Evergreen shrubs keep bright landscape greenery in the winter months when everything else is gray and bare. They create beautifully textured anchors in the scenery for the rest of the year, making them ideal shrubs for landscaping. Evergreen shrubs come in many shapes and sizes, from low growing horizontal to rounded bushy to tall and narrow. They are excellent for screening unpleasant views, accenting a home’s foundation, lining a property’s perimeter, and providing cover for wildlife.
Understanding Evergreen Shrubs
There are many evergreen shrubs, the most common being conifers or the familiar pines, with thin needles on stems. Some have sharp pointy needles, and some have soft needles with rounded edges. Evergreen shrubs in warmer climates include broadleaf plants like azaleas. Some evergreens with leaves grow in cold climates, such as private and boxwood; they may need winter protection to survive without damage.
Knowing the growth habits and environmental needs of the evergreen shrubs you choose is key to healthy, thriving plants. If planted correctly and cared for properly, evergreen shrubs will need minimal attention throughout their lifespan and provide beautiful anchors and backdrops in any landscape. Most will do well in bright light to partial shade, with moderate watering and fertilizing needs. If damaged by injury or pests or planted in an unfavorable habitat, such as a low saturated area, they will not thrive and die off.
Common Evergreen Shrubs
Homeowners and landscapers plant common evergreen shrubs around homes and in yards and gardens. Evergreen private plants are used for privacy and noise screening to form a natural fence. They are attractive shrubs with small glossy green lance or oval-shaped leaves and small flowers that produce small black fruit clusters in the summer. They grow from four to 15 feet tall. They grow well in various growing conditions but need good drainage and won’t do well in wet and flooded areas.
Pine trees are another common evergreen used in landscaping. Yew, arborvitae, weeping hemlock, white pine, scots pine, and Korean pine are popular pine shrub varieties used in landscaping homes and yards. Many are available in dwarf varieties to fit in almost any space. Beautiful greenery, from bright green to silvery green to dark green, colors the winter landscape to contrast with the white of snow or browns and grays of deciduous plants.
Winter Protection for Evergreen Shrubs
In cold climates with freezing winters, it’s best to provide winter protection for evergreen shrubs. Some fall preparation can help prevent winter damage and help evergreens survive winter conditions and thrive in the spring.
Harsh freezing winds and frozen soil can dry out even thorny healthy shrubs, and heavy snowfall can break branches and swim trunks. Water shrubs generously in the fall before the first hard frost to bolster them before dormancy, then mulch well to conserve moisture. Wrap floppy branches with burlap or shrub covers for wind protection. Consider using an anti-desiccant spray to prevent water loss through leaves and needles. Burlap windbreaks or screens protect shrubs that are in exposed locations.