10 Winter-Friendly Plants for Your Outdoor Space
Commonly grown in North America and Eastern Asia, Japanese yew is an excellent fit for porches all year round since it's drought tolerant and thrives in both full and partial sun settings. Known to survive exceptionally harsh winters, the Japanese yew is popularly used as groundcover; however, when grown as a tree, it can reach more than 50 feet in height.
Potted Blue Spruce
The Colorado blue spruce is one of the most iconic evergreens associated with holiday decorating. Commonly raised as Christmas trees, it must have full sunlight to thrive and also requires a great deal of watering. If used as a potted accent, add a hole for proper drainage. It's also recommended to lay a sponge directly over the drainage hole to help hold moisture.
Popular with garden designers worldwide, boxwood hedge is perfect for use as topiary. It requires full sun to grow, so it's best fit for placement in front of a porch or patio rather than inside a shade-covered outdoor area.
Similar to boxwood hedge, potted cypress works well as topiary. For the best growth possible, place potted cypress in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. As far as watering is concerned, cypress can rot easily if oversaturated, so it's best to water in the morning to allow for proper evaporation before the sun fades.
Known for its golden-yellow foliage, thread-branch cypress can add great texture to an outdoor space during the winter. In addition to its unique coloring, this sun-loving evergreen takes an interesting shape as its thread-like needles "weep" downward. When planted in the ground, thread-branch cypress can grow as big as six-by-eight-feet tall. Whether it's being used in a container or planted in the ground, this cypress will need full sun to thrive.
Characterized by extremely slow growth and a natural, globe-like shape, Brown's yew is an evergreen shrub that requires watering twice a week and exposure to full or partial sun.
Winter Gem Boxwood
Perfectly fit for small hedges when planted in multiples, Winter Gem boxwood also works well potted in planters. During the winter, this evergreen will take on a golden bronze coloring, then change back to bright green in the spring. Winter Gem boxwood thrives in both partial and full sun settings.
Ligustrum is an evergreen native to Japan which is commonly grown for ornamental use in California, Texas and throughout the Southeastern United States. Popular with homeowners in urban and rural settings, Ligustrum thrives in full sun and partial shade and adapts to different types of soil.
A perfect fit for topiary and container gardening, English boxwood is a small evergreen shrub known for slow growth and yellow-green coloring on its leaves. At full maturity, this shrub will reach two feet in width and height. Like most shrubs, it simply requires watering twice a week and full sun exposure.
Wheeler's Dwarf Japanese Mock Orange
Best used as groundcover, Wheeler's Dwarf Japanese Mock Orange is known for producing small scented flowers with orange coloring. When grown in partial to full sun, the groundcover can reach three feet in height and five feet in width.