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An image of a white Hydrangea shrub

Shrubs For Shade

Shrubs for Shade...and "Part Sun"

Have deep shade?  Daphne, hydrangea, and broadleaf euonymus are great choices. The rest of the shrubs listed below grow well in what is considered 'bright shade'-- a morning sun location or in dappled light—as under the canopy of an open-branched tree. Many (but not all) of the shrubs listed below are also versatile and can also be planted in full sun. (see shrubs for full sun)

Shrubs help add structure to the garden. They vary from small spreading groundcover types to large specimens that can grow 12 feet or more.  As you consider which to plant, know that many offer more than one season of interest. These woody plants can flower, produce ornamental or edible berries, offer colorful foliage or even spectacular fall color.

** Please Note:  In stock availability of specific varieties listed below will vary depending upon time of season and sales. 

Almond, Flowering (Prunus glandulosa)

Height: 5'-6'

Spread: 3'-4'

Flowers: Double pink flowers in early Spring.

Fall Color: No

Other Notes: A dwarf type ornamental almond. Upright vase shape.  Shiny green leaves.

Bearberry a.k.a. Kinnikinnick (Arctostyphylos)

Variety: 'Massachusetts'

Height: 4"-12"

Spread: 3' and up to 6'

Bloom Color: White tinged with pink bell-shaped dainty flowers

Season of Bloom: Spring

Other Notes: A low growing woody groundcover.  Flowers are followed by small red fruit. Glossy bright green foliage turns reddish in winter. Evergreen, shrubby ground cover. Can planted in shade, part sun, or sun.


Carol Mackie Daphne


Spread: 3'-4'

Flowers: Fragrant, pink, ½" flowers in late spring.

Fall Color: Red berries 1/3" wide.

Other Notes: Variegated green leaves with cream margins. Small, mounded shrub. Must be grown in part sun in Colorado. Well-drained soil is a must. Holds its leaves for a long time into winter. Can be planted in shade or part sun. 

Eternal Fragrance Daphne



Flowers:Repeat blooming Daphne. First flush of fragrant, pink, ½" flowers in late Spring. Second smaller flushes in late Summer/early Fall.

Fall Color:n/a

Other:Slow growing plant with a neat habit. Mulch to keep roots cool. Leaves are dark green.

Dogwood (Cornus)

Red Twig Dogwood

Height: 6'-8'

Spread: 6'-8'

Flowers: White flowers in Spring

Fall Color: Red purple

Other Notes: Bright red stems in winter! Can also be planted in full sun.

Ivory Halo Dogwood

Height: 5'-6'

Spread: 5'-6'

Flowers: White in spring

Fall Color: Insignificant

Other Notes: Bright red stems in winter. Leaves are white and green during season. Compact, rounded shape. Can also be planted in full sun locations.

Yellow Twig Dogwood

Height: 6'-8'

Spread: 6'-8'

Flowers: White in Spring

Fall Color: Red purple

Other Notes: Bright yellow stems in winter! Can also be planted in full sun.

Elderberry (Sambucus)

Red Elderberry 'Lemony Lace' (Sambucus racemosa)


Spread: 4'-6'

Flowers: Large clusters of white flowers in spring followed by bright red berries.

Fall Color: Yellow

Other Notes: A Proven Winners elder.  Does best in a moist spot.  Brightly colored yellow leaves all season.  Deer resistant but NOT pet friendly.

** Photo Courtesy Proven Winners


Annabelle Smooth Hydrangea (arborescens)

Height: 4'-5'

Spread: 3'-5'

Flowers: Large (up to 10"), profuse white blooms mid-summer to frost

Fall Color: No.

Other Notes: Deep green leaves and rounded form. Can grow in shade or part sun locations.  Will also grow in full sun with consistent moisture.

Limelight Hydrangea (paniculata)

Height: 6'-8'

Spread: 6'-8'

Flowers: Large (6"-12") bight creamy green flowers bloom mid-summer and flush to pink when cooler weather comes

Fall Color: No

Other Notes: Blooms on new wood so deadheading will encourage more flowers. Soil pH does not affect bloom color. Can grow in shade or part sun locations. Will even grow in full sun with consistent moisture

Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea (paniculata)

Height: 4'-5'

Spread: 3'-4'

Flowers: Flowers emerge cream in mid-summer, blush to light pink and then deepen to a darker pink in fall.

Fall Color: NO

Other Notes: Compact type that can mix well in perennial beds. Can grow in shade or part sun locations.

Ninebark (Physocarpus)

Amber Jubilee Ninebark

Height: 5'-6'

Spread: 4'

Flowers: White flowers in spring

Fall Color: Red-purple fall colored leaves

Other Notes: Foliage tones in orange, yellow and golds.  Rounded, dense habit.

Dart's Gold Ninebark


Spread: 4'-5

Flowers: Creamy white flowers in Spring.

Fall Color: Red fruit in fall.

Other Notes: Bright yellow leaves during the growing season. Compact rounded shape. Great shrub to use for color contrast.

** Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries Inc

Diablo Ninebark

Height: 8'-10'

Spread: 8'-10'

Flowers: Pink buds open to creamy white flowers in spring

Fall Color: Bronze/Maroon

Other Notes: Beautiful red-purple foliage on long arching canes. Forms a beautiful rounded mound of foliage and, even though it gets quite tall, can be controlled by cutting branches back each spring. Spring flowers contrast nicely against the dark foliage. Plant in full sun for best foliage color.

Little Devil Ninebark


Spread: 3'-4'

Flowers: White/pink flowers in early summer

Fall Color: Red-purple leaves all season

Other Notes: This cute and compact ninebark offers low maintenance for the homeowner with a small garden. Burgundy foliage makes for a nice contrast. Upright mounded. habit. No pruning needed.

** Photos Courtesy Bailey Nurseries Inc.

Summer Wine


Spread: 5'-6'

Flowers: Pink flowers in early summer make a nice show against the darker leaves

Fall Color: Burgundy leaves

Other Notes: Upright rounded habit. Great shrub to use for color contrast.

** Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Spirea (Spiraea)

Anthony Waterer Spirea

Height: 2'-3

Spread: 4'-5

Flowers: Rose pink in summer

Fall Color: Red-purple

Other Notes: Upright rounded shrub. Can also be grown in full sun.

Goldflame Spirea

Height: 2'-3'

Spread: 3'-4'

Flowers: Crimson blooms in summer.

Fall Color: Red-bronze

Other Notes: Leaves are ever-changing color. Bright red new growth changing to yellow and then to green. Low, mounded shrub. Can also be grown in full sun.

Gold Mound Spirea


Spread: 2'-3'

Flowers: Pink blooms in summer

Fall Color: Yellow foliage tinges red.

Other Notes: Great pop of color for small spaces. Yellow foliage throughout season. Can also be grown in full sun.

** Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Little Princess Spirea


Spread: 3'

Flowers: Pink flowers in summer.

Fall Color: Dark red.

Other Notes: Low mounded shrub. Can also be grown in full sun.

** Photo Courtesy Bailey Nurseries

Snowmound Spirea

Height: 3'-4'

Spread: 3'-4'

Flowers: Masses of pure white flowers in spring.

Fall Color: No

Other Notes: A dwarf, rounded shrub with dark green foliage. Can also be grown in full sun.

Renaissance Spirea (Spirea x Vanhouttei)

Height: 5'-7'

Spread: 6'-8'

Flowers: Profuse white flowers in spring.

Fall Color: Orange-red leaves.

Other Notes: Vase-shaped shrub. Can also be grown in full sun. Renaissance is an improved Bridal Wreath spirea.

Willow (Salix)

Hakuro Nishiki Willow (Salix integra)

Height: 4'-6'+

Spread: 4'-6'+

Flowers: No

Fall Color: White/Green/Pink leaves

Other Notes: A lovely small shrub with pink stems and buds that open to dappled green, pink and white foliage. Some leaves will be all white. The stems are graceful and spreading. Rounded shape at maturity.

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We are open all year round and always offer the seasons most popular varieties for gardeners and plant lovers alike!

Phelan Gardens
4955 Austin Bluffs Parkway.
Colorado Springs, CO, 80918

(719) 574-8058

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