Types of Bushes, Shrubs & Plants for the North Side of a House

It's a common practice to plant bushes or flower beds around the perimeter of your home, hiding the foundation and livening up your yard. When choosing what to plant on the north side of the house, however, many people encounter a problem. In the northern hemisphere, sunlight rarely reaches the north side of a building, causing any plants growing there to live in near-perpetual shadow. Fortunately, some popular plants are well-adapted to the shady life.

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Juniper bushes can handle the north side, as long as they get a little sun each day.

Evergreen Shrubs

Yew berry and branch
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Evergreen Shrubs

Several evergreen bushes and shrubs can tolerate a lot of shade, and are ideal cover for the north side of the house. Yews, in particular, can take near-total shade, while cedars need a bit more sunlight. Juniper bushes also work on the north side of a house, as long as they get a couple hours of sunlight a day.

Deciduous Shrubs

Pink rhododendron bush
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Deciduous Shrubs

Some species of deciduous shrubs can tolerate partial shade, so if the north side of your home gets a little sunlight, almost anything will do. For shadier situations, try hydrangeas or rhododendrons — both plants can endure the shadows manfully.

Perennial Flowers

A close-up of a hosta plant
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Perennial Flowers

Perennials are the best type of plant for the shaded side of a house. Some of the more prominent include rayflower, lungwort and hostas. Some wildflowers such as foamflower, bluebells and bleeding heart also thrive in the shade, and have colorful blooms to boot.

Perennial Groundcover

Fern
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Perennial Groundcover

Most groundcover plants succeed in the shadows, being naturally at home on the forest floor. Some of these, including periwinkle, dead nettle, Japanese splurge and all species of ferns are great for filling in the spaces between the larger plants growing on your home's north side.