Shrubs provide structure to a home landscape. As a foundation plant around a house, an entryway focal point, a walkway hedge or an anchor for a flower bed, an evergreen is often the preferred choice for its year-round foliage. Though most evergreen shrubs thrive in sun, some shade-loving options exist. Very few will survive in a completely shaded site, but an area with light or dappled shade can make a good home for several different varieties of shrubs.
Boxwood (Buxus) is a low-maintenance evergreen shrub that grows in partial shade. Its dense, glossy green foliage takes to trimming and shearing, although it is also happy left to grow into a natural shape. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5 through 9, boxwoods are used for hedges and foundation shrubs as well as in containers and planters. They range from 2 to 4 feet tall and wide. Dwarf English, Wintergreen and Green Velvet are varieties especially tolerant of shade.
Rhododendron and Azalea
Rhododendron and azalea are flowering shrubs with evergreen leaves. Both members of the genus Rhododendron, they are similar specimens with clusters of showy flowers known as trusses. Most of them bloom in spring in a wide array of brilliant colours ranging from pink, salmon and red to lavender and yellow. Varieties range in size from less than a foot tall to 50 feet high. Most are hardy in zones 3 through 9 and thrive in well-drained acidic soil.
Holly (Ilex) symbolises winter perhaps more than any other shrub. Its dark green, glossy leaves and red berries often are used in holiday arrangements, wreaths and other decorations. Grown as a shrub, the holly comes in many forms, from the tall, narrow sky pencil to the wide-spreading dwarf forms. Dwarf yaupon, dwarf burfordi, and Japanese holly all grow in part shade. Hardy in zones 5 through 9, they grow 3 to 10 feet tall and wide.
The camellia is considered a Southern beauty. This shrub's glossy, leathery evergreen leaves and stunning flowers make it a focal point in the landscape. Though most of them are hardy only in zones 8 through 10, camellias grows best in partial shade. Plant them near walls and other structures for protection from winter cold. The Camellia japonica and sasanqua are the most common forms, both growing about 10 feet tall and pyramidal in shape. Flowers bloom in late winter or early spring in red, pink, white or bicolour.