shade loving shrubs

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Shade-Loving Shrubs – More Beautiful Garden Shrubs

August 26th, 2010

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You may find that your landscape calls for shade-loving shrubs.  Don’t be concerned.

There are many shrubs that can not only survive, but also thrive in complete and partial shade conditions.

Garden shrubs can fulfill many purposes in a backyard landscape.  They can be used as foundation plantings – next to a building, a fence, or some other structure.

They can be used a specimen plant.  That is, they can create interest in your garden as a stand-alone shrub.

They can also be used as a privacy hedge.  Here the purpose is to block something you don’t want seen.  It can block the view of another house, an air conditioning unit, etc.

Here are some of my favorite shade-loving shrubs:

1.    Rhododendrons and azaleas – These represent probably the most popular shade-loving shrubs.  These plants actually do best in the shade.  In fact, it is not advisable for them to get a lot of sun.  I am sure you know that they provide beautiful blooms in the spring that come in a variety of colors.

These are evergreen plants and have interesting foliage throughout the year.  They can be used as a specimen plant, a hedge, or a foundation plant.

2.    Boxwoods – This plant can be used by itself or with many other plants as a foundation planting. It can define a landscape area or separate one space from another.  It can also be used as a screen. It provides a great background to more colorful plants.

The boxwood grows best in partial shade.  Some varieties will tolerate full sun.

3.    Barberry – This garden shrub grows especially well in partial shade.  It does well in a variety of growing conditions.  It has thorny stems, red berries, and attractive foliage.  Some varieties produce yellow flowers.

4.    Arborvitae – This plant comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.  It is very popular with homeowners who love aromatic garden shrubs. It is used as a foundation plant and a privacy hedge.

Barberry (front); Arborvitae (rear)

Arborvitae are easy to grow, and fast growing. They require little care and maintenance after they are planted. An annual pruning is sometimes necessary in order to keep them in the desirable shape.
5.    Viburnum shrubs – These plants are attractive and produce fragrant blossoms.  They do well in shade or partial shade.
6.    Witch hazel – This is another very fragrant garden shrub that does very well in the shade.  It provides yellow blooms in the spring.
7.    Carolina allspice – This shade-loving shrub produces reddish purple flowers and a spicy fragrance.