There are dozens of bushes that can thrive in shady locations, from areas in a yard that are overshadowed by trees to an apartment with a shady patio. Shade-loving shrubs and bushes thrive in such areas, and look pretty to. They may range from evergreen to deciduous, and many even flower.
Rhododendron and evergreen azaleas bushes are two of the most popular shrubs for light to medium shade locations. Both offer varieties in a wide range of colorful blooms and be grown in USDA zones 7 to 10. Holly, barberry, boxwood and yew shrubs are excellent shade evergreen selections that not only provide year-round greenery, but produce bright red berries that draw birds to your yard. Mugo pine, several cypresses and firs are other good shade-loving evergreen shrubs.
Many of the shade-loving deciduous shrubs will also produce beautiful and fragrant flowers. Popular deciduous shrubs for shaded areas in your yard are blueberry, chokecherry, cotoneaster varieties, honeysuckle, forsythia, hydrangea varieties, privet, spicebush and snowberry.
Many shrubs will grow quite large, eight or more feet tall, and just as wide. In most landscapes the areas that are in shade, but in need of a shrub or two, are not expansive spaces and smaller shrubs are more desirable and needed. This is when a dwarf variety of a shade-loving shrub should be considered. A dwarf shrub usually only grows to a height of around four feet, and can be easily pruned to keep it small. Spirea varieties, verburnum varieties and the unusual and attractive species, weigela shrubs are the most popular dwarf shrubs for homeowners.