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Evergreens for the Shade

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

Planting in the shade can create gardens under trees, beside tall buildings or fences, or those canopied areas of the landscape. Shade plants are great foliage or blooming plants that enhance the landscape. Evergreens for the shade give the added benefit of not dropping leaves in the winter like deciduous plants.

Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon japonicus from the lily family, better known as mondo grass or lily turf, is an easy-to-grow evergreen and fast-growing perennial. Leaves are 2 to 12 inches long with small purple flowers in summer. Used typically as a border plant, mondo grass grows in well-drained soil and in shade or partial sun. Propagate via division or offsets in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11.


Liriope muscari from the lily family, better known as liriope or border grass, is an evergreen perennial. Leaves are dark green and 10 to 18 inches long and grow in clumps. Flowers are small and white or purple. Liriope grows in well-worked soils in sun to shade. Propagate via division in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 11.

Mexican False Heather

Cuphea hyssopifolia from the loosestrife family, better known as Mexican false heather or Hawaiian heather, is an evergreen perennial. This plant grows 2 feet tall with leaves 12 to 18 inches long. Flowers are tiny in colors white, pink, rose, purple or lavender. Grow in well-drained soil in broken shade. Propagate via division, seed or cuttings in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11.

Bleeding Heart

Clerodendrum thomsoniae from the verbena family, better known as bleeding heart or glorybower, is an evergreen perennial. This plant is vine-like, 15 feet long, with large 7-inch leaves. Flowers are red and white in panicles 4 inches wide. Grow in partial shade with moist soil. Propagate via cuttings or suckers in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12.

Leopard Plant

Farfugium japonicum from the aster/daisy family, better known as leopard plant or ligularia, is an evergreen perennial. Clumps form that are 2 feet tall with leathery 4- to 10-inch leaves and 1- to 2-inch-wide yellow flowers. Grow in partial shade in moist well-drained soil. Propagate via clump division in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10.


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.