The key to planting a beautiful shade garden is finding attractive shrubs that thrive in shade in your hardiness zone. If you live in zone 5, your climate is on the cool side. However, you’ll find lots of options for bushes for zone 5 shade. Read on for information about zone 5 shade shrubs.
Growing Bushes in Zone 5 Shade
The Department of Agriculture’s plant hardiness zone system runs from icy zone 1 to sweltering zone 12, with the zones defined by a region’s coldest winter temperature. Zone 5 is somewhere in the cool middle, with lows between -20 and -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 and -23 C.).
Before you head to the garden store to buy a bush, look carefully at the type of shade your garden offers. Shade is generally classified as light, moderate or heavy. The zone 5 shade shrubs that will thrive in your backyard vary depending on the type of shade involved.
Zone 5 Bushes for Shade
Most plants need some sunlight to survive. You’ll find more options for bushes for zone 5 shade if you have “light shade” areas – those getting filtered sunshine – than for those shade areas receiving only reflected sunlight. Even fewer zone 5 bushes for shade grow in “deep shade” areas. Deep shade is found under dense evergreen trees or anywhere that sunlight is blocked.
You are in luck if your backyard garden gets sunlight filtered through the branches of open-canopied trees like birch. If this is the case, you’ll find many more options for zone 5 shade shrubs than you might think. Select among:
- Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
- Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)
- Cornelian cherry dogwood (Cornus mas)
- Hazelnut (Corylus species)
- Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenia)
- Mock orange (Philadelphus coronaries)
When you are growing bushes in zone 5 shade in an area that gets some reflected sunshine, you’ll find options as well. Quite a few varieties thrive in this type of shade in zone 5. These include:
- Sweet shrub (Calycanthus floridus)
- Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)
- Daphne (Daphne species)
- Witch hazel (Hamamelis species)
- Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
- Holly (Ilex species)
- Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica)
- Leucothoe (Leucothoe species)
- Oregon holly grape (Mahonia aquifolium)
- Northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
When your garden gets no sunlight at all, your choices for zone 5 bushes for shade are more limited. Most plants prefer at least dappled light. However, a few shrubs grow in zone 5 deep shade areas. These include:
- Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica)
- Laurel (Kalmia species)