Many homeowners are fearful of shady areas. “What can I plant in the shade in Fayetteville, NC?” Believe it or not, shade gardens and landscapes are very easy to design! While there aren’t as many options for shady areas as for full sun, several different types of plants still thrive in partial to full shade areas. Continue reading the learn the top shade loving plants for shady yards!

What is Considered Partial to Full Shade?

When planting for any light requirement, knowing how much light each area receives throughout the day is essential. This will dictate what you can grow in that area. If the landscape area receives two or fewer hours of full sun, this area is considered full shade. Partial shade is considered between 4 and 6 hours of full sun. Ideally, when planting shade plants in this area, the 4 to 6 hours of sun it receives should be morning sun only. Anything 6-8 hours of sun is considered full sun. Ready to learn some of the top shade loving plants for shady yards? Read below!

Twilight Nandina

The Twilight Nandina is an evergreen shrub that grows 2 – 3 feet tall and wide. Like other nandinas, this plant has colorful foliage. However, it differs because it has white variegation instead of reds and oranges. Because of this difference, the Twilight Nandina can handle full to partial shade but not full sun. This variety of nandina is an excellent addition to any shade garden!


All mahonias are considered shade plants and can be planted in full to partial shade. The beauty of mahonias is their yellow flowers that appear in late winter and early spring, which can be a rare find for shade plants. In addition, each variety of mahonia has different traits, such as prickly and soft leaves and different mature growth heights. Another bonus to planting mahonias is that they are evergreens!


Aucubas are known for their different green, gold, and yellow variations in the leaves. Much like the mahonia, the aucuba is also an evergreen. Each variety of aucuba also possesses different mature grow heights, so there is one for every shade garden application.


Azaleas are the tried and true shade plant, especially in Fayetteville, NC! With over 10,000 varieties of azaleas, these prolific blooming, shade-loving plants are available in many colors and mature growth heights. Azaleas are a staple to any shade garden in Fayetteville, NC!

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