Evergreen shrubs are the backbone of landscaping and offer foliage year-round. When bedding plants come and go, bulbs die back and deciduous plants drop their leaves, evergreen shrubs remain. They are background plants, year-round borders and foundation fundamentals. Evergreen shrubs that flower bring seasonal color to a landscape design. Look for flowering shrubs that yield tiny flower blooms or overflow with brilliant masses of color.
Camellia plants are woody shrubs with broad evergreen glossy leaves. According to Kathie Carter, botanist at University California Riverside, these shrubs range from 3 to 20 feet tall and bloom from winter to spring. The American Camellia Society lists over 2,300 cultivars with colors and blooms in all shades of white through red. These cultivars range from sun-loving to shade-hugging plants. Camellias, though slow to grow and prone to pests and fungus disease, live for decades when properly maintained.
Nandina, often called Heavenly Bamboo, is an evergreen shrub with bamboo-like stems. Varieties range from under a foot tall to over 10 feet in height. These broad leaf shrubs look fragile but are hardy ornamentals. Clemson University reports that large plants have been growing in South Carolina for over 100 years with virtually no care. Small star-like flowers, typically in white to pink colors, appear in spring followed by bright red autumn berries. The plants take pruning well and are often trimmed as bamboo-like trees.
Laurel shrubs range from evergreen 3-foot bushes to 20-foot dense shrubs. Clemson University recommends cherry laurel for fast-growing hedges and groupings. Its tiny white spring flowers are often hidden by foliage. This evergreen grows up to 25 inches a year and benefits from pruning in home landscaping. Other laurels include mountain laurel, native to North America. This shrub offers flowers in white, pink and red cultivars. Sturdy laurel shrubs can be pruned and trained as trees.
Virginia Tech reports some shrubs are evergreen or deciduous depending on the cultivar. Rhododendrons and azaleas include evergreen varieties with masses of spring and summer color. In dwarf and standard sizes, these shrubs grow as hedges, specimen plants, borders and foundation plantings. Jasmine offers evergreen varieties with trailing fragrant flower branches. Pyracantha, a thorny broad leaf shrub in evergreen or semi-evergreen species, blooms with white spring flowers that turn into orange berry clusters. Used as an ornamental and as a home defense plant, the thorny pyracantha offers flowers to feed bee pollinators and berries as food for birds and foraging animals.
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