Potted Trees That Grow in the Shade

Written by janet bayers
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Potted Trees That Grow in the Shade
Rhododendrons are at home in the shade. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When choosing a tree, consider how much shade it will receive. Light-shade areas are bright but don't get direct sun or only a few hours of morning sun. Full-shade areas are along the north side of a house or in a woodland.

Deciduous Trees

Star magnolias and witch hazels flower on bare branches in spring in light shade. The fringe tree bears fragrant white blooms that appear the same time as the leaves. Fothergilla blooms with white flowers in May. Many Japanese maples, especially those with variegated leaves, such as Butterfly, take light to full shade.


Yews are a traditional choice for light shade. Conifers with pale or white-tipped foliage also do well. Chamaecyparis Barry's Silver and Snow grow slowly to 6 feet, perfect for pots, while Chamaecyparis Treasure Island gets only 2 to 3 feet tall. White-tipped Canadian hemlock Gentsch White reaches 10 feet in 10 years.

Broadleaved Evergreens

Rhododendrons and camellias do well in pots in light to full shade and provide profuse blooms in spring.

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