Best Types of Evergreen Shrubs and Boxwoods

by HomeAdvisor

House with autumn-colored trees and well-kept shrubs in front yard

HomeAdvisor’s Best Types of Evergreen Shrubs Guide provides twelve options for evergreen shrubs appropriate for a variety of uses. Based on appearance, their need for maintenance, and conditions for ideal growth, we decided that nine species are the best evergreen shrubs: arborvitae, azalea, cherry laurel, euonymus, juniper, leucothoe, Mugo pine, Pieris japonica, and yew. The best boxwoods, suitable for a wide range of purposes, are green velvet, Morris midget, and wintergreen.

On This Page:

  1. Types of Evergreen Shrubs
    1. Best Evergreen Shrubs
    2. Best Evergreen Shrubs for Front of House
    3. Best Evergreen Shrubs for Privacy
  2. Types of Boxwoods
    1. Best Types of Boxwood Shrubs

Types of Evergreen Shrubs

Shrub Best for
Arborvitae Classic look, tall hedge
Azalea Neat appearance, easily trimmed
Cherry Laurel Pretty flowers, tall hedge
Euonymus Hardy, wild appearance
Juniper Unique foliage, tall hedge
Leucothoe Pretty foliage, easy trimming
Mugo Pine Slow growing, low maintenance
Pieris Japonica Pretty flowers, low maintenance
Yew Hardy, easy trimming

Evergreen shrubs are an easily pruned, small addition appropriate for many gardens and yard. Be sure to consider the costs of maintaining evergreen shrubs before planting any.

Best Evergreen Shrubs

Similar to other types of plants, not all evergreens are suited for all growing zones. However, the shrubs listed here generally flourish in a range of environments and are easier to care for than some other types. Nevertheless, trimmed evergreens appear neater than their cousins who are left to grow until they become unsightly – search for local hedge trimming services to ensure your shrubs fall into the former category!

Yew is a hardy shrub that resists many plant diseases and grows in various climates as long as they aren’t too wet. Take note, however, that yew is poisonous to humans and pets.

Another durable evergreen that grows better on the east coast is leucothoe. Leucothoe has attractive foliage and can be heavily pruned.

Euonymus is tolerant of many climates, but sensitive to chilly winds. Furthermore, it is less responsive to pruning and therefore usually has a wilder appearance than other evergreens.

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Best Evergreen Shrubs for the Front of the House

Some shrubs fit well into multiple settings and garden themes, though height is an important factor in deciding where a plant best fits. Since evergreens in front of a house are probably seen by passerby more often than those in back, make sure to find tree services if you don’t want to trim them yourself.

Mugo pines are slow growing, but grow best in dry climates. These resilient evergreens stay small, containing themselves well.

Pieris japonica bushes are a low-maintenance option with a hint of red on their leaves, which bloom gorgeous pinkish-white flowers. Pieris japonicas prefer shady areas and acidic soil that drains well to help prevent fungal infections.

Evergreen varieties of azalea can be neatly trimmed, and produce beautiful blooms in the spring.

Best Evergreen Shrubs for Privacy

While the evergreen shrubs discussed so far generally grow wider than they do tall, others reach a greater height. This makes them better suited for privacy than display in the front of a yard. The potential height of privacy shrubs also means they might need more frequent maintenance; be aware of the costs of trimming shrubs if you’d like to grow them for privacy purposes.

Cherry laurel best grows in warmer environments, though its growth is only slightly hindered in the cold. Its deep green leaves display lovely white flowers which turn to black berries.

Tall cultivars of juniper are appropriate as hedges and come in a range of colors. Juniper bushes have textured leaves which have a unique appearance compared to that of many other evergreen leaves.

Arborvitae are a classic choice for a privacy hedge and are resistant to deer and pests. They grow in a pyramidal shape which requires little pruning.

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Types of Boxwoods

Cultivar Best for
Green velvet Small size, cold resistance
Morris midget Slow growing, warm temperatures
Wintergreen Small size, pretty flowers

An ideal evergreen shrub for many climates, boxwoods respond well to trimming. They typically grow uniformly and in a round shape. Boxwoods are a very popular evergreen choice in gardens across the country, but if you happen to become less fond of them over time, identify shrub removal services near you.

Best Types of Boxwood Shrubs

The many varieties of boxwoods means it should be easy to find one which is most ideal for your desired use, be it privacy, front yard display, or the centerpiece of a garden. Since there are myriad boxwoods, prices for purchasing and installing each are slightly different – research costs of installing landscaping if curious how the costs differ.

Green velvet boxwoods stay short, with a maximum height of about 3 feet, and work well as long border hedges. They tolerate cold temperatures well.

Morris midget boxwoods, on the other hand, may brown in the cold. They are slow growing and have a bright green color.

Wintergreen boxwoods are a smaller, dark green type of evergreen. These shrubs are hardy and display purple flowers.

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