Category: Shrubs for Shade

Nandina domestica

Nandina, or heavenly bamboo, is a versatile shrub that can take sun or shade.  In our climate, it appreciates some shade in the afternoon.  Growth rate is moderate up to eight feet tall, depending on the variety.  ‘Fire Power’ is a


Ilex is, of course, holly.  There are many species, all of which will need shade in the north county.  Some species have few spines while other are very pokey indeed.  Hollies prefer slightly acidic soil, so some soil amendment is

Sarcococca ruscifolia

Sarcococca is an evergreen shrub with dark green leaves and very fragrant tiny white flowers that bloom in late winter and early spring.  It is a slow grower that will eventually reach four to six feet.  It can grow even

Pittosporum tobira

Pittosporum tobira is an evergreen shrub with either all green or variegated foliage.  The species can grow six to fifteen feet, but “Wheeler’s Dwarf’ gets only to three feet and about five feet wide.  There are also variegated dwarf forms, ‘Turner’s’ that


Correa is a fairly low growing shrub to a little over two feet high and about eight feet wide.  It likes fast drainage and does not need a great deal of water or feeding.  Flowers are mostly pink or white. 


Loropetalum, or Chinese fringe flower, is a very attractive shrub that thrives in shade.  It is fairly slow growing to six to ten feet high and wide.  Most of the varieties available have purple leaves and pink, fireworks-like flowers, but

Aucuba japonica

Aucuba japonica Aucuba is a foliage plant that can be very useful in the shade.  The most widely used varieties are variegated.  One of the most handsome is ‘Mr. Goldstrike’ grown by Monrovia Growers.  This evergreen plant is a slow grower,


The handsome, dark green leaves of Camellias provide a great background for the lovely spring flowers as well as for other shade loving plants.  Camellia sasanqua is generally shorter with smaller leaves and flowers. It blooms earlier, usually in winter, and many of the

Choisya ternata

This is a very low maintenance, evergreen plant that requires little water and is greatly appreciated for its deer resistance. Fragrant white flowers appear in the spring and, occasionally, again in the autumn.  The plant is fairly fast growing and can

Fatsia japonica

Grown strictly for its foliage, Fatsia adds a very tropical look to the shade garden.  It will have white puffy flowers in late autumn and winter, but they are not particularly showy, just interesting and unexpected.  Fatsia can take deep