Fast-Growing Evergreen Shrubs for Shade

Are you looking to plant some fast-growing evergreen shrubs in the shady spots in your garden? I’ve got some wonderful choices for you. There are several shade-loving, evergreen shrubs that can keep your garden green and beautiful all year round.

Whether you need bushes for your front garden, shrubs for your fencing, or vibrant flowering plants to glam up your space, this list will give you a great deal of inspiration. To maintain a garden that stays green throughout the year coupled with lovely blossoms, here is my choice of fast-growing evergreen shrubs for shade.

Fast-Growing Evergreen Shrubs for Shade snippet image

Table of Contents

Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are beautiful flowering evergreen bushes. Their gorgeous spring blooms and deep green foliage are an asset to your home or garden. Rhododendrons are available in a range of colors, including pink, white, yellow, orange, deep purple, lavender, carmine red, and blue. If you plant a few varieties of rhododendrons in your garden, you can enjoy a stunning display of flowers all spring.

Make sure you plant these in acidic soil. To grow healthy rhododendrons, add a layer of mulch to the soil and keep them well watered. These plants thrive well in partial or moderate shade, and hence are ideal to brighten up shady gardens.

Rhododendrons like shade

Chinese Quinine (Dichroa febrifuga)

Chinese quinine, an evergreen shrub, features glossy green leaves, plump flower beds, and blue fruits. The springtime blooms change color depending on the pH of the soil. It’s a perfect plant to grow in a container or as a shrub or flower border.

Chinese quinine grows well in partial or full shade in moist and rich soil that drains well. While acidic soil is ideal for this shrub, it can thrive in any pH of soil. You can easily propagate Chinese quinine with cuttings or seeds. A fantastic shrub with large clusters of white and blue flowers, the Chinese quinine is great for growing in shady places.

Chinese Quinine (Dichroa febrifuga) like shade

Common Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

You can grow boxwood as a standalone plant, as a hedge, or in groups. This evergreen shrub has green leaves and tiny creamy-yellow or green blooms from April to May. Trust me, it gives a lush green look to your outdoors all year round. The boxwood thrives well in full sun as well as light shade. The soil should be loamy, medium-moist, and well-draining.

Spread a thick layer of organic mulch and water the plant deeply on a weekly basis. In spring, you can apply an all-purpose fertilizer. To propagate, take the stem cuttings during midsummer and plant them the following spring. Remember that the whole plant happens to be toxic, and contact is known to cause minor skin irritation.

Common Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Mountain laurel is a gorgeous evergreen shrub with deep-green leaves and beautiful white or pink flowers. The flowers bloom in early summer or late spring in clusters. The plant is evergreen, thrives well in shade, and, above all, is easy to grow. It has all the characteristics that you will probably love to have in your garden!

Mountain laurel requires partial shade, acidic soil, and mulch to retain moisture evenly in the soil. It is ideal to plant the mountain laurel in the spring or summer. The best part about growing this shrub in your garden is that it is disease-resistant and low maintenance. Bear in mind that mountain laurel is toxic to pets and grazing animals. However, it looks fabulous in a woodland garden, shrub border, or foundation planting.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) loves shade

Cape Jasmine

Cape Jasmine is a delicate shrub with dark green leaves and fragrant, white flowers. The plants thrive well in warm climates and bloom throughout the year. Consider using cape jasmine as a container plant or hedge. You’ll be sure to enjoy its divine white blooms all year.

The ideal growth conditions of cape jasmine include light shade to full sun and moist, fertile, acidic soil that drains well. Propagate this shrub with seeds or semi-hardwood or greenwood cuttings. While the shrub is often toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, it is a perfect plant to put in the shade of a tropical garden. I suggest you plant them near the door or pavement so that you don’t miss out on their heavenly fragrance.

Cape Jasmine loves shade

Camellias

Camellias are evergreen bushes with brilliant, dark green leaves, and vibrant flowers. I have two reasons why you should plant Camellias in your garden. One, these shrubs are easy to grow. Two, they flower when most other plants do not. The flowering season is primarily from the end of October to the beginning of May, and of course, it depends on the variety.

Camellias grow well in shade or filtered sun. Note that you shouldn’t plant a camellia in places that hold water. Besides, make sure you check the flowering time when you buy the plant because it differs considerably based on the variety. The camellias may take a couple of years to start blooming after they’ve been planted. However, once established, the bushes will be covered in blooms.

Camellias are shade lovers

Andromeda (Pieris japonica)

Are you looking for a tall, evergreen shrub to beautify your garden? If so, Andromeda is a good bet. The bush is shade tolerant and provides the best of both worlds – it’s not only evergreen but a flowering plant as well. The flowers of Andromeda is wonderfully fragrant, unlike most tall flowering shrubs.

The shrub thrives well in full sun as well as partial shade. Use an acid fertilizer to grow a healthy plant. Andromeda is highly resistant to serious infestations of insects and diseases, and hence it’s undoubtedly a low-maintenance, evergreen plant for shade.

Andromeda (Pieris japonica) enjoying the shade

Chinese Fringe-Flower (Loropetalum)

The Chinese fringe-flower is a free-flowering, showy evergreen shrub with attractive, spider-like flowers in clusters of white, red, or pink. The foliage is generally green, but a few varieties have purple leaves. The Chinese fringe-flower plant is also referred to as Chinese witch hazel.

Similar to witch hazel, the shrub has fringe-like flowers blooming very early in the spring season. Having a spreading form, the Chinese fringe-flower can grow up to almost 12 feet in height. The plant thrives in full sun as well as in shadier spots. Be sure you mulch the soil strongly to maintain moisture.

Chinese Fringe-Flower (Loropetalum) shaded

Daphne

There are nearly 70 varieties of daphne. You have a range of sizes and floral blooms to pick from, so the options are endless when you want to tailor this plant to match your garden requirements.

No matter which strains you choose, daphnes perform well in partial shade and well-drained, neutral soil that retains moisture without getting waterlogged. A word of caution from me is that you should choose the spot wisely when planting a daphne because relocating doesn’t work much with these plants. However, once you choose the right spot and plant a daphne, you can be sure of pleasing both your eyes and your nostrils with gorgeous, fragrant blooms.

Daphne can grow well in shade

Schip Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’)

The schip laurel is a glossy-leaved, evergreen shrub you can use for fast-growing hedges. These beautiful shrubs will quickly grow into narrow and tall hedges. Moreover, you have to prune it just once a year and shape it whenever you feel the need to do it. The shrub has a fast growth rate – it can reach up to two feet in a year. So, if you are looking for a fast-growing evergreen shrub to use as a hedge, the schip laurel is a good pick.

It grows well in full shade and can cope with any soil type, making it a versatile choice to establish a dense hedge in a short span of time. What’s more, the shrub produces beautiful stalks of aromatic white blooms in the spring and red berries in the winter, making it a fabulous addition to your garden.

Schip Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus 'Schipkaensis') in the shade

Spotted Laurel (Aucuba japonica)

Spotted Laurel is a woody, evergreen bush with variegated leaves. It makes an amazing hedge or border shrub in the shade. Plant a male and female plant together and watch the lovely maroon blooms in the spring turn into bright red berries. However, you can grow this evergreen shrub merely for its captivating foliage, which consists of stunning green and yellow leaves.

The shrub thrives well in part shade to full shade, and you can grow it easily in moist, fertile, and well-drained soils. The plant is low-maintenance and is normally pest and disease free. I’m sure spotted laurel will add to the beauty of your garden.

Spotted Laurel (Aucuba japonica) shade

Yews (Taxus)

Yews is a drought-tolerant, evergreen, shade plant with inch-long needles and bright red berries in the autumn. It’s an amazing shrub for entranceways, borders, mass plantings, or specimen gardening. Yews always look deep green, rich, and full.

You can easily maintain the shape and size of the shrub by regular pruning. If you don’t wish to prune too often, avoid Browns, Hicks, and Hills yews as they grow too large. Yews grow well in deep shade and moderate shade. The shrub needs fertile soil with ample moisture. Note that the needles and berries are toxic to animals and humans. However, Yews is an excellent evergreen shrub you can plant in a shady region of your garden.

Yews (Taxus) shade lovers

Conclusion

Fast-growing evergreen shrubs for a shady region are a great addition to your garden. These plants, with brilliant foliage and gorgeous flowers, are sure to keep your garden green, fresh, and vibrant. However, before you choose an evergreen shrub, make sure you consider the following points:

  • Whether the plant requires partial shade or full shade
  • The flowering season
  • Favourable soil conditions
  • Toxicity to humans and animals
  • Whether the plant attracts insects, moths, and other pests
shaded garden shrubs

People Also Ask

How to Plant a Shrub?

To plant shrubs, make a hole as deep as three to five times wider than the root ball of the shrub. Gently remove the shrub from its pot or container. Remember to trim any circling roots. Carefully place the plant, with its root flare, in the hole. Pack down the removed soil gently into the hole. Spread mulch and water the shrub.

What is the ideal season to plant fast-growing evergreen plants for shade?

Generally, autumn is the right time to plant shrubs. While branches and leaves slow down their growth during this season, the roots continue to develop. Once the roots are well established, they can support new growth in the following spring. Well, if you live in a place with a cold winter, this may not work. In such cases, to prevent frost damage, you can plant the shrub in early spring once the ground has defrosted.

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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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