Flowering Trees For Shade (10 Shade Tolerant Flowering Trees)


Some trees need bright light, but others are shade tolerant and can survive in the shadow of other trees or buildings.  Even better, there are some shade tolerant trees that produce dazzling flowers to add beauty to your landscape.

So, what are some flowering trees for shade?  Flowering trees for shade include: Bladdernut, Blue Olive Berry, Carolina Laurel Cherry, Florida Anise, Money Tree, Pagoda Dogwood, Reeves Spiraea, Umbrella Magnolia, Wercklea, and Witch Hazel.  Some of these trees have attractive foliage and can grow quite tall!

Of course, some of these trees can survive in full sun, but they all tolerate partial or full shade.

In this article, we’ll talk about 10 flowering trees for shade.  We’ll also take a look at what they need for light, water, and other important growth factors.

Let’s get going.

10 Flowering Trees For Shade

There are plenty of flowering trees that can thrive in shade, but here are 10 to start with:

  • Bladdernut
  • Blue Olive Berry
  • Carolina Laurel Cherry
  • Florida Anise
  • Money Tree
  • Pagoda Dogwood
  • Reeves Spiraea
  • Umbrella Magnolia
  • Wercklea
  • Witch Hazel

Let’s begin with the Bladdernut Tree

Bladdernut

Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) is a deciduous tree that produces showy tiny (less than 1 inch) white or cream white flowers in spring.

Bladdernut
Bladdernut is a deciduous shade tolerant tree with tiny white or cream flowers.
Image courtesy of user:
Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz via: Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Staphylea_trifolia_kz06.jpg

Bladdernut needs moderate to wet moisture levels.  Too much water causes root rot and can damage the plant.

Bladdernut tolerates partial or full shade.  It prefers slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil (pH of 6.1 to 7.8).

Bladdernut can tolerate extreme cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 3a (as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit or –40 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 8 to 15 feet, with a width of 10 to 20 feet.

You can propagate Bladdernut by stem cuttings or seeds.

You can learn more about Bladdernut from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Bladdernut from Prairie Moon Nursery.

Blue Olive Berry

Blue Olive Berry (Elaeocarpus grandiflorus) is a deciduous tree that produces showy tiny (less than 1 inch) white flowers in late winter, spring, or early summer.

Blue Olive Berry
Blue Olive Berry is a deciduous shade tolerant tree that produces tiny white flowers.
Image courtesy of user:
PEAK99 via:
Wikimedia Commons:
https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
%E0%B9%84%E0%B8%84%E0%B8%A3%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%A2%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%AD%E0%B8%A2_Elaeocarpus_
grandiflorus_Sm_FAMILY_
ELAEOCARPACEAE_(1).jpg

Blue Olive Berry needs moderate to wet moisture levels.  Too much water causes root rot and can damage the plant.

Blue Olive Berry tolerates partial or full shade, but it can also survive in full sun.  It can tolerate acidic to alkaline soil (pH of 6.0 to 8.0).

Blue Olive Berry cannot tolerate extreme cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 9b (as cold as 25 degrees Fahrenheit or –4 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 30 feet.

You can propagate Blue Olive Berry by stem cuttings.

You can learn more about Blue Olive Berry from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Blue Olive Berry from Urban Tropicals.

Carolina Laurel Cherry

Carolina Laurel Cherry (Elaeocarpus grandiflorus) is a fragrant evergreen tree that produces showy tiny (less than 1 inch) white flowers in late winter or spring.

Carolina Laurel Cherry
Carolina Laurel Cherry is a fragrant shade tolerant evergreen tree with tiny white flowers.
Image courtesy of:
Carl Dennis, Auburn University, Bugwood.org via:
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Prunus_caroliniana.jpg

Carolina Laurel Cherry needs moderate to dry moisture levels.  Too much water causes root rot and can damage the plant.

Carolina Laurel Cherry tolerates partial or full shade, but it can also survive in full sun.  It can tolerate acidic to neutral soil (pH of 5.6 to 7.5).

Carolina Laurel Cherry can tolerate some cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 7a (as cold as 0 degrees Fahrenheit or –18 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 20 to 40 feet, with a width of 15 to 25 feet.

You can propagate Carolina Laurel Cherry by stem cuttings, tip cuttings, cane cuttings, root cuttings, root suckers, or by seeds.

You can learn more about Carolina Laurel Cherry from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Carolina Laurel Cherry from Plant Clearance.

Florida Anise

Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum) is a fragrant evergreen tree that produces showy small (1 to 2 inch) scarlet red flowers in late spring, summer, or early fall.

Florida Anise
Florida Anise is a fragrant shade tolerant evergreen tree with showy small scarlet red flowers.

Florida Anise needs moderate moisture levels.  Too much water causes root rot and can damage the plant.

Florida Anise tolerates partial or full shade.  It can tolerate acidic to neutral soil (pH of 6.1 to 7.3).

Florida Anise can tolerate some cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 7a (as cold as 0 degrees Fahrenheit or –18 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 6 to 10 feet, with a width of 4 to 6 feet.

You can propagate Florida Anise by stem cuttings.

You can learn more about Florida Anise from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Florida Anise from Wilson Bros Gardens.

Money Tree

Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) is an evergreen tree that produces showy yellowish white flowers with red tips year round.

Money Tree
Money Tree is a shade tolerant evergreen tree with showy flowers.

Money Tree needs moderate to wet moisture levels.  Too much water causes root rot and can damage the plant.

Money Tree tolerates partial or full shade, but it can also survive in full sun.  It can tolerate acidic to neutral soil (pH of 6.0 to 7.5).

Money Tree cannot tolerate much cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 10a (as cold as 30 degrees Fahrenheit or –1 degree Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 60 feet in nature.

You can propagate Money Tree by stem cuttings.

You can learn more about Money Tree from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Money Tree from Plantvine.

Pagoda Dogwood

Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) is a deciduous tree that produces showy white flowers in spring or early summer.

Pagoda Dogwood
Pagoda Dogwood is a shade tolerant deciduous tree with white flowers.

Pagoda Dogwood tolerates dry or wet moisture levels.

Pagoda Dogwood tolerates partial or full shade, but it can also survive in full sun.  It can tolerate acidic to neutral soil (pH of 6.1 to 7.3).

Pagoda Dogwood can tolerate extreme cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 3a (as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit or –40 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 15 to 20 feet, with a width of 20 to 25 feet.

You can propagate Pagoda Dogwood by stem cuttings.

You can learn more about Pagoda Dogwood from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Pagoda Dogwood from Prairie Nursery.

Reeves Spiraea

Reeves Spiraea (Spiraea cantoniensis) is a deciduous tree that produces showy fragrant white flowers in spring.

Reeves Spiraea
Reeves Spiraea is a shade tolerant deciduous tree with fragrant white flowers.

Reeves Spiraea tolerates moderate moisture levels.  Too much water will cause root rot and damage the plant.

Reeves Spiraea tolerates partial or full shade, but it can also survive in full sun.  It prefers neutral soil (pH of 6.6 to 7.5).

Reeves Spiraea can tolerate extreme cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 3a (as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit or –40 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 5 feet.

You can propagate Reeves Spiraea by layering or stem cuttings.

You can learn more about Reeves Spiraea from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Reeves Spiraea from Wilson Bros Gardens.

Umbrella Magnolia

Umbrella Magnolia (Magnolia tripetala) is a deciduous tree that produces showy white, cream, or pale yellow flowers in spring or early summer.

Umbrella Magnolia
Umbrella Magnolia is a shade tolerant deciduous tree with white, cream, or pale yellow flowers.

Umbrella Magnolia tolerates moderate moisture levels.  Too much water will cause root rot and damage the plant.

Umbrella Magnolia tolerates partial or full shade, but it can also survive in full sun.  It prefers slightly acidic soil (pH of 6.1 to 6.5).

Umbrella Magnolia can tolerate severe cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 5a (as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit or –29 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 15 to 30 feet, with a width of 15 to 30 feet.

You can propagate Umbrella Magnolia by cuttings.

You can learn more about Umbrella Magnolia from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Umbrella Magnolia from Mail Order Natives.

Wercklea

Wercklea (Wercklea ferox) is an evergreen tree that produces small (1 to 2 inch) bicolor orange and yellow flowers.

Wercklea
Wercklea is a shade tolerant evergreen tree with small bicolor orange and yellow flowers.
Image courtesy of user: gailhampshire via:
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.
wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
P1080330_-_Flickr_-_gailhampshire.jpg

Wercklea tolerates moderate to wet moisture levels.  Too much water will cause root rot and damage the plant.

Wercklea tolerates partial or full shade.  It prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH of 6.1 to 7.5).

Wercklea cannot tolerate much cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 10a (as cold as 30 degrees Fahrenheit or –1 degree Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 15 feet.

You can propagate Wercklea by seed.

You can learn more about Wercklea from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Wercklea from Rare Palm Seeds.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a deciduous tree that produces showy fragrant small (1 to 2 inch) yellow flowers in fall or winter.

Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is a shade tolerant deciduous tree with showy fragrant yellow flowers.

Witch Hazel tolerates dry or wet moisture levels.

Witch Hazel tolerates partial or full shade, but it can survive in full sun.  It prefers acidic to neutral soil (pH of 5.6 to 7.3).

Witch Hazel can tolerate severe cold.  As an outdoor plant, it is hardy to Zone 4a (as cold as -30 degrees Fahrenheit or –34 degrees Celsius).

This plant grows to a height of 20 to 30 feet, with a width of 20 to 25 feet.

You can propagate Witch Hazel by layering or suckers.

You can learn more about Witch Hazel from the National Gardening Association’s Plant Database.

You can find Witch Hazel from Tennessee Wholesale Nursery.

Conclusion

Now you know about 10 flowering trees for shade and how to take care of them.  They might provide inspiration to help you to improve your landscape and add beauty to your yard.

If you live in Zone 5, you can find some flowering trees for Zone 5 in my article here.

You might also want to check out my article on flowering vines for shade, my article on trees for alkaline soil, or my article on trees for acidic soil.

I hope you found this article helpful.  If so, please share it with someone who can use the information.

If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!

~Jonathon

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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