Types of evergreen shrubs

20 Essential Evergreen Shrubs - Best Types of Evergreen Bushes

Country Living editors select each product featured. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. More about us.

Every single garden needs these evergreen bushes.

By Arricca SanSone


Evergreens are an essential part of any garden, no matter where you live across the country. They provide year-round color, texture, and privacy and offer food and shelter to birds and wildlife. There are thousands of types of evergreen shrubs in every size and shape with shades of green ranging from deepest emerald to sunny golden-green. Some varieties tolerate extreme heat and cold, so be sure to read the plant label or description when shopping to find one that's suited to your USDA hardiness zone (find yours here). When you're planning your garden, don't forget to pay attention to how tall and wide the plant gets, especially if you're considering a fast-growing shrub. That cute little shrub won't stay tiny forever, and you don't want to create a maintenance nightmare by having to prune it three times a year. The good news is that many new varieties of shrubs have been developed in recent years to stay nice and compact, so they fit well up against your house as a foundation planting or in containers to flank your front door or patio steps.

Here are our favorite evergreens (including flowering shrubs!) for your garden.


1 of 20

False Cypress

This cold-tolerant shrub has graceful limbs and pretty needles. Many varieties grow in a pyramidal or roughly pyramidal shape, which makes a nice, low-maintenance accent plant.

Why We Love It: Soft fern-like needles


Alexandra Grablewski

2 of 20


Beautiful glossy, dark green foliage and creamy white fragrant blooms make this shrub just about perfect for every warm climate! Some newer varieties rebloom all season long.

Why we love it: Eye-catching scented blooms



3 of 20


Dense branching and finely textured foliage make this shrub a winner as a specimen or planted in a mass to create an interesting screen. Most tolerate some shade.

Why We Love It: Graceful appearance with cute little cones



4 of 20

Mirror Bush

This evergreen has super-shiny leaves in bright lime green or pinks! It's suited only to warm climates, but in colder parts of the country, keep it potted and bring indoors to enjoy as a houseplant over the winter.

Why we love it: Interesting, shiny leaves


Diane Labombarbe

5 of 20

Inkberry Holly

Upright branches and a mostly round shape make this lesser-known native holly a good plant for foundation planting or along walks.

Why We Love It: Good substitute for boxwood


Joseph Strauch

6 of 20

Blue Holly

Featuring sharp, pointy leaves and bright red berries, this is the type of holly most commonly associated with the holidays. Make sure you have both “female” and “male” plant types so berries will form.

Why We Love It: Winter color and a classic holiday feel



7 of 20

Arborvitae, Pyramidal Form

These pyramidal forms include many different heights, ranging from a few feet to 30 feet tall or more. Bonus: Most don’t need shearing to maintain their conical shape!

Why We Love It: Hardy and fast-growing evergreen



8 of 20

Arborvitae, Round Form

Arbs that grow in a roundish form are, let’s just say it: adorable! Many stay in the 12- to 24-inch-tall range, so you can tuck them just about anywhere in the landscape. And they’re super tough in cold climates.

Why We Love It: Dwarf evergreen shrub



9 of 20


This lovely shrub has a mounding form, making a nice foundation planting. Many types have variegated leaves tinged with gold and green or white, which turn pinkish to red in for bright winter color.

Why We Love It: Evergreen shrub for shade


Rosemary Calvert

10 of 20


These shrubs with glossy green leaves put on a show in early spring with lovely shades of pinks, peach, coral, purple, or white flowers. Some types, which are suited to warmer climates, re-bloom. Make sure to purchase an evergreen (not a deciduous) variety if you want it to retain its foliage year-round.

Why We Love It: Evergreen flowering shrub for shade


ed chechine

11 of 20


Junipers come in a ton of different shapes and sizes with colors ranging from blue-green to gold. Some are low-growing and hug the ground while other types are more upright.

Why We Love It: Extremely cold-hardy evergreen



12 of 20


Tiny rounded leaves that keep their deep green color through the coldest months make boxwood an all-time favorite for landscapes. Most types can be sheared into a hedge, ball form, or left to grow in a more naturalized shape. Look for newer, disease-resistant varieties that don't need coddling.

Why We Love It: Classic shrub that works in many garden settings



13 of 20


Against this plant's deep green shiny leaves, showy flowers in brilliant purples, pale pinks, and snowy whites pop. Once grown only in warm climates, some new varieties are cold-tolerant. They prefer dappled shade and are nice as a hedge or accent plant.

Why We Love It: Evergreen flowering shrub



14 of 20


This shrub has dense, finely textured foliage and attractive reddish bark. There are both low-growing and upright varieties.

Why We Love It: Cold-hardy evergreen shrub



15 of 20


These conifers come in a startling array of options from dwarf to gigantic. They’re pretty garden accents, especially some of the dwarf or weeping varieties.

Why We Love It: Dwarf and tall evergreen shrubs in many interesting shapes


Getty Images

16 of 20

Japanese Holly

With small, rounded leaves and many interesting forms, Japanese holly boasts a strong architectural form to add as an accent to your garden or in pots flanking your front door.

Why We Love It: Strong architectural form


Dan Rosenholm

17 of 20


Interesting needles and showy cones are the hallmark of many types of fir trees. Dwarf evergreen shrub varieties of fir form a carpet and work well in rock gardens, while upright types make a sensational focal point.

Why We Love It: Unique foliage and cones



18 of 20

Mugo Pine

This hardy pine works beautifully in rock gardens, mass plantings, and mixed with other broadleaf plants. Colors range from deep green to gold.

Why We Love It: Unique forms and slow-growing so it doesn't crowd everything else out in a hurry


Meindert van der Haven

19 of 20


These evergreens have a striking form and elegant blue-green foliage. Some grow quite tall, so read the plant description before buying.

Why We Love It: Striking profile in the garden



20 of 20


This low-care shrub has bright flowers that appear in late winter to early spring and become blue to black berries by late summer to fall. It’s perfect in mass plantings.

Why We Love It: Evergreen flowering shrub


Cheap and Easy Greenhouse Plans for Your Backyard

Arricca SanSone Arricca SanSone writes for CountryLiving.com, WomansDay.com, Family Circle, MarthaStewart.com, Cooking Light, Parents. com, and many others.

Common Evergreen Shrubs For Landscaping

Home › Ornamental Gardens › Shrubs › General Shrub Care

General Shrub Care

By: Nikki Tilley, Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden

Image by Milkos

As with coniferous trees, adding some evergreen shrub varieties to the landscape can provide year-round interest. Unlike the majority of evergreen trees, however, these shrubs include many small- to medium-leaf varieties in addition to the needle-leaf types.

Both needled and broad-leaf shrubs offer interesting berries as well as foliage. There are also many flowering evergreen shrubs for landscaping.

Needle-leaf evergreen shrubs

Coniferous evergreen shrubs exist and are oftentimes used to fill in low, empty spaces of the landscape. They also make excellent backdrops for many of the flowering shrubs. A couple favorites include:

Broadleaf evergreens

Not all evergreen bushes need be needle-like. These leafy evergreen shrubs for landscaping are also attractive choices:

Flowering evergreen shrubs

There are numerous flowering evergreen shrub varieties too. Here are just a few:

Now that you know a little about just some of the bushes that stay green all year, you can find one that is suited to your landscape. For additional help with choosing evergreen garden shrubs, contact your local extension office.

This article was last updated on

Read more about General Shrub Care

Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

You might also like…

photos with names and descriptions

Evergreen shrubs are widely used in landscape design. They are able to create the necessary comfort and shade other garden crops. And their main advantage is an attractive view all year round. You can choose a suitable shrub for yourself according to the description and photo.


Variety of evergreen shrubs for the garden

Evergreens include coniferous and deciduous species. There are many of them, and they differ in size, direction of growth (upright and weaving). In addition to shrubs, gardeners use evergreen trees and ground cover plants. All these crops are quite hardy, undemanding to the composition of the soil, oppress weeds.

Evergreen shrubs are in demand on small plots. They become a good background for other plants and keep the garden neat and decorative all year round. Gardeners often combine shrubs that are different in terms of flowering and plant height. Popular types:


Be careful when choosing a shrub. Despite belonging to the category of evergreens, many of them do not tolerate winters in the climate of the Russian Federation and need shelter (common holly or bindweed).

Late flowering evergreen shrubs

In addition to the holly, this includes the strawberry tree. The plant got its name because of the fruits that hang from the branches and visually resemble strawberries. With external similarity, the taste of the berries is different. nine0003 Strawberry tree

Fruiting in the strawberry tree occurs simultaneously with flowering, from mid-autumn to early winter. Flowers are pink or white. Shrub develops well in sun or partial shade, height - up to 2 m.

Advice. Due to the difficulty of rooting cuttings for planting, it may be easier to purchase a ready-made seedling.

Another shrub with relatively late flowering is defontenia prickly. It forms red buds with a yellow border from mid-summer to October. Although some varieties bloom in spring. The color of the petals can also be different and be, for example, black or pink. The shrub grows slowly (maximum - 50 cm), needs a mild climate and a gentle regime of sunlight. Therefore, summer residents usually plant already grown bushes, placing them in places shaded and protected from drafts, near walls or fences. nine0003

Aukuba is a neat shrub up to 2 m high. It has large leaves with an original ornament. On the street, it is usually grown in tubs, and hidden from the frosty wind for the winter. It grows in partial shade or shady corners of the garden, propagated by cuttings.


Boxwood is a shrub valued for its foliage. It is leathery, smooth-edged and has an elliptical shape. In the climatic conditions of the Russian Federation, it is very difficult to achieve flowering of this crop, and the inflorescences are not very decorative. Boxwood is propagated by cuttings, which are cut in spring and kept under a glass cap until autumn. nine0003

Shrub lends itself well to formative pruning. Although without it, it will also grow beautiful. According to the description, boxwood grows up to 3 m and even higher. A feature of the culture is resistance to wind and the possibility of growing on alkaline soils.

Early flowering evergreen shrubs

Cistus Bamboo

Attention! If you wish, you can grow a 3-meter trachycarpus bush in your backyard. The width of the leaf plates will reach 1 m. Only for the winter it is more difficult to hide such a giant from cold winds. nine0003

Evergreen shrubs adapted to cool climates and will decorate your garden in winter. True, for some, take care of warming in advance.

Evergreen garden: video

Evergreen shrubs and plants: photo with names

Viewed: 5 720