Shade-loving plants and shrubs are just as colorful and vibrant as those that require a daily dose of full sun. Evergreen shrubs, a variety of shrub, have the ability to keep their color and foliage all year long, an added bonus to a shade garden. Tucked among a shade garden, plants and shrubs bring vibrancy and adaptability to the landscape.
Chapman's rhododendron (Rhododendron minus var. Chapmanii) is a shade-loving evergreen bush that grows 4 to 8 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet wide. Heat-tolerant, Chapman's' rhododendron has a loose, open and spreading form. The puffball-like blooms on Chapman's rhododendron are pale pink and grow 4 inches wide. Emerging in late spring, the blooms on Chapman's rhodendron light up a shaded garden landscape with color and vibrancy. Chapman's rhododendrons have lustrous green leaves that grow 1 to 2 inches long to contrast with the pale flowerheads. Preferring high, bright shade to flourish and thrive, Chapman's rhododendron remains with color all year long, including winter. Chapman's rhododendron prefers well-drained, moist soil to thrive. The USDA Hardiness Zone for planting is 7 to 9.
Fringed Bleeding Heart
Fringed bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia) is a perennial flower that grows in a low-growing, clump-like form and requires full to partial shade to grow. Growing 12 to 18 inches tall, fringed bleeding heart has heart-shaped flowers that grow in clusters along the blue to green parsley-like foliage. The floweheads sit atop the foliage and look as if they are bowing down. A hummingbird attractant, fringed bleeding heart's deep, pink flowers emerge in early summer to last through the season. Planted along a front flowerbed with other fringed bleeding hearts, the foliage and blooms create a dramatic presence. Fringed bleeding heart requires well-drained, moist and nutrient-rich soil. Divide the fringed bleeding heart in early spring to plant in other areas of the garden. The zone for planting is 3 to 9.
Japanese laurel (Aucuba japonica) is a rapidly growing evergreen shrub that grows well in full shade. Growing 6 to 10 feet tall and wide, Japanese laurel shrubs have a rounded, open form, ideal for a classic hedgerow along a garden patio. The leaves on Japanese laurel have an interesting color combination and look as if they have been dappled with yellow paint. Adaptable, Japanese laurel grows well in a wide range of soils and growing environments, including dry and high polluted soils. In spring, Japanese laurel shrubs light up with red to purple flowers for a splash of vibrant color. Fall brings to the Japanese laurel shrub bright red berries that last into the winter. The zone for planting is 6 to 10.