18 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

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Lack of sun getting your yard down? It can be so hard to fill those cozy, shady strips near walls or the bare expanses beneath your fullest trees. The shrubs on this list are here to save the day! All of these species thrive in indirect sunlight and are ready to fill in all your blank spaces.

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Japanese pieris
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Japanese pieris (Pieris japonica) is an evergreen shrub that produces chains of small flowers. But be careful, it can cause seizures and temporary blindness if consumed by animals or people. Even so, is sometimes grown in the foundation portion of gardens along with other shrubs.

Winter daphne
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Winter daphne, or Daphne odora, is an evergreen shrub grown for its strongly fragrant flowers. This shrub is toxic to humans and animals. Winter daphne grows 3 to 4 feet tall and is highly susceptible to root rot from soggy soil.

Japanese laurel
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

The Japanese laurel is a hardy green shrub native to Asia. It is a popular garden plant that grows best in moist soil, in places near water or rocks. The yellow flecks on its leaves have sparked the nickname, “gold dust plant.” Japanese laurel is mildly toxic – birds even avoid eating its fruit.

19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

The leaves of the Tea (Camellia sinensis) are used to make black, green and oolong tea. A small, evergreen shrub whose small, fragrant, white flowers bloom in fall. Prefers full sun, in well-drained, slightly acidic, sandy soil. Tea leaves can be harvested after the third year.

Arrowwood viburnum
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) is a small perennial woody shrub native to the eastern United States and Canada. This shrub is not typically used for ornamental purposes aside from shrub hedges. It has the potential to attract songbirds and whiteflies.

Japanese holly
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) is an evergreen shrub native to China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Japanese holly is a flowering plant, and its flowers transition into berries during the summer season. This plant is popularly planted as an ornamental shrub and can be grown as a Bonsai tree.

Fringe flower
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

This evergreen shrub is used in outdoor landscaping. It flowers in early spring. Some varieties of Fringe flower grow green leaves and white flowers. A more popular maroon-leafed variety hit the US market in the 1980s, which flowers in eye-catching pinks or reds.

Red buckeye
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a flowering plant native to the midwestern and southern United States. Red buckeye is also called the firecracker plant. This plant attracts bees, and its seeds are poisonous. The Red buckeye can be used to make soap.

Japanese rose
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Japanese rose (Kerria japonica) is a plant species native to China, Japan and Korea. The Japanese rose is known as yamabuki in Japan. Both the Golden Guinea and Bachelors Buttons cultivars have received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Bunchberry dogwood
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Bunchberry dogwood (Cornus canadensis) is a herbaceous, flowering perennial plant that grows along the ground and spreads by underground rhizomes. Bunchberry dogwood flowers bloom in the spring, followed by clusters of red berries that ripen in summer. This plant attracts birds, deer and other wildlife. It is commonly planted in gardens.

Catawba rosebay
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

The Catawba rosebay is usually cultivated in North America and Europe as an ornamental plant. The Rhododendron catawbiense generally grows up to 3m tall, but can occasionally reach heights of 5m. In the United States, the Catawba rosebay is often found in the Appalachian Mountains.

Witch hazel
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Witch hazel was used quite commonly in the 20th century for locating water sources. The practice, called dowsing or water witching, is still occasionally used. In dowsing, a forked stick of Witch hazel is held perpendicular to the ground and moved slowly over it. The belief is that when a water source is directly under the stick, it will dip or jump.

Japanese skimmia
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Japanese skimmia (Skimmia japonica) is a rounded evergreen shrub that is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks. Japanese skimmia is often planted in Chinese gardens and grown as a bonsai tree. This species has a variety of small cultivars for ornamental purposes.

Canada yew
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Canada yew (Taxus canadensis) is a conifer tree native to northeastern North America. Canada yew produces poisonous toxins called taxanes. All parts of this plant are toxic.

Mountain laurel
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

The Mountain laurel is most known for its reproductive methods, in which it creates tension on its stamens and flings its pollen onto insects. It is possible for the Mountain laurel to release pollen in a range of up to 15cm.

Western sweetshrub
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Western sweetshrub is a large, easy-to-grow deciduous shrub that produces showy flowers with a spicy, fruity fragrance. Despite a proliferation of common names referring to its sweet and spicy scent, this plant is toxic to humans and livestock and should not be eaten.

Eastern hemlock
19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) really takes its time to mature. In fact, it may take up to 300 years to reach what’s considered adulthood among evergreen trees. It can even live for another 100 years if conditions are right. Other names for this majestic species include hemlock spruce and Canada hemlock.

19 Shrubs That Grow in Shade

Toyon produces a berry that has multiple culinary uses. The berries can be cooked and eaten by themselves, or made in multiple preparations. Some of the most common of these are jellies, custards, and teas. The berries can also be dried and stored for later consumption. These berries have been a food staple for Native American tribes for generations.