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Today I want to talk about the different types of evergreens you can use for landscaping. Evergreens can be used for a variety of different ways to enhance the beauty of a yard.

From shrubs to borders to hedges evergreen trees can be used in many ways to improve the landscape of your property.

Boxwood tree

Shrubs used for landscaping

While you could definitely use almost any kind of plant you wanted for landscaping I think evergreens make the best shrubs. While most of them here will tolerate extreme hot and cold they also stay green all year round offering a beautiful contrast compared to plants that lose their leaves during the colder months.

The common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a great choice for beginners or experienced gardeners because they are very versastile, easy to take care of and used in many kinds of landscaping.

It grows hearty thru zones 5-8. At maturity the common boxwood gets about 8 feet tall with a diameter of 20 feet. Most of them are pruned to a height of 2 to 3 feet tall with a diameter of 5 feet. It is a slow growing variety that displays a blue-green foliage and resists colder temperatures.

It is also used very much as a hedge or a really popular design called topiary where it is trimmed into various shapes like different animals or ornamental designs.

Another evergreen shrub I would like to mention here is one called the Yew(Taxus baccata). This is a beautiful conifer that is native to Europe, Africa and Asia. It is drought resistant and tolerates pruning and trimming. It has beautiful green foliage and produces bright red berries. Unfortunately almost all the plant is toxic to domestic animals and humans.

Boxwood hedge

Evergreens used for hedges and borders.

The three most popular evergreens used for hedges and borders are the Cypress(Cupresseus), the Holly(Ilex) and the Juniper(Juniperus). All three of these are wonderful to use as a border or a hedge and add dramatic and beautiful accents to your landscape.

There are many varieties of Cypress trees which can be found throughout the world. The most commonly ones use for landscaping are the Leyland Cypress(Cupressus x leylandii) and the Mediterranean Cypress(Cupressus sempervirens), also known as the Italian cypress, both of which make beautiful landscaping tools.

The Leyland cypress is a fast growing coniferous evergreen that has dense textured foliage. It can grow 3 to 4 feet a year and reach a height of 40 to 50 feet. They should be spaced 8 to 10 feet apart. They make a great wind break and are also great for privacy. The Mediterranean cypress are narrower than the Leyland cypress and should be planted 5 to 6 feet apart. They can grow to a height of 115 feet.

Evergreen Holly

The Evergreen holly(Ilex aquifolium) are a fast growing plant that can range from between 18″ tall to over 60′ tall but most people keep them to around 4 to 6 feet tall to make an excellent hedge or border and should be spaced 4 to 5 feet apart. This beautiful evergreen produces berries in the wintertime which can range in color from red to brown to black, or rarely green or yellow.




Last but not least we come to the Juniper(Juniperus). The Juniper is actually a member of the Cypress family that you can find all over the world except at the poles. There are many varieties of Juniper trees that grow to many different heights, the tallest being 66’to 130′ tall, but most commonly sold for landscaping only grow to 5 or 10 feet tall. Junipers love a lot of air and sunshine so it is best to plant them 5 to 6 feet apart.

iviaworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/1ecd7ec0dec6e1a22980f0911affce23_cropped_optimized.jpg" alt="" width="319" height="238" /> Juniper

To wrap this up I would like to say anyone of these plant I’ve mentioned would make a fantastic shrub, hedge or border. The variety of plants that nature gives us makes landscaping a very fun-loving hobby for the homeowner or a great livelihood for the professional landscaper.

The plants I’ve mentioned here are the basic ones used for landscaping, and for good reason, they are beautiful, grow in abundance and available everywhere. In future articles I want to talk about different types of landscaping trees like pines, aspens or firs that would make a bold statement in any backyard.

We will also talk about Giant Sequoia and Redwood trees which are also available for a variety of landscapes.








  1. Thank you for your info on evergreens. We have a boundary fence which borders a horse field and our yard. Have been wondering for some time what we might plant there to give us some shelter and privacy. The trees and shrubs you have suggested might be the answer we have been waiting for.
    Your website was clearly set out with great images.

  2. Great tips on the different types of evergreens for landscaping your backyard, I found the evergreen for hedges interesting since I am planning this spring to plant a evergreen hedge along a fence in my backyard.

    How would I find out which evergreens are my best choices for a hedge in my area in the state of Pa?

    1. Any of your local nurseries should be able to point you in the right direction. It looks like there are several varieties of boxwood that would work great in your area.

  3. Very helpful and informative article! I love evergreens and have a couple in my yard, but would like more! They are so easy to take care of and most importantly, they stay green in the winter. Here in Missouri the winters can be very bland and a little green seems to perk everything up. When is the best time of year to plant evergreen shrubs? I know some people say spring and others say fall so knowing when to plant would be a great help.

    1. Either early fall or in the springtime. If you plant it in the fall you want to make sure the roots get established before the first freeze.

  4. I am always amazed by the beautiful green landscape of any household property. Whenever I pass by someone house with well-trimmed evergreens, I envy them.
    Perhaps it is time for me to have more greens in my front yard. I like the common boxwood where it can be trimmed into ornamental designs.
    Thanks for sharing the varieties of evergreens.

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