Are you interested in planting shrubs but your garden is less than sunny? Are you looking to jazz up a dark corner with a colorful, low-maintenance shrub? Choosing the right shrub isn’t as difficult as you might think. If fact, you can select from a long, diverse list of shrubs in a range of sizes, forms and colors.
Keep in mind that some shrubs tolerate near total shade while others require a few hours of sun every day.
Here are a few beautiful shrubs to pique your imagination.
Daphne (daphne odorata)
Daphne (daphne odorata), lights up a shady spot with lovely, aromatic flowers and colorful, variegated leaves that become even more pronounced with a little sunlight. Daphne prefers cool, moist climates and doesn’t perform well in hot summers or extreme cold.
Yew (Taxus spp.)
Yew (Taxus spp.), is a tough, versatile evergreen that grows in deep shade or full sunlight. Look for showy red berries in late summer. Sizes and shapes differ considerably depending on the cultivar. Note: If you have children or pets, keep in mind that nearly all parts of yew plants are toxic.
Japanese kerria, (Kerria japonica)
Japanese kerria, (Kerria japonica), thrives in full or partial shade, and is adaptable to either wet or dry soil. Bright yellow flowers appear in spring, and stems turn at attractive yellowish-green in winter. Be aware though, this fast-growing plant is invasive and causes real problems in some areas.
Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.)
Serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), is a great choice for cold climates. Also known as juneberry, this hardy plant offers year round beauty in the form of small white flowers in early spring, edible bluish-purple berries in summer, bright red foliage in fall and interesting bark throughout the winter.
Viburnum (Viburnum spp.)
Viburnum (Viburnum spp.), a tough, low-maintenance shrub available in a variety of sizes and shapes, tolerates partial shade or full sunlight. Watch for white flowers in spring, followed by dark, bluish-black or red berries in summer and yellow leaves in autumn.
Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)
Clethra (Clethra alnifolia), tolerates full shade but thrives with a little sunlight. This plant is also known as summersweet, a well-deserved moniker due to the sweetly-scented spikes of pink or white flowers in late summer. Hummingbirds and butterflies are big fans.
Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Sumac (Rhus typhina), is considered a shrub or small tree, depending on the species. Either way, this interesting plant produces fruiting clusters that turn dry and dark brown as the season progresses, with intensely colorful foliage in autumn. Sumac is suitable for light shade.