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Button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is a nice medium shade shrubs

Button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Medium shade shrubs are deciduous plants measuring between 4 and 8 feet in height. Full shade shrubs require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day, while partial shade plants require 2 to 4 hours.

Note that, in each list, shrubs from different climate zones with different growing conditions may be mixed together. Before making a final choice on any given plant, always check all its characteristics to ensure it is the right shrub for the right place.

Medium shade shrubs for full shade

Medium size full shade shrubs (4 to 8 feet) that require less than 2 hours of direct sunlight per day (don’t forget that these aren’t endives – they do need light) and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name
Clethra alnifolia Summersweet
Hydrangea macrophylla Bigleaf Hydrangea
Itea virginica Virginia Sweetspire
Kerria japonica Japanese Kerria
Rhodotypos scandens Black Jetbead
Symphoricarpos albus Common Snowberry
Viburnum acerifolium Mapleleaf Viburnum

Medium shade shrubs for partial shade

Medium size partial shade shrubs (4 to 8 feet) that require between 2 and 4 hours of direct sunlight per day and a soil that is moist but well drained.

Scientific name Common name
Aronia arbutifolia Red Chokeberry
Calycanthus floridus Common Sweetshrub
Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush
Clethra alnifolia Summersweet
Corylopsis pauciflora Buttercup Winterhazel
Daphne x burkwoodii Burkwood Daphne
Hydrangea macrophylla Bigleaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens Smooth Hydrangea
Itea virginica Virginia Sweetspire
Kerria japonica Japanese Kerria
Lindera benzoin Spicebush
Lonicera maackii Amur Honeysuckle
Lonicera tatarica Tatarian Honeysuckle
Myrica pensylvanica Northern Bayberry
Physocarpus opulifolius Common Ninebark

Consider visiting our Shade plants page, where you will find general information on growing plants in shady locations.

Have you considered all the options available to you? If not, then have a look at our Landscaping plants page.

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