Having a shady yard is great for water conservation and enjoyment in the warmer months. Finding colorful shrubs that grow in shaded areas are not only possible for North Texas; there are several varieties to choose from.
Let’s take a look at some of the top shade loving shrubs for the North Texas region.
Evergreens are a good choice for a shade garden, offering rich color year-round.
Aralia (Fatsia Japonica) is an evergreen shrub with large tropical looking leaves. It can grow up to 4-5 ft in height and spread at maturity.
This plant loves the shade and needs protection from the sun. It grows in a mounded form and is a good plant for adding texture to a garden space. It may have trouble in colder, more severe winters.
Aspidistra (Aspidistra Eliator), more commonly known as the Cast Iron plant, is another evergreen that grows well in the shade. It is a hardy plant that dies well in a variety of conditions.
This is a low growing, large leaf shrub. It is a drought tolerant plant and is good for tall ground cover. It is a slower growing plant that doesn’t need a lot of attention to thrive.
Podocarpus (Podocarpus Macrophylla), also known as the plum pine, is a tall evergreen with narrow leaves and dark foliage. It produces small bluish-grey berries, much like a few other plants in the pine family.
Because it can grow taller, it is a good plant to use as background, or even as a privacy screen.
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Nandina (Nandina spp), also known as Dwarf Heavenly Bamboo, is a durable shrub that offers color in the winter months, setting it apart for other evergreens. It grows to be 5-7 ft tall and 3-5 ft in spread. This shrub can thrive in both full sun and heavy shade.
Nanadia flowers in May/June with small pinkish white flowers that turn to red berries in winter months. The leaves turn red and orange in winter as well. It is a slow to moderate growing plant, growing 12-24 inches per year.
Ferns are a versatile plant, offering many varieties; some of which are evergreen. Ferns love shade and have a delicate texture, which makes them a good plant to mix in with others.
They are easy to care for and grow well in rich, well drained soil with abundant organic matter.
Aucuba (Aucuba Japonica) is a rounded shape shrub that has many varieties with colors ranging from yellow spotted to solid green. It can grow to 6-10 ft tall and likes shade to deep shade.
Aucuba shrubs have large, speckled leaves, and some of them flower in the early spring.
Non-Evergreen Flowering Shrubs
There are also several varieties of flowering shrubs to add color to your shady space.
Azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) have intense, colorful blooms. They come in a variety of sizes from dwarf to large. They can flower in pink, red, white, peach, and purple colors.
Azaleas prefer living under or near trees in well drained, acidic soil. They will need more water and fertilization than other plants. They also make good container plants.
Pittosporum (Pittosporum Topira) is a flowering shrub that produces fragrant white blossoms. When its seed capsules burst open, they reveal seeds covered in a notably sticky resin.
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This shrub grows from 2 to 30 meters tall depending on the subtype, offering a broad variety of landscaping options. They thrive in subtropical regions, and can also be cultivated indoors as bonsai trees.
Leatherleaf Mahonia (Mahonia japonica ‘Bealei) is a shade loving shrub with flat pointed leaves. It has fragrant, yellow blooms in the spring that later turn to light blue and black berry clusters.
The leaves turn red and burgundy in the fall. It is a good barrier plant and can grow to 8-12 ft tall. It grows well in a variety of soil types.
Camellia (Camellia spp.) is a highly prized shade shrub because of its rose-like blooms in the springtime. Growing 6 ft tall and 4 ft tall at maturity, it can be a show stopping addition to any garden.
This shrub has dark, glossy leaves and blooms can be a variety of colors from pink, yellow and red. It will need to be pruned regularly and fertilized to keep it at peak blooming capacity. It can bloom from fall to spring depending on the variety.
Turk’s Cap (Lilium Superbum) is a flowering perennial that has large leaves and can grow up to 4 ft tall. The bright red, tubular flowers resemble a turkish turban, hence its name. It is a drought tolerant shrub. It blooms from May to November and is a good ornamental for shady areas.
Having a shady lawn or garden area doesn’t mean you are limited in choices for shrubs. There are plenty of options for your needs.