If you live in a shady area, plants for partial shade may be the best choice for your landscape. Evergreens for partial shade grow best in locations where they receive six hours or less of sun each day. Plus, they stay green year-round, even in winter when most plants become dormant for the season.
These conifer trees are found in most areas of the United States. According to the Ohio Division of Forestry, Norway spruce trees are perhaps the most common of all spruce trees, rivaled by only one other variety, the Colorado spruce. They are typically used as ornamental trees and planted as specimen or screen trees. They can reach 80 feet in height with a spread of 40 feet and are adaptive and tolerant to less than desirable conditions, including scarce moisture and unhealthy soil. Once established, Norway spruce trees are extremely tolerant to drought and even city pollution. These trees prefer partial sun to partial shade. Avoid wet soils, which can swiftly kill them. Norway spruce trees are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 7.
This evergreen shrub produces ornamental fruit and grows best when planted in well-drained soil. According to the University of Illinois extension, soil with poor drainage is especially harmful to Japanese yews, particularly young plants that have not become established. These trees are tolerant to many light conditions and grow well in partial shade. Depending on the cultivar, Japanese yew shrubs reach 4 to 40 feet in height and up to 30 feet in width. They are commonly used in landscapes as hedge, screen, border or foundation plants. Take care when planting these shrubs, as the fruit and seeds within are toxic. Japanese yew shrubs are hardy in zones 4 to 7.
These small, evergreen shrubs grow in a broad, rounded form and can reach 3 to 6 feet in height and width. They produce small, white, bell-shaped flowers which appear in spring and are scented. Mountain pieris shrubs grow well in partial shade and prefer moist, well-drained and slightly acidic soil. They are commonly used as massing, border or specimen plants. Choose a location for these shrubs where they will receive protection from winter sun and wind, which can cause leaf scorch. According to the University of Illinois extension, mountain pieris shrubs are hardy in zones 5 to 7.