What Small Shrubs Can Grow in the Shade

Written by mary anne thygesen
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What Small Shrubs Can Grow in the Shade
Rhododendron (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Sharon Mollerus)

Many small shrubs grow well in the shade. Some are small versions of larger shrubs. There are also small shrubs that are dog friendly that do well in the shade.


Rhododendrons come in dwarf sizes. They prefer being in the shade. They have pretty lavender and pink blossoms in the spring.


Most azaleas are dwarf sized. They thrive in the shade with bright pink, red, lavender and white blooms in the spring.

What Small Shrubs Can Grow in the Shade
Azalea (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Diana)

Are Azaleas Rhododendrons?

According to Harold E. Greer in "Greer's Guide to Available Rhododendrons," all azaleas are rhododendrons.

Dog Friendly Small Shurbs

Cheryl S. Smith lists many dog friendly small shurbs that grow in the shade in her book "Dog Friendly Gardens." Physocarpus comes in a dwarf size with pretty fall colours and peeling bark. She notes that dwarf hydrangeas that bloom on new wood are a good choice. . Viburnum come in dwarf sizes that do well in the shade.

What Small Shrubs Can Grow in the Shade
Dog napping in garden (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Powi) (Per Ola Wiberg)

Fragrent Small Shrubs

Daphne comes in small sizes. It is an easy care shrub that needs little water that thrives in the shade. The Carol Mackie version has gold edged leaves with white blooms.

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