Fast-growing evergreen shrubs
If your garden is large, and you’re looking for a fast, and most importantly, beautiful arrangement, you can’t go wrong with fast-growing evergreen shrubs. Thanks to them, you can expect very interesting-looking plants in your yard after just 2 years.
Gardeners pick various quick-growing evergreen bushes. A lot depends on individual preferences and the garden’s structure, as well as its conditions. But certain evergreen shrubs are quite popular. Take a look at the two species below: Oregon grape and Korean privet.
Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium)
Oregon grape is an evergreen bush which amazes with its sensual smell during blooming season. It also bears fruit, from which one can make tasty and healthy preserves. The bush has long branches which develop yellow flowers.
The shrub is completely resistant to frost. What’s more, it also grows perfectly in summer, even during long droughts. It doesn’t require any special care, and is resistant to pests. Pruning once a year in May is recommended, though. You can also strengthen the plant using adequate fertilizers.
Korean privet (Ligustr ovalifolium)
Korean privet is also known as oval-leaved privet. The shrub doesn’t grow taller than 2 meters (6.56 feet). This evergreen bush has characteristic round leaves, as its name indicates. When blooming, it develops small, bright, melliferous flowers. It also bears fruits – but one shouldn’t pick them, as they aren’t edible to humans.
Fun fact: Korean privet is one of the most popular shrubs formed into bush sculptures. Because of this, it can be commonly encountered in city parks and squares.
Slow-growing evergreen shrubs
Do you have a small garden, but you don’t want to grow perennials or ornamental grasses in it? You don’t have to give up bushes – just pick slow-growing evergreen shrubs. Some of them need even 10 years to grow up to 1 meter (3.28 feet) tall. What’s more, you can prune them regularly to make sure they don’t take too much space in your garden.
White spruce ‘Conica’ (Picea glauca ‘Conica’)
White spruce ‘Conica’ is one of the most popular types within its family. It grows very slow, which makes it a perfect plant for small gardens. The yearly growth doesn’t exceed 10 cm (3.94 in). It’s characteristic for its conical habit and tiny, thick branches.
Northern white-cedar (Wareana Lutescens)
Northern white cedar is the well-known to most people thuja tree. The maximum height of this popular evergreen shrub is usually no more than 3 meters (9.84 feet), which is achieved after 20-25 years from planting it. One can also trim the plant regularly to limit its height.
Northern white-cedar is not a difficult shrub. All it needs is slightly acidic soil and a sunny location.
Small evergreen shrubs
Short evergreen bushes are perfect for small gardens, but not only. They are also great for people who dislike overly large trees. They are popular because they come in many varieties, which gives you almost unlimited possibilities. You can decide between ornamental shrubs with interesting-looking leaves, coniferous variants, or blooming varieties.
Common box (Buxus sempervirens)
Common box is a plant that many associate with festivities, e.g., Easter. It’s commonly used as an Easter basket decoration in Eastern European countries. Because of its resistance to frost, it’s a popular bush used for hedges. Unfortunately, boxwood is an evergreen shrub that requires regular maintenance and strengthening with special fertilizers, because it’s vulnerable to various pests.
Japanese andromeda (Pieris japonica)
Japanese andromeda is often compared to azalea. It’s true that they both belong to the same group of plants - ericaceae. This evergreen shrub is characteristic for its short height, as it doesn’t grow taller than 1 meter (3.28 feet). But this species isn’t good for every garden. It requires a sunny or half-shaded location. Also, it should be protected from the wind. The soil has to be slightly acidic and mixed with peat.
Sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia)
Sheep laurel is a beautiful, colorful shrub which grows up to 1 meter (3.28 feet) tall. It’s distinct for its low requirements. The soil should be slightly acidic and constantly moist. The shrub is highly resistant to frost, which is particularly significant in winter.
Tall evergreen shrubs
Tall evergreen shrubs are perfect for large gardens, but not only. Not all of them have wide habits. If you pick slim ornamental shrubs, you can use them to decorate a small yard, and have some privacy from neighbors and traffic. Even wide evergreen shrubs can be planted in small gardens – they just need to be pruned regularly.
Leatherleaf viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum)
Leatherleaf viburnum is one of the tallest evergreen bushes one can find in gardens. Typically, the plant grows up to 3 meters (9.84 feet) tall, but note it’s also quite wide. It has characteristic large leaves – usually 17-18 cm (6.69-7.09 in) long. Its modest, but beautiful cream flowers are noteworthy as well.
Tamarisk (Tamarix L.)
Tamarisk is an evergreen shrub of many varieties. Each of them is resistant to low temperatures, droughts, and pollution. Because of this, tamarisk can be found not only in gardens, but also in large city parks.
Tamarisk grows best in sunny locations. That’s where it also blooms most beautifully. It develops gorgeous pink or white flowers in summer. The shrub amazes in fall as well, when it turns yellow.
Blooming evergreen shrubs
Most people think about leafy or coniferous plants when talking about evergreen shrubs. But note that some of them develop blossom, most commonly in spring and summer. Such species are a perfect choice if you love colors in your garden, but don’t have time to care for flowers, which are definitely more time-consuming. There are many blooming evergreen shrubs, although certain species are more popular than others.
Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
Cherry laurel is a highly elegant evergreen bush which can be used in plant arrangements, and as a hedge. As for the yearly growth, it’s usually 50 cm (1.64 feet), but it depends on particular conditions, and the location in which it is planted. Cherry laurel is characteristic for its durability and beautiful flowers.
Rhododendron is one of the most beautiful garden shrubs. Its habit is dense and raised. These plants can grow up to 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) tall. They are also easy to grow. They require permeable, slightly acidic and moderately wet soil. Rhododendrons’ advantages include resistance to low temperatures and a great variety of colors of their flowers.
Leafy evergreen shrubs
Leafy evergreen shrubs are one of the most popular types of plants appearing in gardens. They are highly universal, which makes them fit perfectly into both French style and English style gardens. Most of them aren’t very demanding. They just need good soil and minor maintenance, which is easy even for beginner gardeners.
Fortune’s spindle (Euonymus fortunei)
Fortune’s spindle is a small evergreen shrub. Its height doesn’t exceed 60 cm (1.97 feet) in good conditions. It has characteristic ornamental leaves. They have two colors – the middle is green, and the edges white. Interestingly enough, these plants are suitable not only for gardens, but also can be grown in pots on balconies and patios.
Checkerberry (Gaultheria procumbens)
Checkerberry is an evergreen bush which is distinct mostly for its decorative red fruits. Interestingly enough, this plant is included in the group of ericaceous shrublets, and doesn’t grow taller than 15-20 cm (5.91-7.87 in). Thanks to this, it’s perfect for small yards.
Coniferous evergreen shrubs
Coniferous evergreen shrubs are the basis of any forest garden. But it doesn’t mean that you can plant them only in yards of such a design. Coniferous evergreen bushes look beautiful when combined with modern buildings, which look a bit stark. They also match old wooden houses, a common sight in mountainous regions.
Rocky mountain fir (Abies lasiocarpa ‘Compacta’)
Rocky mountain fir is a short, slow-growing coniferous shrub. It’s quite difficult in cultivation, as it needs rich and moist soil. It should be planted in sunny locations, or in half-shade. Young shrubs have to be secured before winter, as frost might damage them.
Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis ‘Jedeloh’)
Eastern hemlock is a very characteristic evergreen shrub which has a peculiar flattened and domical shape. It doesn’t grow tall, as it typically reaches 1 meter of height. But it’s quite demanding. Although Eastern hemlock is resistant to low temperatures, it does poorly during droughts. Just a few days without water might cause its death.
Round-shaped evergreen shrubs
Are you looking for unique shrubs that look good in winter? Pick round plants - they look truly elegant. Note that they need more attention, especially when it comes to pruning. But such maintenance doesn’t take too much time. Many people decide not to buy round evergreen bushes, thinking they are expensive. But as it turns out, it’s not true. Prices of such round shrubs are close to other plants.
Bog pine ‘Mops’ (Pinus mugo ‘Mops’)
Bog pine ‘Mops’ is an evergreen shrub of dense needles, which grows into a round shape. Its needles are long and very stiff. Beginner gardeners will appreciate the small plant – it’s a low-maintenance evergreen shrub. A sunny location is the only important aspect of its care. Type of soil and moisture levels don’t matter.
Arbovitae ‘Danica’ (Thuja occidentalis ‘Danica’)
Arbovitae ‘Danica’ is a popular thuja, which is characteristic for its round habit and slow growth rate. Its branches are thick and densely packed. They are also relatively short, making it easier to form into the characteristic shape. Low soil requirements are a big plus of this plant.
Arbovitae ‘Mirjam’ (Thuja occidentalis ‘Mirjam’)
Arbovitae ‘Mirjam’ is another popular coniferous evergreen shrub of a round habit and slow growth. It differs from the mentioned above ‘Danica’ variety – mostly in the golden color. It’s a highly tolerant variety, which means you can plant it in basically any soil – although rich and permeable ground is definitely the most beneficial for this plant.
Trailing evergreen shrubs
Those who want to add some modernity in their garden will surely appreciate trailing shrubs that stay green all year. They don’t grow too tall and trail along the surface. Thanks to them, the yard looks highly elegant.
Creeping juniper ‘Glauca’ (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Glauca’)
Creeping juniper ‘Glauca’ forms a beautiful, thick carpet on the ground. It’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a lawn that needs frequent mowing. Few-year-old plants look the most stunning. Some grow even 3 meters (9.84 feet) wide, while reaching a height no taller than 15 cm (5.91 in).
Rockspray cotoneaster (Cotoneaster procumbens)
Rockspray cotoneaster belongs to the so-called ground-cover shrubs that grow no taller than 15 cm (5.91 in). It’s distinct for rich blooming, which happens between the end of May and the beginning of June. Round fruits appear on the branches right afterwards. Rockspray cotoneaster is a universal plant. One can use it e.g., to separate particular parts of the garden from each other.
Red evergreen shrubs
Do you want to have something unique in your garden? Pick red shrubs that look good in winter – they are very impressive. Such plants typically change their color in fall. It’s another advantage, as thanks to this, your garden looks different in each season.
Highland doghobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana)
Highland doghobble is a beautiful evergreen shrub which amazes with its flower bunches. The small flowers resemble bells. The plant has characteristic red-edged leaves. They turn entirely red in fall. The plant doesn’t grow tall. Usually, it achieves a height of 50-60 cm (1.64-1.97 ft).
As for requirements, highland doghobble grows best in sunny locations, and acidic, humus-rich soils. The plant likes moderate moisture.
Barberry (Berberis L.)
Barberry is a plant of many varieties, so its looks might differ. But it has characteristic red leaves on its branches, and develops beautiful flowers. They turn into fruits that can be used in jams and other preserves.
📍 What are the best evergreen shrubs for garden?
Evergreen shrubs is a name describing a huge variety of plants. You can pick from leafy, coniferous, blooming, creeping and colorful types. Shrubs with red leaves are quite popular, as they make a beautiful garden decorations. When picking an evergreen bush, make sure to take your own preferences, plants' needs and size of your garden into consideration.
📍 When to plant evergreen shrubs?
Each evergreen bush has different needs about the time of planting. Most of them can be planted in spring or fall. But make sure to read about the needs of a particular plant that interests you, and plan accordingly.
📍 When to transplant evergreen shrubs?
Regardless which evergreen shrubs you pick, late fall is the best time to transplant them. That's when they are finished blooming, so they can be reborn in spring in a new place. Some species are replanted in spring, so make sure to check the needs of a particular plant.
📍 When to prune evergreen shrubs?
Some evergreen shrubs don't need pruning at all – especially short plants. But if you have larger bushes in your garden and want to give them a particular shape, time before vegetation period is the best for pruning. Thanks to this, the plant has some time to regenerate and develop in a new, refreshed form.