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10 BEST SHRUBS FOR SHADE AREAS

If you are a gardener or homeowner with a lot of shade in your house, you can struggle to find plants that grow and bloom with little sunshine, mainly shrubs. Although there are many colorful flowering perennials and annuals for shade, there are far fewer shady shrubs with vibrant blooms. However, in this article, we have gathered for you some of the best shrubs for shade areas.

Many beautiful, shade-loving shrubs thrive in anything from dappled to heavy shade. Shrubs have many uses in the landscape, such as foundation plantings, privacy hedges, and specimen plants. Also, shrubs can make fantastic focal points in the garden, especially shade in shade gardens. So, this guide will help you in selecting the best shrubs for your shaded garden.

And now, our list of best shrubs for shade areas

1.  RHODODENDRON

best shrubs for shade | rhododendrons

rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are the ideal shade-loving flowering shrub for the mid-story if the soil is acidic and moisture is enough. They excel in the dappled shade provided by the canopy of trees. Rhododendrons take little to no pruning and need to protect from the elements. Mulch is vital for preserving shallow roots and replenishing soil nutrients.

Growing zone: 4 to 9

Growing conditions

The proper planting spot for the rhododendron bush is key to good rhododendron growing. The wellbeing of this acid-loving plant also needs adequate soil preparation. Moreover, Rhododendrons grow in enclosed locations, such as under the eaves of a house.

Pruning

Rhododendrons don’t need a lot of upkeep. However, you should remove any dead or fallen wood wherever possible. This helps keep the plant healthy. It also prevents most bug infestations and diseases caused by dead and rotting plant material.

Fertilizing

 Very little fertilizer need with proper soil preparation and mulching – particularly for older, existing shrubs.

 

 

2.  TREE PEONY

best shrubs for shade | tree peony

Tree Peony

Tree peonies are deciduous shrubs with large, beautiful peony flowers that bloom in the middle to late spring. Moreover, tree peonies have attractive leaves as well. Also, if you like a woody plant with an aboveground structure all year, tree peonies may be the right option for you.

Growing zone: 4 to 8

Best Growing conditions

These plants can adapt to a wide variety of growing conditions. They appear to be fine as long as they have some dappled sunlight. Plant these shrubs where they will be covered from the wind if you wish them to last longer.

Pruning

 Pruning tree peonies is rarely required. Herbaceous peonies, on the other hand, are cut or die down to the earth every year. You should, though, prune the shrub to clear any dead branches.

Fertilizing

 In the spring, add a compost coat or manure to the soil. Moreover, give the peony shrub a boost of nutrients to get the season started.

 

3.  MOUNTAIN LAUREL

best shrubs for shade | mountain laurel

Mountain Laurel

Mountain laurel is a multi-stemmed, perennial broadleaf evergreen shrub with a spiky growth habit. This shrub thrives in the shade and grows clusters of rose, pink, or white flowers with purple marks.

Growing zone: 4 to 9

Best Growing conditions

Most varieties of this shrub grow in the shade, but dappled is preferred if you want many flowers. Mountain Laurels also thrive as the crown is raised above the ground and mulched.

Pruning

 Mountain Laurels do not need much pruning. After the previous year’s blooms have ended, the buds for next year’s flowers begin to form. If you do prune the plant to develop it, do so shortly after the blossoms have faded.

Fertilizing

In the spring season, apply an acid-loving plant fertilizer to keep your Laurel Mountain healthy.

4.  SHADE HYDRANGEAS

best shrubs for shade | shade Hydrangeas

Shade Hydrangeas

Another one on the list of best shrubs for shade is hydrangeas. It has large green leaves and a profusion of spectacular blooms. Hydrangeas, as the name (hydra) suggests, require regular watering. However, they are deciduous bushes that bloom between July and September.

Growing zone: 3 to 9

Best Growing conditions

The bulk of hydrangeas grow in fertile, well-draining soils with plenty of moisture. Compost is a great way to improve the quality of your soil. Therefore, Hydrangeas, on the whole, tend to be in the shade.

Pruning

 The pruning treatment requirements vary according to the form.

Fertilizing

 Hydrangeas may not need fertilization if the soil is fertile. However, a surplus of fertilizer promotes leafy growth and flowering.

 

5.  CAMELLIA

best shrubs for shade | camellia

Camellia

Camellias are another evergreen shrub that thrives in the shade. The main distinction with this bush is the time of year that it blooms. It may bloom between October and April, depending on the variety. And those blooms are gorgeous!

Growing zone: 6 to 8

Growing conditions

Camellias flourish in mildly acidic soil (similar to Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurel). Camellias, in general, prefer partial shade, particularly in the afternoon.

Pruning

 They develop in a very orderly manner. Therefore, they rarely need pruning. However, be sure to remove the odd dead branch while pruning.

Fertilizing

 To ensure that they are satisfied with their growing conditions, add a small amount of Rhododendron and Azalea fertilizer in the spring, encouraging healthy leaves.

6.  DAPHNE

best shrubs for shade | daphne

Daphne

Another one on the list of best shrubs for shade is Daphne. The majority of cultivars have evergreen leaves and produce fragrant pink or white blooms in late winter or early spring. Daphne can be challenging to get started, but it is a shallow maintenance plant once grown.

Growing zone: 7 to 9

Growing conditions

It is crucial to plant Daphne in the correct position for it to grow. Most prefer part shade, but some can tolerate more sun or more shade depending on the variety.

Pruning

 Daphne seldom wants to be pruned, and doing so tends to set them back. If you’re going to have flowers in the spring, prune them right after they stop blooming.

Fertilizing

Daphne seems to be especially good at obtaining nutrients from the soil due to its extensive root system. As a result, most can do fine without daily fertilization as long as they have enough water.

 

7.  SPOTTED LAUREL

best shrubs for shade | spotted laurel

Spotted laurel (Aucuba japonica)

Spotted Laurel is a thick-leaved evergreen shrub with broad leaves. Moreover, it makes an excellent hedge or back-of-the-border shrub in deep shade. It blooms in the spring with clusters of maroon flowers that grow into bright red berries.

Growing zone: 7 to 9

Growing conditions

Spotted laurel is a type of shrub that does not take much sunshine to survive, making it suitable for growing in the garden’s shady areas. However, if you’re planting in the spring, make sure to water often at first to allow for steady settling.

Pruning

 Pruning isn’t vital on its own, but you might also complement or minimize branches in the spring.

Fertilizing

 Spotted laurels can benefit from fertilizer to preserve their health and beauty. Feed this plant in the late winter or early spring, just as new growth emerges.

 

8.  YEWS

best shrubs for shade | Yew

Taxus Yew

Yew is an excellent option for borders, pathways, specimen gardening, and bulk plantings. Furthermore, Taxus yew shrubs are drought resistant and tolerant of frequent shearing and pruning. In fact, shearing the yew shrub is a relatively simple task. They can even be clipped into fascinating designs.

Growing zone: 7 to 9

Growing conditions

 In general, these plants are low-maintenance and can withstand a wide variety of growing conditions. They are adaptable for landscaping and look great in a garden boundary or mass planting.

Pruning

 Overgrown yew can be revived and molded to your liking with intense pruning. Pruning isn’t needed every year, but it may help lush foster growth.

Fertilizing

 Fertilize the yew in the early spring for the first year after planting. Apply a granular, high-nitrogen fertilizer to the soil a foot from the trunk and stretching down to the drip line.

 

9.  SKY PENCIL HOLLY

best bushes for shade | sky pencil holly

Sky Pencil Holly

Another one for the best shrub for shade areas is sky pencil holly. Sky Pencil holly is a tall, columnar variety of Japanese holly with smooth-edged leaves that grow in tight spaces. It attracts a variety of birds with its blackberries.

Growing zone: 6 to 8

Growing conditions

 They can flourish in either full sun or partial shade. However, it would need to protect from heavy winds.  Moreover, it thrives in every well-drained climate.

Pruning

This holly, unlike some others, does not take much pruning, but if you do decide to prune it, do so in the winter while the shrub is dormant.

Fertilizing

 In the spring, fertilize Sky Pencil hollies with a broadleaf evergreen fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer to the root zone and let it soak in.

10.   Andromeda

best shrubs for shade | Andromeda

Andromeda

This shade-tolerant bush has the best of all worlds in that it is both a flowering shrub and a deciduous. Andromeda shrubs may also provide scented flowers.

Growing zone: 5 to 7

Ideal Growing conditions

 Soil moisture is one of the most critical elements of caring for Andromeda shrubs. They prefer excellent, damp soil and are not drought tolerant.

Pruning

Aesthetic pruning can perform, but otherwise, it is a low-maintenance shrub. Pruning can be undertaken in late spring if possible.

Fertilizing

An acid fertilizer, such as that used by azaleas, is the safest way to feed them.

 

In Summary, the best shrubs for shade areas

You need not fear gardening in those shady spots. Just make sure that the shrubs you select are appropriate for the circumstances. Flowering shrubs that don’t get enough light will not bear blossoms. At the very least, they will bloom poorly. However, the shrubs mentioned above will help you select the suitable shrub choice for you.

 

Read More

Low Maintenance Backyard Plants

Small Backyard Design Ideas

Planning Your Outdoor Space

 

 

 

best shrubs for shade | rhododendrons

Rhododendrons