What Evergreens Grow in Shade?

Shady areas can have a burst of year round green foliage with planting evergreens that will live in those shady spots. Shade loving evergreens are great for under trees or those areas by tall buildings and fences. These choices are solid picks for shade locations and will liven up those hidden areas.

Bird's Nest Fern

Bird's nest fern, Asplenium nidus, is part of the bird nest fern family and is an evergreen easy to grow perennial. Bright green fronds are erect and stiff and can get 5 feet long. Plant this one in low light in humid conditions with moist soil. Propagate via spores and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 10 and 11.

Japanese Plum Yew

Japanese plum yew, Cephalotaxus harringtonia, is from the plum yew family and is an evergreen shrub. Leaves are flat and needle-like with fleshy plum-like seeds. It can get 30 feet in height and 20 feet in width. Plant this one in sandy soil that is slightly acidic and well drained. Make sure it is in partial to full shade. Propagate via seeds, tip cuttings and semi-ripe wood cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 6 to 9.

Florida Anise

Florida anise, Illicium floridanum, is from the illicium family and is a fragrant evergreen shrub. It will get 10 feet tall with leathery leaves 2 to 6 inches long. Flowers are 2 inches wide. Both the leaves and the flowers have unique fragrances. Plant this one in partial shade to full shade in moist soil. Propagate via seed or by cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 7 to 10.


Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, is from the ginger family and is an evergreen perennial. It will get 12 feet tall with smooth dark green leaves 2 feet long and 2 foot long panicles of white or yellow flowers. Fruits have aromatic seeds that are reddish brown in a greenish capsule. Plant this one in filtered shade in constant moisture. Propagate via rhizome division and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 10 to 12.

Cut-Leaf Philodendron

Cut-leaf philodendron, Philodendron bipinnatifidum, is from the arum family and is a fast growing evergreen that is a perennial. Leaves are 3 feet long and are on a plant that can get 15 feet tall. Plant this one in well drained fertile moist soil in partial shade. Propagate via cuttings and grow in USDA hardiness zones of 9 to 11.

Keywords: shady areas, evergreens, Shade loving evergreens

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years (in health and gardening topics) and a writer for 20 years. She has one book, "A Georgia Native Plant Guide," offered through Mercer University Press. She is happy to be a LIVESTRONG writer.