3 Shrubs for Shady Areas in Your Yard and Garden

If you’re a gardener with a lot of shade around your home, you may find yourself struggling to find plants that thrive in minimal sunlight, especially when it comes to shrubs.

Take a look at the shaded areas of your yard. Just because they are dark, does not mean they have to be drab. Shade shrubs can flourish in low and indirect light while producing colorful, alluring flowers season after season. Beautiful plants like Hydrangea and Laurel typify this category. Use these many-stemmed plants to bring structure to your garden and add vibrant color to those shady spots. Here are a few of our favorites:

OAKLEAF HYDRANGEA (Hydrangea quercifolia)

A wide-spreading North American native shrub for shade, oakleaf hydrangea deserves a home in every shady landscape. Even in the winter the peeling burgundy bark of the oakleaf hydrangea is deserving of our attention. The merits of this shrub for shade cannot be stressed enough. It’s a favorite for its four-season interest. The tall bloom wands boast exceptionally large, nodding florets.

Lush oak leaves keep the shrub pretty all season long, taking on tinges of Burgundy when fall rolls around. It is adaptable, working well with most soils, as long as it is well-drained and gets some sun. In the south it prefers some shade, and in the north it likes full sun and some shelter from the chilliest winds. It blooms on old growth, so it is recommended that they be trimmed after they are finished flowering in the late summer. Fertilize in early spring with a Tree and Shrub slow-release fertilizer. This vigorous beauty will reward you with a summer’s worth of huge, plush blooms! Zones 5 to 9.

CAMELLIA (family Theaceae)

Dark, glossy evergreen foliage, an adaptable habit, and rare winter-to-spring blooms in soft tones of pink and white . . . What’s not to love about Camellia? A favorite in Southern gardens, Camellia is nearly as popular and every bit as deserving of a prominent place in the garden as Magnolia. Most Camellia are hardy up to Zone 7 (0 Degrees Fahrenheit). Highly adaptable, Camellia can be trained into a bushy shrub, a small tree, or even grown on a structure!


Rhododendrons and Azaleas are some of the easiest, most rewarding flowering shrubs you’ll find for the partly shaded garden. The huge clusters of bright, colorful flowers bloom heavily for weeks with virtually no effort from you. Rhododendrons are great for use along foundations, in woodlands, and along garden or lawn borders. And they are available in all colors. Trust our top-quality Rhododendron bushes for years of trouble-free, dependable beauty.

These shrubs will brighten any shady corner you’re concerned about in your landscape.