Evergreen Shade Loving Plants

Just because you don't have sun, it doesn't mean you can't create a colorful oasis among a shady spot in the garden. There are many evergreen plants that produce colorful blooms to jazz up your garden. Whether planted along a garden wall or nestled under a shade tree, an evergreen brings beauty to the space. Evergreens are ideal because they remain with color throughout the year, and they have bright blooms that add beauty to the gray winter landscape.

Sword Fern

This shade-loving evergreen plant is easy to grow. Its 2 to 4 feet high and wide growth has symmetrical, dagger-shaped dark green fronds that drape out of the center of the plant. The fronds are also leathery-looking with toothed edges that resemble a sword, hence the name sword fern. The sword fern prefers rich, moist soil, and once established, grows up to 100 fronds. These fronds are ideal for situating inside a fresh-cut floral arrangement to provide a long-lasting bouquet. Sword ferns can be nestled within a shady perennial bed or along the shaded side of the house for contrasting color.

Dwarf Azalea

The dwarf azalea is an evergreen plant that prefers bright shade and moist, well-drained soil. The hardiness zone for the dwarf azalea is 5 to 8. The dwarf azalea has small pink flowers that grow in clusters on small glossy green leaves. The leaves have a leathery appearance, and they are quite fragrant when crushed. The dwarf azalea grows up to 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide, making it a lovely evergreen to plant along a shaded garden wall for color and texture.

English Boxwood

English boxwood is a sun-loving evergreen that has a hardiness zone of 5 to 8. The boxwood grows up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, which is perfect for planting along a garden bed or for lining a shaded garden walk. The dense and rounded shape has fine texture and dark green leaves. The leaves are green during the spring and summer, then they slowly turn orange during the winter. The English boxwood requires excellent drainage to survive. It is very slow-growing and looks lovely planted in clusters as a makeshift wall.


The camellia is a colorful evergreen that loves the shady garden confines. Its hardiness zone is 7 to 9, and it has slow to moderate growth. The camellia grows up to 15 feet high and 10 feet wide, making this a garden must. The upright, dense foliage has a pyramidal shape, and the double flower blooms begin their emergence in winter or spring. The flower bloom colors range from white to pink to red. Some camellias are even variegated, meaning they have more than one color swirled together.

Keywords: evergreen plants, shade loving plants, sword fern, dwarf azalea, English boxwood, camellia blooms

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.