Flowering shrubs can introduce a burst of color in the yard. The more variety there is, the better it is for your garden's ecosystem and visual appeal. So, what shrubs are ideal for planting in a shaded garden? We have gathered ideas for you.
Flowering shrubs usually prefer sunlight, but there are some varieties that can still thrive with less sun. Ideally, you should get shrubs that can survive unpredictable weather patterns. Here are shrubs that can thrive in full and partial shade:
- Japanese Rose
- Oakleaf Hydrangea
- Pink Mountain Laurel
- Carol Mackie Daphne Shrubs
- Andromeda Shrub
- African Surf Pea
- Camellia Shrub
- Bottlebrush Buckeye
- Canadian Bunchberry
- Chinese Fringe-Flower
- Dwarf Fothergilla
Making shrubs thrive can be challenging, especially if your garden is located in a shaded area. However, with the right care, your shrubs have better chances. If you want to learn more about these shrubs, keep reading below.
13 Colorful Shrubs That Grow In Shade
If you have enough space for shrubs in your garden space, planting shrubs has a lot of benefits. They provide shade around your house which can improve your indoor climate, and attract songbirds during the start of winter.
They also improve your garden's ecosystem by filtering out dust and pollutants from the air, making the air more fresh and clean. This makes the garden more relaxing and refreshing to stay in.
If you live in a shaded area, here are plants that you might want to consider planting in your garden.
1. Japanese Rose
Japanese roses often come in yellow color, adding a burst of energy into your garden even on gloomy days. These roses are native to Japan, and they grow only up to 24 inches tall.
They are more than tolerant of partial shade; in fact, they will usually thrive with little sun exposure. They have a yellow-green bark, and the flowers usually bloom in the spring.
If the shrubs have become too lanky and overgrown, you can cut them all the way back down during the autumn season.
Make sure to plant Japanese roses on well-drained soil. They also need to be watered every day, but don't drown them too much since too much moisture can rot the roots.
2. Oakleaf Hydrangea
Oakleaf hydrangea is a hardy species of bush flower, thriving in USDA zones 5-9 and blooming in white or pink. These flowers can have either a single blossom or double blossom depending on how they were grown.
The colors of their leaves change according to the season, making them more visually entertaining.
Their shrubs are multi-stemmed, and they grow from 24-90 inches tall. Their leaves can turn from red to orange, to yellow, until it turns burgundy in the fall.
Make sure you place them in slightly acidic soil that drains well. You can layer the roots with mulch to keep them moist and thriving.
3. Pink Mountain Laurel
Pink mountain laurels thrive in both sunny and partially shaded gardens. They are known for their broad leaves and shiny green foliage which can make your garden look more attractive. These shrubs can grow up to 60 inches tall, and the blooms can come in either pink or white.
These shrubs are hardy in USDA zone 4-9, making them ideal for areas experiencing cold weather. They can tolerate the shade, but they can't survive in full sunlight.
To make them thrive, make sure they are planted in acidic soil by fattening them up with compost and mulches.
The soil must also be moist but well-drained, and the shrubs have enough space between them to accommodate root growth.
4. Carol Mackie Daphne Shrubs
Carol Mackie Daphnes thrive under full sunlight, but their variegated leaves which these shrubs are famous for can thrive under partial shade. When their flowers bloom, they emit a strong and aromatic scent.
These shrubs can grow under USDA Zone 4-8, which means they are hardy even under unpredictable weather conditions.
Unlike other shrubs, these shrubs can't thrive in acidic soil. Adding fine-ground agricultural limestone can neutralize the soil.
If you see berries growing on this shrub, do not ingest them and warn other people with you not to consume them or rub them on their skin as well since they are toxic and poisonous.
5. Andromeda Shrub
This shrub can make your garden more visually appealing, especially if you observe the colors transition as the season changes.
These shrubs are best planted during spring or fall, and their flowers can bloom under sunny conditions.
However, the shrub can still grow under the shade as long as they are planted in acidic soil filled with compost. They can grow for up to 10 feet tall, so you may want to prune them occasionally to maintain aesthetics.
Leave an 84-inch allowance between the shrubs to provide air and nutrients to all parts of the shrub.
6. African Surf Pea
African Surf Peas are multi-stemmed shrubs that thrive under full sunlight to partial shade. They can grow in USDA zones 9-11, and they need to be planted in well-drained soil. Their blooms can emit a fruity scent, making them a natural perfume in your garden.
7. Camellia Shrub
Camellias are native to Southeast Asia, and the shrub can survive under partial shade. However, the camellia blooms can only appear once it is exposed to the full morning sun. It is still technically possible for the camellia flower to appear under low sunlight, but it can be challenging.
Camellias are high-maintenance shrubs, and they require soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5. That range is specific since acidic soil can ruin the leaves, and alkaline soil will interrupt their growth.
Read: "11 Autumn Flowering Trees And Shrubs."
Serviceberry shrubs are native to Minnesota. Their blooms usually come in white, and they can thrive under full sun to partial shade. Of course, the less exposure to the sun, the less the flowers are likely to bloom.
Serviceberry shrubs also provide an edible purple fruit, as well as year-round visual appeal through their color transition.
The flowers are usually white in spring, but they can turn red and yellow during the fall.
Read: "11 Colorado Flowering Shrubs And Trees."
9. Bottlebrush Buckeye
This shrub is famous for its fluffy white blooms whose smell resembles licorice. The leaves' color can transition during the fall, giving visual appeal to your garden.
They can thrive from full sun to full shade in USDA zones 5-8, making them ideal for more shaded and cold areas that experience less sunlight.
Elderberry shrubs are quite large; they can grow up to 10 feet tall. They have white flowers, but some varieties of elderberry have purple-black leaves which can improve your garden's aesthetics. The flowers become edible berries that you can use to make homemade jams.
Elderberries thrive under partial shade, and they should be planted in clay soil. This is because the shrubs' roots can tether better to clay soil.
These shrubs are hardy in USDA zones 4-8, making them ideal for mild climates.
11. Canadian Bunchberry
Candian Bunchberries have white, four-petal blooms and large green leaves. They thrive in cold, shaded areas and rarely under full sunlight, so this is ideal if you are consistently exposed to gloomy weather.
These shrubs love acidic soil, and you can increase their acidity by mulching the soil with peat moss.
12. Chinese Fringe-Flower
These evergreen shrubs can grow up to 10 feet tall, so you need to make sure you have enough garden space for them. The flowers can be white, yellow, or red, and they can bloom and thrive under partial shade.
Make sure you keep the soil well-drained and healthy with mulch so the bush can survive under unpredictable weather patterns.
13. Dwarf Fothergilla
These shrubs bloom with white, bushy flowers and they thrive under partial shade in USDA zones 5-8. They provide year-round visual appeal as it transitions to a different color every season.
Finding the right shrub for your garden depends not only on its aesthetics but on the climate in your area as well. You should also determine if you have enough time and resources to maintain high-maintenance shrubs so they can survive for a long time.