How to Choose Evergreens


Evergreens are a great addition to any garden becauuse they stay green and lovely all year long, even in the dead of winter. Choosing evergreens for your yard or garden, however, can be a bit daunting. There are so many different types of evergreens to choose from. Do you want an evergreen tree or shrub? What kind of shrub? Round? Ground cover? You also have to keep in mind your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone so you choose an evergreen that is right for your climate.

Step 1

Find your USDA hardiness zone. Look at evergreens that are hardy in your area. If you live in Zone 5a and the evergreen can't survive the winter, cross it off of your list.

Step 2

Decide what type of evergreen you want. Evergreens can be trees like pine and redwood, or shrubs like boxwood or varieties of juniper.

Step 3

Choose the shape of evergreen you would like. Evergreen trees such as the fir can grow to massive heights, while some evergreen trees are much smaller, like the eastern red cedar or holly. Shrubs also come in different shapes, from sprawling ground cover to tightly packed spheres.

Step 4

Determine how much space you have in your yard or garden for the evergreen. Also, think about what effect it might have on windows, such as blocking the view.

Step 5

Determine your soil type. If you don't want to go to a lot of work, choose an evergreen that will grow well in the soil you have, be it sandy, clay or loam.

Step 6

Consider how much time do you want to spend maintaining your evergreen in terms of pruning and fertilizer? If you don't want to spend a lot of time on it, get a low-maintenance evergreen like the sky pencil tree.

Step 7

Consider water needs. If you live in a drought-prone climate, choose an evergreen that is drought tolerant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Evergreens are prone to insects and disease, like other plants. Choose a variety that is disease resistant to avoid a lot of extra work.

Things You'll Need

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map


  • Choosing Landscape Evergreens
  • Evergreen Trees

Who Can Help

  • Evergreen Trees
Keywords: choosing evergreens, evergreen, choose an evergreen

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.