15 Tall Shrubs For Shade That You Can Have in Your Garden

If you have a garden patch, you might probably want to plant trees that provide just the right amount of shade.

Interestingly, trees aren’t the only ones that offer shade. For diversity, you can also plant a couple of shrubs that will provide shade, texture, and a perfect color to your yard.

These tall shrubs are usually both evergreen and deciduous in nature. While some bloom with pretty flowers, others manage to hold the charm with their stunning foliage.

The best part: most of these tall shrubs will provide an excellent visual appeal throughout the year. Their vibrant blooms, unique foliage, and perfect texture will light up your garden like never before.

In this article, we will discuss these shrubs in detail, shedding light on 15 best tall shrubs that’ll provide shade, color, and a perfect texture to your garden.

1. Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

If you’re looking for a lofty shrub that’ll offer just the right dose of shade to your home garden, the Mountain Laurel will be one of the top options to pick from. Perfectly thriving in all conditions, this shrub is native to the forests located along the Mississippi River.

In the wild, these shrubs bloom with stunningly beautiful white flowers. However, most of the garden varieties of these shrubs are known to bloom with pink flowers.

Thanks to this beautiful color, the Mountain Laurel is often interchangeably called the Pink Charm Laurel. Pink renders the perfect color for spring and this color alone is known to attract scores of hummingbirds.

These flowers also have Evergreen leaves that can deck up the dullest of landscapes. The Mountain Laurel can grow around 8 to 10 feet tall and around 6 to 8 feet wide.

They thrive best in hardiness zones 4 to 9. And in case you are planning to add this shrub to your garden, make sure it gets light shade with a dash of indirect sunlight.

2. Japanese Rose

Japanese Rose

If you are looking to add a deciduous shrub to your home, the Japanese Rose is one of your top options. This shrub can successfully withstand the shade and although it can take indirect sunlight, it tends to thrive better when kept in partial or complete shade.

The Japanese Rose blooms with bush flowers during the end summer and spring months. Their bark is usually Kelly Green, though you might find a greenish-yellow tinge during the winter months.

If the shrub of the Japanese Rose appears to be overgrown, consider reviving them by pruning them completely to the ground during the fall months.

These shrubs thrive best in hardiness zones ranging from 4 to 9 and their color is usually yellow. If you are planning to grow the Japanese Rose shrub at home, make sure you do so in a loamy soil that has plenty of moisture.

3. Opening day Viburnum (Doublefile Viburnum)

Doublefile Viburnum

Also known as the Doublefile Viburnum, this plant is best known for its round blooms that resemble the baseball and also appear at the beginning of the baseball season.

The flowers have a greenish-white tinge with a perfectly white finish. You will also love the leaves that are deeply pleated with a sharp greenish hue during the summer months. In fall, however, the foliage is relatively toned down, and at this stage, you are more likely to witness bright shades of wine and burgundy.

The plants can assume a height of 5 to 10 feet and they thrive best in hardiness zones ranging from 5 to 8. If you are looking for full bloom, it is best to plant them in an area that receives plenty of sunlight.

4. Dolores Hydrangea

Dolores Hydrangea
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The Hydrangea is a perfect option for anyone who’s looking to add a dash of color to their garden. These plants feature massive leaves and 8-inch flower heads that are seen throughout the season.

The flowers assume a pinkish hue when kept in alkaline soil and bluish tinge when kept in acidic soil. If you are looking to make your alkaline soil acidic, simply add a small dose of aluminum sulfate.

After planting this shrub, you can expect the first blooms during the early months of spring. Right after that, you can enjoy blossoms throughout the summer and fall.

Maintaining this plant is simple. All you need to do is prune it after flowering or during the early spring months. This will add a perfect shape to the Hydrangeas.

The classic Hydrangeas can grow up to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. They thrive well in hardiness zones ranging from 5 to 9. When growing them in your garden, consider adding some mulch to the soil. This will help maintain proper moisture while also keeping the weeds down.

5. Carol Mackie Daphne

Carol Mackie Daphne

Growing in hardiness zones 4 to 8, these plants are best known for their white and pink blooms. You can even enhance the blooming by providing ample sunlight to shrubs.

However, despite the pretty blooms, most gardeners consider growing these plants for their unique and relatively variegated leaves.

The flowers of Carol Mackie Daphne are popular for their sweet fragrance and color and you should occasionally expose the shrub to partial shade, allowing it to thrive better. Daphnes are not very fond of acidic soil.

So, if you are living in an area with acidic soil, consider adding a dash of lime to neutralize the acid. In terms of consistency, make sure the soil is both moist and well-draining.

6. Golden Rule Hypericum

Golden Rule Hypericum

The Golden Rule Hypericum can add color and vibrancy to the dullest home gardens. Interchangeably known as the Hypericum, this plant has a structure that falls in between a tall shrub to a garden cover.

As it starts maturing, the shrub can fill up your garden with its strikingly beautiful golden colored leaves.

Flowers appear during summer, attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. As previously mentioned, the flowers are exceptionally vibrant and are usually available in a shade of yellow. In the fall months, they assume orange and gold shades.

These shrubs can assume a height of 12 to 18 inches and a width of 12 to 24 inches. They thrive best in hardiness zones ranging from 6 to 8. For optimal growth, make sure the plants are pruned during the spring months and the months after flowering.

7. Hetz Holly

Japanese Holly

A popular variant of the Japanese Holly species, the Hetz is known for its tiny leaves. Unlike American and English hollies which too boast small leaves, the leaves of Hetz Holly are exceptionally and strikingly small.

The plant is often known as the box-leaved holly due to its leaf’s structure. Berries of the Hertz Holly are usually black. This is uncommon compared to the red berries of other hollies. Cultivars can shear the Hetz Japanese Holly to create a shaped hedge. The Holly grows in USDA zones 5 to 8 and they usually bloom with tiny, white flowers.

These shrubs require complete exposure to the sun, though they can tolerate the shade. For soil, you need to put them in well-draining moist soil, though the shrubs can withstand clay.

8. Fothergilla


While their name might seem odd, the Fothergilla is a multi-seasonal plant that grows throughout the year. When you start growing this plant, you’d be amazed by its beautifully fragrant white blooms during the early spring months.

The blooms are almost similar to bottlebrushes and offer an important food source for bees and butterflies. Flowers gradually appear with moderately sized leaves boasting a beautifully veined surface that is both striking and attractive.

The leaf color of the Fothergilla is especially beautiful during the fall months and a single plant can showcase beautiful shades of violet, pink, orange, and even yellow.

This shrub thrives best in full sun and they tend to assume a height of 6 to 10 feet and a width of 5 to 9 feet. The Fothergilla grows well in hardiness zones 4 to 8.

9. Canadian Hemlock

Tsuga Canadensis, Moon Frost, Hemlock, 4.5"

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These shrubs can be best defined as an evergreen plant with needled leaves. You can trim the Canadian hemlock for boosting the development of stunningly dense foliage, which can later serve as an excellent privacy screen.

The plant makes an excellent hedge and in the northern parts of the hardiness range, they appear with a heavy layer of mulch along with the roots during the winter months. 

These plants bloom with tiny yellow and light green flowers and they thrive best in moist and acidic soil. Ideal hardiness zones range from 3 to 7.

10. Andromeda

Andromeda shrub

If you’re looking for a tall evergreen shrub for your garden, the Andromeda might be your best bet. Growing in hardiness zones 5 to 7, these shrubs bloom with beautiful white flowers. Another unique quality of these shrubs lies in the fragrance exuded by the flowers.

Unlike many tall flowering shrubs, the flowers of Andromeda are beautifully fragrant. Andromeda usually requires full sun to partial shade and the blooms are likely to be reduced when you plant them in fully shady regions.

11. Japanese Pieris

2 Gallon - Mountain Snow Pieris - Evergreen Shrub - Bloom Clusters Of Small Bell Shaped White Flowers

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This is yet another evergreen shrub that produces beautiful blooms throughout the year. The flowers are white and in the fall and winter months, the leaves of the Japanese Pieris form an excellent backdrop to the white flowers.

In spring, new leaves appear in shades of bright pink with a fading white edge along the borders. The plants can grow up to 5 feet tall and thrive best in hardiness zones ranging from 4 to 9.

12. Kodiak Orange Diervilla

Kodiak Orange Bush Honeysuckle - 4" Pot - Diervilla - Proven Winners

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This is one shrub that has been planted since agents. It features bright green leaves throughout the year and is also known for its constant blooms. The Kodiak Orange is versatile, meaning it can grow in both sun and shade.

The flowers appear with their yellowish hues and the Kodiak manages to sustain this bloom throughout the summer months. The shrub can grow up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide and it thrives best in hardiness zones ranging from 4 to 7.

13. Wedding Ring Boxwood

Wedding Ring Boxwood
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The Wedding ring Boxwood is as unique as it sounds. This is a hardy plant with variegated, bright green leaves. The shrub does really well during the summer months, though it also adapts to formal gardens during fall or winter months.

The leaves produce excellent winter interest and since the plant can grow in both sun and shade, maintaining it isn’t any hassle either. The Wedding Ring Boxwood thrives best in hardiness zones 5 to 9.

14. Witch Hazel

American Witch hazel tree large flowering shrub Yellow flowers LIVE PLANT

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If you’re looking to boost spring with a dash of bold color, the Witch Hazel is one of the best plants for you. Also known as the Arnold Promise, this shrub is known for its shade, beauty, and the intense fragrance of its flowers.

Native to the North American region, this shrub thrives best in woodland gardens and informal hedges. You can team it up with evergreens to boost your winter blooms.

15. Rhododendron

Rhododendron shrub
Photo by: DepositPhotos

With a height of up to 20 feet, the Rhododendron is one of the tallest shrubs there is. This shrub is best known for its full blooms and the beautiful flowers that literally buzz with bees during the spring months.

Rhododendrons does best in acidic soil and require partial shade. While getting them for your home, try to purchase varieties that are native to the North American or East Asian parts. Rhodies show preference to hardiness zones 5 to 9.

As we previously mentioned, most of these shrubs grow throughout the year, meaning, you can enjoy a perfect leafy shade all year round. So, explore your options and pick your favorite to pep up the look and feel of your garden and to make your summer days tad more comfortable.


Mountain Laurel

Carol Mackie Daphne

Canadian Hemlock


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About Arindom Ghosh

A professional writer, editor, blogger, copywriter, and a member of the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors, New York. He has been part of many reputed domestic and global online magazines and publications. An avid reader and a nature lover by heart, when he is not working, he is probably exploring the secrets of life.