Growing a few shrubs is a great way to add color and beauty to your landscape - at least, in the spring and summer, that is. While there are thousands of shrubs you can choose from to ornate your lawn, there are very few that offer year-round interest.
Sick of looking at a bland landscape each fall and winter? If so, you may want to consider growing one of these 30 best evergreen shrubs and trees - you’ll enjoy beautiful greenery 365 days out of the year.
30 Best Evergreen Shrubs and Trees to Grow
1. False Cypress
False cypress is one of the best evergreen shrubs you can grow if you are looking for a cold-tolerant option. With lovely needles and graceful limbs, this tree usually grows in a pyramidal shape. It is low maintenance and is best grown in zones 4 to 8.
It doesn’t matter whether you live in the northeastern or southeastern portions of the United States - chances are, leucothoe is a plant that will likely work well for you. This evergreen shrub is hardy and deer-resistant and requires very little special care or maintenance.
Hemlock is another low-maintenance shrub you can grow. Viewed by many as a tree, this plant, regardless of what you call it, offers stand-out foliage that is finely textured and a beauty to behold. It can tolerate shade and looks lovely with its miniature cones.
4. Cherry Laurel
Known scientifically as Prunus laurocerasus, this evergreen shrub grows well in warm and humid areas. It is an upright shrub that is resistant to most pests and diseases, too.
5. Inkberry Holly
Inkberry holly is a dwarf evergreen that is native to North America. It grows in a dense, ball-like shape and stays low to the ground. It grows best in moist, acidic soil and can be used to create a small evergreen hedge.
There are several types of euonymus you can grow in your garden for year-round interest and greenery, but Golden Euonymus is one of the most popular. This plant reaches heights of six feet or more, producing elegant foliage in green and yellow shades. It has bold variegated leaves that give you color throughout the year - plus, as a multifunctional shrub, it can be used as a hedge as well as an accent plant.
7. Blue Holly
Blue holly, hardy in zones 5 through 9, is a great plant to grow in partial to full sunlight. It can easily grow up to 15 feet tall and pushes out gorgeous blue-green leaves that remain glossy and verdant throughout the seasons. You’ll also behold dark p purple stems and white flowers in the spring, along with bright red berries that look gorgeous against a snowy backdrop come winter.
Arborvitae is often brown as a privacy screen or hedge. Generally hardy in zones 4 to 8, this shrub can be a tree, too, depending on how tall you let it grow. Left unfettered, it can quickly reach more than 30 feet tall.
9. Pieris Japonica
Pieris japonica is a show-stopping evergreen shrub. It produces lustrous evergreen foliage tinged with gold and red along with cascading flowers shaped like bells. It grows best in shady, acidic soil.
10. Siberian Cypress
Another cypress to consider for an evergreen garden is the Siberian cypress. It is cold-hardy (hence the name) and produces fern-like foliage that is green in the summer before turning more of a maroon shade in the winter. It grows well as a ground cover and is best grown in hardiness zones 2 to 8.
With its lovely mounding form, wintercreeper is an excellent foundation planting. It produces variegated leaves that remain gold, green, white, pink, or red - all throughout the year. It grows well in the shade, too!
Viburnum offers a multitude of evergreen options - and plants will fill up space quickly in your yard! You’ll want to be careful when buying viburnum plants at a garden center, as some cultivars can rapidly grow to huge heights. Others are more deciduous in nature.
Camellia is often prized for its beautiful jewel-toned flowers, but did you know that this shrub stays green all winter long, too? It blooms during the holidays or in the early spring and remains green throughout the year. It’s best grown in zones 7 to 9.
Yucca isn’t considered by many people to be an evergreen shrub, but we include it on this list because in warmer regions, the yucca plant reigns supreme for year-round color. This shrub produces beautiful rosettes of thick green leaves along with a large flower stalk. Plus, it stays green throughout all of the seasons.
The azalea is a shrub with glossy green leaves that remain evergreen at all times. Like other shrubs on this list, the azalea is best known for its flowers - but its foliage is breathtaking to behold, too. They are best suited to zones 5 to 9.
Many people consider rosemary to be an herb but left to its own devices, rosemary can also be grown as a shrub. You’ll need warm weather to let it grow this large, but rest assured, this beautiful plant can quickly reach heights of six feet or more - plus, it stays green throughout the year.
With all kinds of sizes, forms, and colors available, there is truly a juniper plant out there for everyone! There are some kinds of juniper that are best grown as a groundcover while others grow upright and pyramidal, making them more well-suited for a hedge or border planting.
18. Mountain Laurel
Another kind of laurel you can grow is Mountain Laurel. Native to southern New England, this evergreen shrub is frequently grown for its beautiful springtime flowers, but it’s just as valuable for its evergreen leaves. It has gorgeous cup-shaped flowers that range in color from rose to white.
Boxwood is another plant that is a great choice for an evergreen garden. Growing up to four feet tall, it is easy to prune and shape. You can use it to create a hedge, border, or even a topiary! It will stay green all winter long.
20. Winter Heath
Winter heath grows best in zones 5 to 7. This plant grows up to a foot tall, spreading up to a foot and a half when allowed to sprawl. It is native to the European Alps and is prized for its beautiful clusters of bell-shaped pink flowers. These flowers hang on from December until March! In fact, it can even bloom beneath the snow.
The rhododendron, closely related to the azalea, is another evergreen plant you may want to consider growing. It has shiny green leaves and showstopping flowers. In fact, you can find rhododendrons in all kinds of colors, including white, purple, and pale pink. There are both cold- and heat-tolerant versions of this plant available.
22. Oregon Grape
Oregon Grape is best grown in partial to full shade. This plant, as you might expect, pushes out edible clusters of grape-like berries in the late summer. But most notably, it has shiny evergreen leaves that remain verdant all winter long. It needs to be sheltered from winter wind, but otherwise, is hardy in zones 5 to 8.
A unique broadleaf shrub, aucuba grows upright stems that have gold spots on evergreen backgrounds. If you are able to grow both female and male plants, you will also get beautiful berries at certain times throughout the year.
Bearberry is a gorgeous dark green shrub that turns burgundy in the fall and winter months. It’s tough and hard to kill, producing round, glossy leaves and clusters of red berries during the winter months. It isn’t bothered by much, including wind, sandy soil, or even salt spray. It’s hardy in zones 2 to 7.
A fine-textured shrub, yew is another great option for evergreen growth. It has lovely red-brown bark and can be grown as a privacy screen, border, or ground cover.
Cotoneaster is a lesser-heard shrub that is hardy in zones 5 to 8. Growing just a foot or so tall, this shrub can really sprawl - it often reaches widths of four to six feet or more! It produces dark green foliage that turns a deep reddish-bronze in the fall and winter. There are multiple cultivars you can grow, but ‘Coral Beauty’ is one of the best for year-round interest.
Like many of the other shrubs on this list, spruce is more of a tree. It also comes in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and variations. It is lovely as an accent plant but also grows well as a border planting. It is hardy in zones 2 to 8.
With interesting needles and noteworthy cones, fir trees are some of the most beautiful evergreen plants you can grow. There are all kinds of varieties available, including dwarf shrub types and carpet-like ground covers. This tree is hardy in zones 5 to 7.
29. Mugo Pine
You may not have heard of the mugo pine before - but it’s a shrub you should consider growing for long-lasting color. It grows slowly so it won’t take over your garden, but is hardy in zones 2 to 8.
A low-maintenance shrub, mahonia has gorgeous flowers that appear late in the winter and last until early spring. These plants also produce blue or blackberries by the time autumn rolls around. This plant is perfect when grown in a mass planting and is hardy in zones 5 to 9.
Why You Should Grow Evergreen Shrubs and Trees
If you're sick of color that only lasts for a couple of months out of the year, it’s time to rethink your landscaping plan. There are all kinds of evergreen trees and shrubs you can grow - it’s merely a matter of finding which ones work best for your preferences and your unique landscape. And now you have your beautiful evergreen garden, you can find all sorts of ways to use it in your indoor decor here.
Keep the colors running long into the winter months - all by growing a few of these best evergreen shrubs and trees.