Shrubs for My Shady Landscape

`Dense’ yew (Taxus x. media `Densiformis’) Grows Six to eight inches per year Six to ten feet tall and eight to twelve feet wide Is Ok for Semi Shade

When I bought this house, there were some large, healthy yews growing.  Unfortunately, they had either outgrown their spots or they were in the wrong spot entirely.  In trying to move the yews, I lost them.  A few years later, I am looking for evergreens to fill a large portion of my front yard.  It is too shady for most things to grow well, but I have rad that these yews will grow in the shade, and I must admit that yews do ssem to like my soil.  I have decided to plant several in the yard and see how they do.

Dwarf Burning Bush


Dwarf Burning Bush

I also plan to try a few of the dwarf burning bushes, which have fabulous red fall foliage.  I will grow to 8′ tall.

It is a deciduous shrub and will become a bit ugly in winter.  Therefore, I’ll probably do better to leave this bush for the backyard.

Dwarf Burning Bush - Euonymus alatus 'Compacta'

Forsythia seems to be similar in habit and site needs to burning bush.  It seems that both of these plants prefer sun, but will tolerate shade.   Both plants are deciduous and provide nothing positive for winter.  Both seem to be rather boring during summer–just green leaves, but both allow seasonal interest–and their interest lies in different seasons. I am adding the burning bushes for fall interest and the forsythia for spring interest.  The burning bushes should peak at about 8′ in height, and the forsythia could get a couple of feet taller. The forsythia has a more arching growth than the burning bushes, which seems to have a tighter and more dense foliage.  I do have a large stand of forsythia in my yard.  Forsythia can be propogated–much like that of acuba, and I’ll space several forsythia in my landscape, too.  I’ll aim for alternating the burning bushes and the forsythia–sandwiching these alternating plant between the acuba and yews.

Acuba japonica

Witnout a doubt, my very favorite shrub for deep shade is Acuba japonica.

Acubas can grow to heights of 10 to 15 feet, and they are evergreen.  I’ll plant acubas at the very back of my shady shrub borders.  They are evergreen.  I’ll stagger-plant the shorter burning bushes and/or forsythia in front of the acubas, and stagger-plant yews in front of the burning bushes.  The deciduous burning bush will die back, but because it is sandwiched between the yews and the acubas, the impact of the die-back will be minimalized.


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