The Best Shrubs for Shade Gardens in Bergen County, NJ

Best Shrubs for Shade Gardens in Bergen County, NJShade makes your backyard a haven, giving you shelter from the Bergen County heat and humidity, but when you are gardening it can be a mixed blessing. Creating a beautiful garden when you are blessed with a shady yard can be quite the challenge, but it’s not impossible. With the right flowers and shrubs, you can make that shady spot come alive.

These shrubs are some of the best shrubs in shady gardens, and they are a good starting point for your shade garden.

Winter Creeper

The first on the list is the winter creeper, or euonymus fortunei. This bittersweet shrub can spread to more than 50 feet, but it only grows about two feet high. The oval shaped leaves are complemented by small flowers and large, orange fruits. This shrub is not picky about its soil, and you can propagate it using tip cuttings.


If you are trying your hand at gardening for the first time and want one of the best shrubs for shade that is also quite easy to grow, you will enjoy the hardiness of spiderwort, or tradescantia andersoniana.

Growing up to two feet in height and width, this popular perennial has one-inch flowers that last about two months. A variety of colors allows you to match your existing garden. If you wish to breed these, divide a clump and replant.

Surprise Lily

Surprise lily, or Lycoris sqamigera, will bring beautiful butterflies to your shade garden. The flowers grow on stalks two feet high, and are a lilac or pink color. They measure three inches long and have a strong, pleasant fragrance. This versatile shrub has foot-long gray colored leaves.

While this plant will grow well in partial shade and is not picky about soil. It also tolerates sun well, making it one of the best shrubs in shade or partial shade gardens. To propagate the surprise lily, simply divide the plant and replant.

Rusty Black-Haw

Rusty black-haw, or viburnum rufidulum, is one of the best shrubs for shade for homeowners in northern NJ who may find themselves forgetting to water. It is quite drought resistant, so you can plant it and forget it if you need to.

The shrub typically grows to about 10 or 15 feet, but in the right conditions it can grow as tall as 25 feet. Small two- to four-inch leaves and small clusters of white flowers are the defining features of this plant. You can cut green wood cuttings to propagate the rusty black-haw.

Indian Pink

Finally, as you are searching for the best shrubs for shade gardens, don’t forget about the Indian pink, or spigelia marilandica. Growing up to two feet tall with leaves up to six inches in size, this shrub is known for its two-inch-long trumpet shaped flowers. Indian pink needs moist soil, and to breed, divide a clump and replant.


While all plants require some light to thrive, each of these are going to grow well in a mostly shady area. As you plan your garden, don’t overlook the shady parts. With some of the best shrubs in Bergen County shade gardens, you will be able to create a beautiful space that will thrive without direct sun exposure.