Shade is one of the most common reasons why people plant evergreens in their landscape. However, it’s not always easy to grow them successfully in shade. If you are planning to use these plants for shade, then there are some things which need to be considered first before planting them in your garden or landscape.

Zone 6 – Full Sun

The best time to plant evergreens in shade is during the summer months when they are at their peak bloom period. They will do better if planted in shady areas such as under rocks, around water sources, or even in a corner of the house where they won’t get too much direct sunlight. A good rule of thumb is to place them so that they receive half of their total light from the sun and half from shadows.

Zones 5 & 6 – Partial Shade

If you plan to plant evergreens in partial shade, then you should consider planting them near a window. You can still enjoy the beauty of the evergreen foliage but they won’t have as many flowers. Plants with large leaves like evergreens in full sun all year round because they produce lots of blooms and fruit. So, plants with smaller leaves may only do well in partial shade all year long.

Keeping Your Evergreens Pruned

Evergreens are generally low maintenance but if you want to keep them looking their best, pruning occasionally is a must. By pruning, you will be able to maintain the size and shape of the shrub or tree and encourage new growth. This way, your evergreen will always look full and lush, no matter what time of year it is. Do your research before pruning your evergreen, especially if it is a type that you are unfamiliar with or unsure about.

Light Requirements

Evergreens generally don’t require as much light as their deciduous counterparts. However, some evergreens such as the yew and junipers can only tolerate shade and partial shade at best. These need the darkest locations in your landscape because they cannot withstand any direct sunlight.

Best Evergreen Shrubs

There are many different kinds of evergreens that can be used in your landscape design. Most of these plants can grow to be quite large, so make sure that you pick a shrub or tree that will fit in the area that you intend for it to grow. Below are some of the best evergreen shrubs to consider.

Best White flowering evergreen:

This flower is very similar looking to the Weeping Siberian Iris (which also happens to be an excellent choice for your landscape). This plant has lightly fragrant flowers that are bloomed in clusters and drooping petals that can reach up to 10 inches in length. They bloom from early spring all the way into early summer. You can plant it next to a walkway or even in your flower garden.

Although they can grow up to 10 feet tall, they can easily be kept smaller with pruning.

Best Purple flowering evergreen:

These flowers have double the fun when it comes to their petals because they are violet and white. They are highly fragrant (resembling the scent of violets) and bloom in the spring for an extended period of time. They typically grow to be about 3 feet tall. If they are kept pruned, they can even make for a good hedge.

Like the previous evergreen, you can also plant this in your flower garden or by a walkway.

Best Yellow flowering evergreen:

These flowers give off the scent of honey and are generally about 2-3 inches across when fully bloomed. They bloom in bunches that can reach up to about 12 inches in length. Although they can reach up to 3 feet tall, they are generally kept much smaller with pruning. You can grow them in partial to full shade.

They can also be grown in clusters for a nice visual effect in your landscape.

Best Rose flowering evergreen:

This is a shrub that features flowers that are similar to wild roses. They give off a very faint scent and bloom in the spring. This shrub can grow up to 8 feet tall with pruning. It is a great choice if you want to add some flair to your flower garden.

Best Shrub with Red berries:

These shrubs are absolutely loaded with berries in the fall (a good contrast to all the evergreens around). They have reddish foliage and can grow up to 10 feet tall. They typically grow in thickets and can even be invasive in some areas. They typically grow in partial to full shade.

Best Shrub with Yellow berries:

These shrubs are covered with yellow berries in the fall and have small white flowers in the spring. The smaller leaves tend to make the clusters of berries very visible. You should be aware that these berries are slightly poisonous to humans and animals if consumed (hence why birds love to eat them). These shrubs typically grow up to 10 feet tall and have a spread about half that.

Best Yellow flowering deciduous shrub:

This shrub has clusters of flowers that resemble lilacs. It grows in full sun and can grow up to 10 feet tall. If you want something a bit smaller, you can always prune it after the blooms have faded. These shrubs typically grow in thickets and can be invasive in some regions.

These are just some of the best shrubs that you can grow in your landscape. If you want to know more, then take a look at the various links provided below.

Sources & references used in this article:

Seedling growth, allocation and leaf attributes in a wide range of woody plant species and types by JHC Cornelissen, PC Diez, R Hunt – Journal of Ecology, 1996 – JSTOR

Native trees, shrubs, & vines: a guide to using, growing, and propagating North American woody plants by W Cullina – 2002 – books.google.com

Pruning evergreens and deciduous trees and shrubs/1033 (rev. Dec. 1971) by FA Giles, WB Siefert – Circular/University of Illinois at Urbana …, 1971 – ideals.illinois.edu

A guide to selecting landscape plants for Wisconsin by ER Hasselkus – 1977 – counties.extension.wisc.edu

The plant geography of Korea: with an emphasis on the alpine zones by K Woo-Seok, P Watts – 2012 – books.google.com

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