Evergreen Plants for Landscaping

Evergreen trees and plants have the ability to keep their foliage color year-round, including winter, where their foliage brings warmth to the garden. Grown in a wide range of types and sizes, evergreens have a natural shape that complements existing plants and helps to fill in areas of the landscape with height and fullness. Evergreens require well-drained soil for optimal growth. Tucked along a garden wall or within containers as a specimen plant, they create a showy garden display.

Giant Arborvitae

Giant arborvitae (Thuja plicata) is an evergreen tree variety with a rapid growth rate and fine texture. Growing 50 to 80 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide, giant arborvitae creates a commanding landscape presence. A long-lived evergreen tree, giant arborvitae has a narrow to broad pyramidal shape. The deep green foliage is tinged with white marks on the underneath side of each leaf. As an evergreen, giant arborvitae keeps its foliage color throughout the winter for a burst of vibrancy to the landscape. Giant arborvitae cast dense shade to the land below and have a strong wood and bark that is cinnamon to red when young. Giant arborvitae grows best in full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil. They tolerate clay soils. Plant giant arborvitae in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 5 to 8.

Harland Boxwood

Harland boxwood (Buxus harlandii) is an evergreen shrub with a dense, rounded form that is vase-shaped. The multi-stemmed mound is made up of the leather-like shiny dark green leaves that grow just under 1-inch long. Drought-tolerant, Harland boxwood has creamy yellow flowers that emerge in spring. Growing 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, Harland boxwood is an ideal shrub to grow in masses as a garden border. Harland boxwood grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil. Plant in USDA zones 7b to 9.

Carissa Holly

Carissa holly (Ilex cornuta 'Carissa') is an evergreen shrub with a slow growth rate and coarse texture. Growing 3 to 4 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide, Carissa holly makes for an ideal landscape shrub in both formal and informal gardens. The compact, rounded and dense mound of Carissa holly looks striking tucked into a container or grown along a garden wall for year-round color. Drought and heat-tolerant, Carissa holly shrubs grow best in full sun to part shade. They tolerate a wide range of soil varieties, making for a versatile landscape shrub. Plant in USDA zones 7 to 9.

Keywords: evergreen landscaping plants, giant arborvitae, Harland boxwood, Carissa holly

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in Travels.com and GardenGuides.com and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and Forbes.com.