Shrubs For Shade
A Selection Of Shrubs For Shade
A list of shrubs for shade need not be restricted to boring looking plants whose only purpose is to fill space where nothing else will grow. All too often, the plants we look at as possible landscaping candidates, either demand full sun or filtered sun, or "tolerate" some shade. Another mistaken notion is that shade loving plants, unless they are tropical or exotic plants, do not generally have attractive blooms, or if they do have blooms, the blooms are without fragrance. The truth is, a list of shrubs for shade can include some of the most popular shrubs to be found. Rather than simply providing a long list, this article offers a few samples of shade loving shrubs. These samples are provided first to show that there are indeed possibilities, and second to get the reader interested into looking for additional possibilities.
The Hydrangea - One shrub often seen located in a sunny location, and seeming to like it there is the hydrangea. There are several major types of hydrangea, and some of them do like full sun, but most varieties don't like too much of it, and actually do better in partial shade. Some hydrangeas are actually at their best in full shade. It's important at this point to make a distinction between full shade and deep shade. Not too many plants will do well in the dark, but if one looks long and hard enough, there are shrubs which will grow in deep shade. The shrubs mentioned here will thrive in full shade, but will not necessarily do well in deep shade.
Hydrangeas however will do just fine even if they never get any direct sun, though a little in the morning never hurts. A hydrangea bush can be placed on the north side of the house, or under a large shade tree and will almost always perform as well or better than if it were in full sun.
Gardenia And Honeysuckle - Two other shrubs which provide both color and fragrance are the gardenia and the fragrant honeysuckle. Though the honeysuckle might be considered more of a vine than a shrub, it can sometimes be pruned to a shrub-like shape. The honeysuckle comes to mind since in shady areas in the forest, wild honeysuckle plants can often be found. We don't find gardenias in the forest of course, they are strictly for the garden, but gardenias are really at there best in shade, providing both attractive foliage and beautiful blossoms, blossoms which are definitely fragrant.
Viburnum And Witch Hazel - Two other shrubs noted for their fragrance are the viburnum and the Witch hazel. Though both are described as shade-loving shrubs, it might be a bit more accurate to describe the viburnum as shade tolerant, as it is usually at its best in light shade or filtered shade. The Witch hazel definitely fits into the shrubs for shade category though. Because of the size it can attain, the Witch hazel may not be an ideal choice for a shady nook, but with its attractive yellow blossoms it is certainly a good candidate for larger shady areas.
Azaleas, Rhododendrons, And Camellias - Azaleas and rhododendrons are almost a perfect choice for the shade, as not only are they at their best in full shade, but because of the variety of colors and sizes available, it's not difficult to find just the right landscaping combination of these shrubs for a shady spot. Azaleas and rhododendrons are also easy to maintain, and long-lived plants which faithfully bloom year after year, and should be on any list of shrubs for shade. Being evergreen, these shrubs provide year around interest, but of course are at their very best when in full bloom in the late spring. Another evergreen shrub quite suitable for a shady location is the Camellia, whose blossoms are most often red, or white or shades of red and pink. Through breeding, the number of varieties of the Camellia is very large, and finding just the right plant for a specific location should not be difficult.
Yew And Boxwood - There is one shrub which, while shade-loving and quite attractive, should be given careful consideration, and that is the yew. The yew is a shrub that does not belong in every garden, as every part of it is poisonous. A yew shrub or tree is not a good plant to have when there are small children around, and if livestock graze on a yew, and they will, it can be deadly. Yews can either not be pruned or pruned to form a hedge. If toxicity is a concern though, and a low growing hedge is the goal, consider the boxwood. The boxwood is an attractive shrub which can be pruned to almost any desired shape (useful in topiary). If a shaded area is to have a bit of an artistic flair, a properly trimmed boxwood might be the answer.