Trees & Bushes That Grow in Shade


There is a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants that will grow and do quite well in a shady area. In fact, with the right combination of textures, colors, and spacing, a barren dark area can be transformed into a peaceful shaded oasis. An arrangement of shade-loving plants can be a tranquil getaway where the weary homeowner can enjoy the fruits of his labor.


  • The camellia is a lovely shade-loving shrub that bears beautiful flowers in shades of pink, red, and white. Most camellias will grow to a height of 6 to 8 feet, but in rare cases older varieties have been know to reach upwards of 25 feet. The beauty of the camellia lies not only in the abundance of flowers it produces, but also in the versatile ways in which it can be grown. Prune the leaves off of the main stalk of the plant when it is young to create a tree-like appearance, or pair several camellias together to create a sturdy colorful backdrop for a shade garden.

Flowering Dogwood

  • The flowering dogwood is as rich in history as it is in fruit and flowers. This tree has long been used for medicinal purposes by Native American tribes. The bark and roots of this flowering tree were used by the American Indians as a remedy for malaria, while soldiers in the Civil war substituted the bark for quinine. Today, the flowering dogwood is used mostly for ornamental purposes and as a wildlife attractant. Wild birds, bees, butterflies, and moths are attracted to this tree by the flowers and fruit. Smallish in size when compared to other trees such as live oak and hickory, the flowering dogwood will only reach 30 to 40 feet in height, making it a valuable asset to the shade garden. Spring brings a profusion of pinkish to white flowers followed by bluish-black berries in the fall, which is just one of the reasons this tree is so popular for ornamental purposes. Ease of adaptability to a number of different soil types, along with its many other attributes, make the flowering dogwood an all-around excellent choice for a shady area.

False Holly

  • Classified as a shrub, false holly can also be pruned into the shape of a small tree once it has established itself as a mature plant. Commonly seen growing to a height ranging between 10 and 12 feet, this plant is capable of reaching up to 25 feet in rare cases. During the fall season, the false holly will bloom profusely with small, dainty, white flowers that release a sweet smelling fragrance into the garden.

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