Trees and Shrubs for Shade
We all know of the wonderful benefits of shade. But gardening under shade can be difficult for several reasons. Competition for sunlight and moisture makes growing plants difficult. With proper care and plant selection several plants will thrive in the shade. A few species of trees and shrubs can be grown with success in light shade.
Trees for light shade includes: Blackgum, Buckeye, Flowering Dogwood, Saucer Magnolia, Sweetbay Magnolia, Papaw, Redbud, and Serviceberry.
Shrubs that will tolerate shade: Azaleas, Boxwood, Clethra, Fothergilla, Hydrangea, Witchhazel, Holly, Itea, Kerria, Rhododendron, and Yews.
Gardening under the trees does require special care for success. Increased competition for water and nutrients increases the need for timely applications. Many of the shade loving plants require an evenly moist soil and will not tolerate prolonged drought. Regular watering during dry periods is beneficial. Fertilize each spring with a balanced fertilizer for an added boost. Mulch the area well to help conserve moisture. Weeds are often not a problem in the shade.
Plants that lack sufficient sunlight will not flower as fully and may experience slower growth and a thinner leaf canopy.