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Lawn & Garden

Plants That Grow Well in Shade

A shady yard can give us few options when it comes to dressing up our landscape. It is impossible to grow a lush lawn with so many trees around and so it is good to know our options when it comes to the beautification of our beloved landscape. Here are some of the best shrub options for that shady place in the yard.

Rainbow Leucothoe

Leucothoe makes a great focal point and ground cover and can be trimmed to 18 inches. Also grows in mountains under dense canopies by streams and wet lowlands. Keep this plant moist to wet.

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel grows native by streams and under light to heavy shade of other larger trees. Grows best in humusy soils and does not do well in heavy clay.

Weeping Florida Leucothoe

Florida Leucothoe is a beautiful shade loving plant that also tolerates damp areas. The leaves are toxic if eaten. Multi-stemed, arching branches presents well in a natural area.

Otto Luyken English Laurel

This plant makes for a good foundation plant, hedge or mass planting. This plants stand out features are it dark green leaves and its beautiful plumes of white flowers. This plant is not void of its share of problems though. Shot Hole is a disease that can impede the look of the plant by putting holes in the leaves, as though it was shot with bird shot from a shotgun. Pruning off the effected branches is the cure for this problem, as fungicides do not do much.


This amazing plant grows native here in the mountains of Georgia. It has a great tolerance to shade and grows on mountain sides and by streams beside the mountain laurels. These beautiful evergreens are related to the Azalea and can grow to be shorter than 1 foot tall and as tall as 20 feet. Rhododendron has similar flowers as the Azalea, only they grow in clusters and are more bell-shaped.

Japanese plum yew

This plant is not only adaptable with its soils, but it can tolerate full sun and full shade. Although this plant is a slow grower, it makes a great hedge or a good privacy screen. Its unique texture makes it a must in any landscape. This plants ability to survive makes it a rock star in the yard. In warmer southern climates, plant in shadier areas. In climates with cooler summers, plant in the sun.

Cleyera Japonica

This plant thrives in sun or shade. Due to its abilities to thrive anywhere, Cleyera makes a great privacy screen. Cleyera is also a quick grower. It was used to take the place of the Red Tip Photinia after incurable disease hit them.

Fatshedera 'Angyo Star'

‘Angyo Star’ Fatshedera

This gorgeous shade loving plant has interesting parents. It is a cross between Fatsia Japonica, which is a shrub and Hedera Helix (English Ivy) which is a vine. This plant can be described as a vine or a shrub because it does not get too out of control like one of its parents. This plants love for shade makes it a great plant for containers on shady patios and even makes for a great houseplant. Black berries follow creamy white winter flowers and its variegated leaves are evergreen.

Azalea Indica


Indica azaleas are taller growing azaleas that put on an amazing blooming show for about a month, every spring. This plant sets the following years flowers in June so you will need to prune then immediately after they bloom but not after June. Other preferred varieties of Indica Azaleas are Judge Solomon, which is pink, Mrs. G. G. Gerbing, white and George L. Tabor which is light pink.


Camellia Japonica


Camellia japonica blooms in late winter and early spring, unlike the sasanqua Camellia, which blooms in fall. This plant is acid loving and should be treated like an Azalea, including using the same Azalea, Camellia, and Rhododendron Fertilizer. Camellia japonica puts on quite a show, getting covered in blooms 3 inches round and bigger.


Osmanthus fragrans


Osmanthus is known particularly for its powerful fragrance despite its unimpressive flowers. This tall growing plant does better in warmer climates and has decent drought tolerance once it is established. It also makes a great hedge or screen.


Leatherleaf Mahonia


Leatherleaf Mahonia does well on shady northern exposures and under shady canopies of hardwood trees. Once established, they need very little water and are low maintenance. Great plant for rock gardens and Japanese gardens. It being a tall evergreen makes it a good barrier or privacy screen.


Oakleaf Hydrangea


Oakleaf hydrangea tolerates dryer soil far better than other hydrangeas. It tolerates a good deal of shade as well. You can get this plant as a single or double bloomer and in dwarf varieties as well. Like most other hydrangeas, Oakleaf blooms off of old growth, therefore pruning must be done immediately after blooming.


Hydrangea macrophylla


Hydrangea macrophylla is best known for blooming off of old growth. Pruning is to be done immediately after blooming. Look for Endless Summer Hydrangea, as it is unique for its much longer bloom time, due to its ability to bloom off of new growth. Soil pH dictates bloom color. Soil pH of 5 to 5.5 will have it bloom blue and 6 to 6.5 will have it bloom pink.


Skimmia japonica


Skimmia prefers humusy soil over clay. Skimmia is also dioecious, coming in male and female, therefore you will need 1 male for every 6 females for good fruit production. Skimmia produces clusters of beautiful red berries in fall. Partial sunlight is preferred and will get leaf scorch in full sun.




This bush has very fragrant flowers and leaves and will do well in moist areas. Fall foliage will turn goldish yellow. Other names include Carolina allspice and strawberry bush.


Florida Anise


Beautiful plant for that shaded wet area where nothing else will grow. Unusual dark red flowers in spring smell unusually bad. This plant is protected in Florida as a threatened species. Foliage has aromatic smell when crushed.


Virginia Sweetspire


Beautiful white cylindrical blooms put on quite a show in spring. Itea has great fall color as well. Itea grows well in wet clay and heavy shade that would kill most any other plant. Henry’s Garnet is the preferred cultivar.


Cast Iron plant

Image result for aspidistra elatior home depot

Plants do not come tougher than this one. This plant can live inside or outside. It can live in places where everything else has failed. It needs little water and little sunlight. It is said that this plant can grow in the dark.

Japanese Aucuba

null 3 gal. Gold Dust Variegated Aucuba

This plant is dioecious, coming in male and female, needing both to produce berries. It will survive in the shadiest areas in the landscape.

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Posted 2017-12-06T13:45:08+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL