It is hard to find shrubs for deep shade, as few will persist at all. However, Shadbush, named because it blooms in the spring at the same time as the shad fish are running, is one possibility to try in light shade. This deciduous eastern American native has white or pink flowers and autumn foliage color.
Witch Hazel is another deciduous shrub, and there are both the native, Virginiana, as well as some Asian varieties. There is one with golden-red blooms called ‘Ruby Glow’.
Also, Pieris Japonica is a broad-leaved evergreen shrub, hardy to zone 5, which is a spring bloomer, producing pink or white clusters of bell-shaped flowers. Also in the spring, its new leaves are a pretty reddish color. Especially eye-catching is the variety called ‘Forest Flame’. Pieris is a small shrub and can be effective in both small and large gardens and useful as a foundation planting.
And remember that some dogwoods can tolerate different amounts of shade. The natives need more sun than the Japanese Cornus Kousa species. The grey dogwood Cornus racemosa, which has white flowers, is very shade tolerant. Add some perennials such as foamflower, pulmonaria, lamium, celandine poppy, sweet woodruff, epimedium, and lily-of-the-valley to complement the shrubs.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on shrubs for shade.