Evergreen Shrubs for Year-Long Color

Evergreen shrubs don't disappoint. Add them to your landscape for vibrant flowers, leaves and stems every season.
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©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of courtesy Janice LeCocq

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Evergreen Viburnum

Viburnum is a dense, compact shrub with pointed green leaves edged with creamy yellow. It has clusters of red flowers in late winter and spring. Though most cultivars are deciduous, there are many varieties that are evergreen or semi-evergreen, like Prague viburnum. Gardeners in zones with milder winters find the most success.


Lavender is a compact, mound-forming shrub with long, thin, gray-green leaves. It has dark purple flower spikes with distinctive "ears" or bracts. Lavender is popular for its fragrance.

Japanese Mock-Orange

Pittosporum tobira, Japanese mock-orange, is a dense, rounded evergreen shrub or small tree. Foliage is glossy, dark with lighter undersides. Fragrant, small flowers with orange blossom scent appear in late spring. It is useful as a screen, hedge or container plant.

Japanese Aralia

Japanese aralia, Fatsia japonica, is a large, architectural plant with huge, hand-shaped glossy green leaves. Clusters of white flowers are followed by black berries.

Flowering Oregano

Flowering oregano is a low-growing, trailing shrub that produces pale pink flowers that resemble hops.

Bay Leaf Evergreen

The bay laurel is a large shrub or small tree that can be clipped into formal topiary shapes. Shiny oval leaves can be used as an herb.


The heath is a low-growing, spreading evergreen with purple-pink flowers from late winter to spring. It makes a good groundcover plant.


An upright shrub, the spurge is a striking architectural feature plant. It flowers in spring and early summer and is a great evergreen for zones that experience mild winters.


Arborvitae (back) is typically grown as a tree or tall shrub. It makes the perfect screening plant — try planting the conifers in a row to create a natural fence.


Camellias are flowering evergreen shrubs that bloom in late winter to early spring. Depending on the variety, the flower color can range from pink to red to white, backed by glossy green leaves. 


Firethorn, Pyracantha, is an evergreen shrub with thorny stems, making it an effective barrier against intruding critters. The shrub flowers in the spring and produces berries in the fall that attract birds. 'Orange Glow', pictured, bears white flowers in spring and an impressive display of orange berries in autumn.


Juniper is an evergreen conifer that has a wide range of varieties with different colors and growing habits. 'Blue Star', pictured, is a compact shrub with silvery-blue needles with a bushy habit, but other cultivars, like 'Blue Acres', have a creeping, spreading habit. 


Holly is a bushy evergreen shrub or small tree with spiny, dark-green leaves edged with gold and bright red berries.


With their dark, glossy leaves, bright white flowers and incredible smell, gardenias have an almost legendary reputation in Southern gardens. Image courtesy of HGTVGardens community member Stephany Walton Bryant

Mountain Laurel

Thriving in acidic soil conditions, mountain laurel—also called calico bush—has glossy, dark green leaves that stay on the plant year-round. From late spring to midsummer, bowl- or cup-shaped pink to white flowers explode in large clusters.


Fragrant rosemary's needle-like leaves stay green throughout the year in warmer zones.


Euonymous (back) features a dense mass of glossy green leaves. Some varieties, like 'Aureomarginatus' (pictured, back of container), have variegated leaves.


A slow-growing conifer, yew is evergreen, with spreading branches and drooping branchlets. Yews produce red berries, but the seeds inside them are poisonous, so keep the plant away from children and pets. Many varieties have a low-growing, spreading habit and can be used as a groundcover or hedge.


Boxwood is a beloved hedging and topiary shrub. It features bright, glossy green leaves year-round—if grown in full sun, the plant may lose some of its color during cool months, so give the shrub some shade if possible.


Yucca may be an unexpected contender in the "evergreen shrub" category, but its striking, spiky leaves are hardy and look great all year. Expect to see bell-shaped flowers appear high above the plant in midsummer.