Hemlock trees and yews are varieties of shade-tolerant evergreens that are able to thrive in areas receiving little to no direct sunlight. Shade-tolerant shrub varieties include gardenia, Japanese privet and Kohuhu. Available shade-tolerant plant species vary according to geographical region and planting zone.
The level of sunlight exposure is a determining factor in which types of plants are used to promote thriving and healthy growth in landscaping environments. Heavily shaded areas do not receive exposure to direct sunlight. Lightly shaded areas receive sunlight filtered through larger trees and other objects. Moderately shaded sights receive sunlight reflected from the ground. Full-sun areas receive six hours or more of sunlight daily.