What evergreen shrubs will grow in shade?

waplummer(Z5 NY)January 1, 2013

Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.) are well known for blooming in the shade, but many, especially the small-leaved species, can grow in sun. In general the larger the leaves the more shade is needed. For warmer zones evergreen azaleas (Rhododendrons) will grow in part shade. Mountain and Sheep Laurel (Kalmia spp.) will grow in full shade, but will flower better in part shade.

Other broad-leaved evergreens include Andromedas (Pieris spp) as well as Leucothoe spp, Mahonia spp, Gaultheria spp, Hebe spp. and Skimmia spp. Boxwood (Buxus spp.) and small leaved hollies (Ilex spp.) can be useful in foundation plantings and in hedges. Among the needled evergreens, dwarf forms of Cypress (Chamaecyparis spp.) and Hemlock (Tsuga spp.) are useful in the rock garden with light to nearly full shade. The Yews (Taxus spp.) are useful, but are often overused.

Many of these shrubs have forms that are native to North America and are available in species and cultivars (cultivated varieties improved for size, fragrance, beauty or other desirable characteristic). Not all shrubs listed here are hardy to all zones, please evaluate them carefully for your site and conditions.

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