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Bushes, Shrubs & Plants That Like Shade

By T.M. Samuels ; Updated September 21, 2017

There are some spots in the landscape that would do nicely with a shrub or plant, but don’t get direct light. Those spots need shade plants. Shade plants are “shade tolerant,” meaning they do not need direct light to live and thrive. Shrubs and bushes for shade go well among other plants and flowers and can be centerpieces to a shade garden.

Dancing Ladies Ginger

The dancing ladies ginger plant (Globba winitii) is from the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. It is a perennial that gets 2 feet tall with lance shaped leaves and light airy yellow flowers suspended on bracts. Flowers occur July to fall. Plant a dancing ladies ginger plant in fertile well drained soil in full shade. Propagate via rhizome cutting or clump division.

Partridge Berry

The partridge berry plant (Mitchella repens) is from the Rubiaceae (madder) family. It is a perennial that is evergreen and fragrant. Leaves are under an inch long, shiny and dark green. Flowers are funnel shaped and pinkish white. Berries are half inch long and red. It will not get more than 2 inches tall as a vinelike ground cover. Plant a partridge berry in acidic soil in partial shade. Propagate via stem cuttings or by seed.


The serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) is from the Rosaceae (rose) family. It is a bird attracting shrub that reaches up to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Leaves are 2 inches long going from white and fuzzy to shiny and green. Leaves turn in the fall to yellow, orange, or red. Flowers are white, up to 2 inches long, and occur in the spring. Fruits are bluish black. Plant a serviceberry in partial shade in wet to average soil. Propagate via seed or late spring greenwood cuttings.


The camellia (Camellia japonica) is from the Theaceae (tea) family. It is an evergreen shrub that gets up to 20 feet tall with 5 inch flowers. Leaves are shiny all year. Flowers come winter to spring. Plant a camellia in moist acidic soil in partial shade. Roots are shallow. Propagate via late sum or winter semi-ripe cuttings or by spring air-layering.


The caladium (Caladium bicolor) is from the Araeceae (arum) family. The plant will get 2 feet tall and the same in width. It is a perennial with 6 to 14 inch leaves and usually heart-shaped or lance-shaped. Small white berries will appear. Leaf color and size can vary greatly. Plant a caladium in well-drained, slightly acidic soil in partial to full shade. Propagate via tuber division or by seed.


About the Author


T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.