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Lawn & Garden

11 Shade Loving Shrubs

The possibilities are endless for that part of the yard that gets drenched with sunlight all day long, but it does take a little more creativity when heavily shaded areas are involved. Most plants require full sun to partial shade. There are some plants that can tolerate heavier doses of shade. Here are a few of my favorite shade loving plants.

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.

Other shade loving plants include:

Gold Dust Aucuba

Rainbow Leucothoe

Mountain Laurel

Florida Leucothoe

Otto Luyken Laurel


Japanese Plum Yew

Cleyera Japonica

Fatshedera lizei 'Angyo' Star

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Posted 2015-07-02T18:11:34+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL