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Small shade shrubs are deciduous plants measuring up to 4 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.

Small shade shrubs for full shade

Small full shade shrubs (up to 4 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
Dirca palustris Leatherwood
Hydrangea macrophylla Bigleaf Hydrangea
Rhodotypos scandens Black Jetbead
Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Indiancurrant Coralberry
Symphoricarpos albus Common Snowberry
Viburnum acerifolium Mapleleaf Viburnum

Small shade shrubs for partial shade

Small partial shade shrubs (up to 4 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
Ceanothus americanus New Jersey Tea
Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush
Daphne x burkwoodii Burkwood Daphne
Diervilla sessilifolia Southern Bush-honeysuckle
Dirca palustris Leatherwood
Gaylussacia brachycera Box Huckleberry
Hydrangea macrophylla Bigleaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens Smooth Hydrangea

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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