or tree that, although often cultivated as a garden specimen, also grows wild.
Scientific Name: Amelanchier spp. 
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 2 ft to 40 ft
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 3-9

These members of the Rosaceae family produce small white flowers and later small reddish fruit. There are many different types of Serviceberry plants. While all of these plants follow similar trends, there is some variance. Some varieties have round rather than tapered leaves, while others have dark berries, and others have different flower shapes. 

There is some range in terms of how well these varieties handle different growing conditions, but generally, they can tolerate a decent amount of drought. These plants usually provide interest in all seasons thanks to the delicate white flowers in the spring and the red, orange, or yellow leaves in the fall. 

Silk Tassel Bush

Garrya elliptica
Silk tassel bush is a fast-growing shrub with grey-green catkins, reaching 3m in winter and spring.
Scientific Name: Garrya elliptica
  • Plant Type: Flowering evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 7-20 ft tall and wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 5-9

The Silk Tassel Bush displays its flowers in long white or green flower clusters. These blooms appear in winter before giving way to black or purple fruit. The leaves dry on the shrub and stick around throughout the summer. This shrub can withstand several types of soil as long as it properly drains. 

Spotted Laurel

Aucuba japonica
Spotted laurel is an evergreen shrub originally from East Asia.
Scientific Name: Aucuba japonica
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub
  • Geographic Origin: Asia
  • Plant Size: 6-10 ft tall, 5-9 ft wide
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full shade
  • Plant Zone: 6-10

Add some interest to your shade garden with Spotted Laurel. Look out for small purple flowers in the early spring. To ensure pollination, plant male and female plants together. After pollination, red berries appear. This plant is easy to maintain, and it loves the shade. The only thing that threatens it is strong winds. 

Sumac

Rhus spp.
Sumac requires annual pruning to control their size and shape.
Scientific Name: Rhus spp.
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Geographic Origin: North America
  • Plant Size: 9-15 ft tall
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Plant Zone: 3-9

If you love beautiful colors, consider a member of the sumac genus for your garden. There are several types of Sumac that you can grow. When the plant blooms, the yellow flowers trail along in bunches. Female plants produce drupes that can be eaten by humans. In the fall, the foliage of this shrub becomes a bright red. 

Be aware that Sumac can spread quite a bit if you do not keep it under control. It can do well in all soil types. The main thing to look out for is a lack of draining in the soil. 

Yew

Taxus spp.
Yew is a genus of evergreen conifers from the Taxaceae family.
Scientific Name: Taxus spp.
  • Plant Type: Evergreen conifer
  • Geographic Origin: Africa, Asia, Europe
  • Plant Size: 4-60 ft tall, 4-20 ft wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to full shade
  • Plant Zone: 2-10

This conifer genus contains many different species that can be grown as trees or shrubs. Though there is some variety in terms of exact size and shape, there are some general common traits. They are easily recognizable from their thick green needles, cones, and red berries. All parts of these plants are toxic to humans and pets. 

Yews commonly grow as hedges or as topiaries. However, you can also grow them on their own. Well-draining soil is an absolute must for the Yew. This requirement exists because sopping soil exposes how prone these plants are to fungus. Besides this requirement, these plants are easy to care for. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that these options help you find the ideal shrub for your shade garden. Take note of which plants will grow properly in your hardiness zone. The great thing about many of these shrubs is that they will do well with pruning and other control methods. Whether you want flowers or only foliage, color all year round, or only a brief appearance of foliage, there is a shrub that will fit exactly what you are looking for!

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