Evergreen shrubs that thrive in shade. - Knowledgebase Question

Brooklyn, Ne
Question by josieemt
May 12, 2009
I live in Brooklyn, New York and would like to know what shrubs thrive in shady areas; preferably evergreen and also that are stocked at Home Depot. Thanks,

A comment from Junewolfberg
April 21, 2018
I have great success with Acuba in shade, both the all green and the speckled green and yellow varieties. They are easy to propagate from cuttings rooted in water. The all green variety sports red berries in the spring.

Answer from NGA
May 12, 2009


You are in gardening zone 6 and the following shrubs will perform well in the shade:
Buxus microphylla, Littleleaf Boxwood, Compact, dense, evergreen shrub with a rounded growth habit. The variety Green Gem is very cold hardy and resists winter burn. Grows 3 to 6 feet high and wide. Zones 4 to 6.

Euonymus fortunei, Winter Creeper, Glossy green foliage in forms that range from shrub to ground cover. Emerald 'n Gold is a yellow and green variegated variety. Grows 3 to 4 feet high and wide. Zone 5 to 8.

Ilex crenata, Japanese Holly, Great for mass plantings and hedges. Red fruit. Many cultivars exist from the tall and narrow Sky Pencil to Green Luster which grows wider than it is tall. Grows 5 to 10 feet tall. Zones 4 to 8.

Ilex glabra, Inkberry, Native. Full sun to part shade. Black (or sometimes white) fruit. Grows 4 to 10 feet tall and wide. Zones 4 to 9.

Ilex xmeserveae, Meserve Hybrid Hollies, Red fruit. Can be pruned to maintain shape. Blue Princess is an excellent variety. Grows 6 to 12 feet high. Zones 4 to 7.

Juniperus squamata, Blue Star Juniper, Silver/ blue foliage. Great size for residential landscapes. Grows 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. Zones 4 to 7.

Kalmia latifolia, Mountain Laurel, Fantastic bunches of geometrical flowers bloom in May and June. Plant in sun or shade, prefers acidic, well-drained soil. Grows 7 to 15 feet high and wide. Zones 4 to 9.

Leucothoe axillaris, Coastal Leucothoe, Arching growth habit. Plant in shade. Deer resistant. Leaves turn bronze to purple in winter. Grows 3 to 6 high and wide. Zones 5 to 8.

Leucothoe fontanesiana, Drooping Leucothoe, Arching growth habit. Plant in shade. Deer resistant. Leaves turn bronze to purple in winter. Grows 3 to 6 feet high and wide. Zones 5 to 8.

Ligustrum ovalifolium, California Privet, Semievergreen in Upstate NY, but evergreen in Zones 7 and 8. Great for Hedge planting. Can be pruned to maintain shape. Grows 10 to 15 feet high. Zones 5 to 8.

Mahonia aquifolium, Oregon Grape holly, Very cold-hardy, but can get wind-beaten, so plant in a protected area. Yellow fragrant flowers in March and April followed by bluish fruit in summer. Shade tolerant. Grows 3 to 6 feet high and wide. Zones 4 to 8.

Pieris japonica, Japanese Pieris, Deer resistant, shade garden staple. Japanese Pieris is one of our favorite varieties, its new growth is bright red and the color fades from red to peach to green, as the leaves mature. Plant in shade, full sun will burn leaves. Fragrant white flowers bloom in March and April. Remove spent flowers. Grows 6 to 12 feet high and 4 to 8 feet wide. Zone 5 to 8.

Best wishes with your landscape!

Far Hills NJ
A comment from cnewsom
April 21, 2018
Boxwood should be covered in winter. The snow will break the hardened branches. Also boxwood will give off the odor of urine.

Far Hills NJ
Answer from cnewsom
April 21, 2018


Although most of Long Island is known for its acidic soil, you should test your soil first. Brooklyn in the Heights area may be more loamy. Also measure the length and the height that you want to cover first. If there is absolutely no sun, you may want to reconsider plants. Best wishes. Catherine Newsom

Answer from splunkittyahoocom
April 24, 2018


You may want to search out what native shrubs are in your area! They take less care & do much better at staying nice! Enjoy!

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