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Evergreen Plant Info: What Does Evergreen Mean Anyway

Evergreen Plant Info: What Does Evergreen Mean Anyway


By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

The process of planning and choosing landscape plantings canbe quite the undertaking. New homeowners or those wishing to refresh their homegarden borders have endless options in terms of what plants can be used toenhance the appeal of their homes. While gardeners living in frost-free growingregions are able to enjoy color and lush foliage year round, growers in colderregions often find themselves looking for new and exciting ways to add visualinterest to their yards throughout the winter growing season.

One way this can be done is through the incorporation ofevergreen plants, shrubs, and trees. But exactly what is an evergreen plant?Let’s learn more.

Evergreen Plant Info

What does evergreen mean exactly and what is an evergreenplant? Generally speaking, evergreen plants and trees are those which do notlose their leaves at the onset of cold weather. Unlike deciduoustrees, evergreen trees do not drop their leaves and remain colorful(green or otherwise) throughout the entirety of the winter growing season.Common types of evergreen trees include native cedar and fir trees. Though manypeople think of conifers,there are also many broadleaf evergreens.

Year-round color within the garden is not limited to trees.Many low growing perennial plants and shrubs are also evergreen in nature.Depending upon the hardiness of the plant, many growers are able to plan flowergardens that maintain foliage throughout the cold portions of the year.Evergreen ferns are just one example of plants that thrive in harsh winterconditions.

Evergreen plants are especially helpful to gardeners whowish to create year-round buffers within their landscapes. Evergreen trees areideal candidates for privacy screens, as well as to block strong winter winds.

Evergreen Plant Care

In general, growing evergreens is relatively simple. Many evergreenplants for the garden require little care, aside from the selectionof a well-draining planting site and routine fertilization.

As with any plant within the garden, it is important tofirst research the plants’ needs and growing requirements. This is especiallyvital when choosing to grow evergreen plants, as dry winter temperatures,strong winds, snow fall, and intense sunlight may cause potential damage tovulnerable and susceptible plants.

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Read more about General Tree Care


Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia 'Minuet')

Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia 'Minuet') is a broadleaf evergreen that you might be familiar with if you've walked through New England woods in June. In fact, it is the state flower of Connecticut. The laurel bushes you find in the forest can become quite large, but the 'Minuet' cultivar—true to its name—is a dwarf, growing only around 2 to 3 feet in height and spread. Plus, this compact bush offers another advantage over its wild relatives: Its flowers are more colorful. Lightly prune the plant after it is finished blooming to keep it looking full and bushy.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
  • Color Varieties: White with a purplish-red band
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, humusy, acidic, moist, well-draining


American Yew (Taxus canadensis)

American Yew doesn’t require much care and is a slow grower adaptable shrub

The American yew is a shrubby, low-maintenance evergreen plant with needle-like leaves. This slow-growing spreading shrub grows easily in most types of soil if there is good drainage. The American yew grows best in the shade or partial sunlight. You can expect this shrub to grow up to 5 ft. (1.5 m) tall and 8 ft. (2.4 m) wide.

The attractive features of the evergreen American yew are the foliage that turns reddish-brown, and bright red cones that appear in winter.

A type of yew ideal for evergreen ground cover is the English yew (Taxus baccata). If you want an evergreen shrub that grows in a columnar shape for vertical height, then choose the Taxus baccata ‘Standishii’ or the Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata.’


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