Shade Tolerant Hedge Plants

Written by nicholas ramos
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Shade Tolerant Hedge Plants
Gardenias are renowned for their white flowers. (Gardenia flower image by Buonfiglio from

Hedge plants are trees or shrubs that are planted and trained to form a barrier. Certain plants are better suited for hedge forming than others. Hedge plants are used for privacy, property distinction and for landscaping. There are a number of hedge plants available for landscaping; of those, several types are shade-tolerant hedge plants.

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Gardenias are native plants to Asia but have become staple hedge plants in the United States, especially in the Southeast. Gardenias are ideal hedge plants because they grow well in full sun; however, they thrive in full-shade conditions, as well, making the gardenia a shade-tolerant hedge plant. Gardenia hedges are prized for their fragrant white flowers. Blooms occur from mid-spring through the summer. The foliage is evergreen. Plant in good quality, well-draining soil. Water every other day; gardenias require moist soil. Gardenias grow on average from 2 to 8 feet tall.


Boxwood hedges are popular hedge plants in the United States. Boxwood is hardy in most soil types and climates. Drought tolerant, boxwood does well in warm climates found in the Midwest or Southeast. Korean boxwood, a cold weather variety, is hardy through cold winters. As an evergreen, boxwood provides green foliage all year long. Boxwood shrubs are shade tolerant. Boxwood has a shallow root system; mulch around the base of the plants to protect roots from freezing in the winter.

Red Twigged Dogwood

Red twigged dogwood is a deciduous hedge used in the United States. During winter, when the leaves fall from the plant, the branches are bright red, adding colour throughout the winter. During spring, large, green leaves and white, floral blooms appear. Red twigged dogwoods are shade tolerant, preferring partial shade conditions. These hedges average 6 feet tall; without pruning, they can reach 12 feet in height.


Hydrangeas make excellent hedges. Perennials, these plants produce large collections of blooms in colours of pink, blue, white and purple. Hydrangeas, especially in warm climates, prefer to be planted in partial shade. Hydrangeas can reach over 10 feet tall if not properly pruned. In use for hedging, hydrangeas should be regularly pruned, maintaining equal height throughout the hedge. Plant in good quality, well-draining soil. Hydrangeas are deciduous plants and bloom though the spring and up to the fall. Soil with a high pH will cause light, pink-tinted flowers. Soil with high aluminium and low pH produces blue blooms. Purple and white flowers depend on variety and occur when the soil is balanced.

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