Shrubs That Grow in Shaded Areas

No garden has to have a bare patch because it gets no sun. Choose shade-loving shrubs to plant under large trees, on the shady side of buildings or in the shadow of tall fences.

Florida Hobblebush

Florida hobblebush (Agarista populifolia) is also known as pipestem, Florida leucothoe and fetter-bush. The shrub is an evergreen that grows from 8 to12 feet tall with a spread of 5 to 10 feet. The plant produces deep green, lance-shaped 2 to 3 inch long leaves and fragrant white flowers that bloom in the spring and grow in clusters where the leaves join the stem. Plant Florida hobblebush in full or partial shade and in dry-to-moist soil. The plant is hardy in zones 7 to 9.


Coralberry (Ardisia crenata) is also known as coral ardisia, spiceberry and Christmas berry. The evergreen shrub grows from 2 to 6 feet tall and produces dark-green leaves and white or pink flowers that grow in clusters and give way to red berries. Plant coralberry in deep shade and an organic, moist soil. The plant is hardy in zones 8 to 10.

American Strawberry-Bush

American strawberry-bush (Euonymus americanus) is also known as hearts-a-burstin' and bursting heart. The plant is a thin shrub that grows from 4 to 6 feet tall with narrow, deciduous leaves that grow from 2 to 3 inches long and turn orange and red in the fall. The tiny green-yellow flowers that bloom in the spring give way to 1 inch long red fruits that look like a strawberry; inside, each fruit contains four or five orange-red seeds. Plant American strawberry-bush in full or partial shade and a soil that is moist to dry. The plant is hardy in zones 5 through 9. White-tailed deer frequently feed on the plant.

Japanese Aralia

Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica) is also known as fatsia. The shrub is an evergreen ivy that grows up to 8 feet tall and about half as wide. The leaves are big and heavy, growing up to 12 inches wide. Mature plants produce white flowers in the fall in small clusters at the tips of the branches. The flowers give way to small black fruits that ripen in late winter. Plant Japanese aralia in full-or-partial shade and in a moist, well-drained soil. The plant is hardy in zones 8 to 10.

Keywords: low-light shrubs, Florida hobblebush, coralberry, American strawberry-bush, Japanese aralia

About this Author

Regina Sass is based in the Adirondack Region of New York State. She has been a writer for 10 years writing for publications in the real estate and retail industries. Online experience includes writing,advertising and editing for an educational web site. Sass is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.