Evergreen shrubs

Evergreen shrubs add year-round structure. In winter they really come to the fore, when many other plants have faded into the background. They can be used as a backdrop to borders, clipped into formal shapes, and often make beautiful dense hedges. Popular evergreens include camellias, box, lavenders and holly.


Evergreen shrubs have a woody structure covered in foliage all year. This ranges from tiny needles to large rounded leaves, and everything in between. The shrubs themselves come in all sizes too, and many offer flowers and berries for seasonal interest.


There are evergreen shrubs to suit every soil type and location – if given the right site, these usually trouble-free plants will thrive.


Don’t let new plants dry out for at least their first year, until they’re well established. Some can grow quite large, so bear in mind ultimate size when buying. Coniferous shrubs in particular may not recover well if pruned back hard.

Did you know?

Evergreen shrubs don’t have to be green. They come in a wide range of colours, from yellow (such as Choisya ternate Sundance) to red (Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’), purple (Leucothoe Scarletta  'Zeblid'), silvery-grey (lavenders) and blue (Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'), as well as many vibrantly variegated options too.

Growing guide

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.