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5 Beautiful Evergreens To Grow For Winter Interest In Your Yard!

If you are looking to add lasting beauty to your landscape through the cold, dreary winter months, it’s time to grow a few evergreens for big winter interest!

Evergreens provide four season greenery to the landscape. Not only do they liven up flowerbeds in the spring, summer and fall, they also keep their foliage in tact right on through the snow, sleet and cold of winter. And can that greenery ever add life to a barren landscape!

Adding to their allure, evergreens are some of the lowest maintenance plants around. Not only can they grow in less than ideal soil, they also grow effortlessly for years with little work. In fact, once established, there is little care required beyond occasional pruning and shaping.

evergreens in the winter
Evergreens are perfect for adding a touch of color to an otherwise barren winter landscape. They also happen to make a great backdrop of greenery for summer perennial and annual flowers.

But the advantages don’t end there. A large majority of evergreens are highly drought resistant. Even better, many also happen to be deer resistant too – which can really come in handy throughout the winter months when hungry deer begin looking at your plants for a quick meal.

But although the deer might leave their foliage and needles alone, that same canopy of green provides important shelter year round for birds and small wildlife. Perhaps best of all, there are so many unique styles of evergreens, it’s easy to find a variety or two to fit perfectly into nearly any landscape need or scheme you can imagine.

With that in mind, here are five evergreens that can really provide big year round interest to your yard. With each plant featured, we have also included info and product links as well.

5 Great Evergreens To Grow For Winter Interest

Winter Gem Boxwood

One of the best evergreens of all when it comes to easy care and low maintenance, the Winter Gem boxwood is the perfect shrub to add four season greenery to your landscape!

Winter hardy from growing zones five through nine, it can survive and thrive in a wide variety of climates. Winter Gem has long been prized for it vividly green shiny foliage. Even better, it maintains its shape with limited pruning. Winter Gem holds up extremely well to heavy snows and harsh winter conditions as well.

winter gem boxwood
Boxwoods are easy to maintain and hold their shape well. They are perfect for adding year round greenery to borders or front entry ways.

Because it holds its shape so well, the shrub is excellent for using to line walkways, driveways and paths. It can grow as large as four to six feet wide, but it is easy to keep the shrub pruned much smaller if desired. It’s small waxy green leaves fill in to form a thick covering over the entire shrub, and look excellent when covered in a fresh coating of winter snow.

Sky Pencil Holly – 5 Beautiful Evergreens To Grow For Winter Interest

Looking for a taller evergreen that can add some vertical interest to your entryway? Sky Pencil Holly might just be the perfect choice!

This narrow growing evergreen has dark green leaves that stay beautiful all year round. Much like with red holly bushes, if they are planted with a male pollinator nearby, they will fruit in the fall with berries. Except instead of the traditional holly red, the Sky Pencil Holly’s berries are purple!

One thing is for sure, this evergreen is extremely versatile It can grow well in pots and containers, or directly into the landscape. It is easy to maintain and rarely needs anything more than a light trim to keep its pencil-like shape.

5 great evergreens for winter interest
The Sky Pencil Holly is excellent for adding vertical interest to the landscape. It grows easily in containers or directly in flowerbeds.

The evergreen is hardy from growing zones five through nine, and grows well in most soils. When planted in a row, they can make for an excellent privacy screen. The Sky Pencil Holly performs best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade without much trouble.

Anna’s Magic Ball Arborvitae – 5 Beautiful Evergreens To Grow For Winter Interest

Arborvitaes run the gamut when it comes to size, shape and color, but if you are looking for one that is really unique and easy to maintain, check out Anna’s Magic Ball!

The arborvitae grows in the form of a compact sphere, and provides a beautiful hue of yellow evergreen foliage to any flowerbed or container. The evergreen is wonderful for smaller flowerbed areas as it holds its shape well.

But its yellow, feathery foliage is the real show stopper. It adds unique evergreen color, especially when it comes to winter landscapes. Anna’s Magic ball blends perfectly when planted around other evergreens and really brightens up stark winter landscapes with the yellow and green contrast.

Anna’s Magic Ball needs little pruning to keep its spherical shape.

Native to North America, it requires little to no pruning to hold its round shape. It also stands up extremely well to cold weather. In fact, Anna’s Magic Ball can handle a wide range of growing climates with a hardiness from zones three through eight!

PJM Rhododendron – 5 Beuatiful Evergreens To Grow For Winter Interest

Rhododendrons are one of the best evergreens of all to add huge winter interest to your landscape. With interesting branch structures and foliage that stays in tact, it really stands out all winter long. And when it comes to rhododendrons with four season beauty, the PJM Rhododendron is a big winner!

With distinctive dark green foliage that transforms into a rusty reddish-brown in the winter, it can be quite the cold season attraction. But just wait till you see its lavender blooms that fill the evergreen during its summer blooming period. They are truly some of the most stunning blooms around!

The PJM Rhododendron’s flowers are some of the most beautiful Rhododendron blooms around!

Cold hardy and heat tolerant, the PJM Rhododendron can survive for decades in a wide range of climates that range from growing zones four through eight. Best of all, it requires little in the way of extra effort to keep it growing strong and healthy.

Gem Box Inkberry Holly – 5 Beautiful Evergreens To Grow For Winter Interest

If you like the look of boxwoods but struggle to grow them in your soil and climate, the Gem Box Inkberry Holly is a great solution.

Gem Box grows slow and compact, making it ideal for borders, small flowerbeds or even container growing. The evergreen is also great for shaping into any form desired. In fact, it maintains its evergreen foliage from the top of the plant all the way to the ground, allowing for excellent shaping.

The Gem Box is hardy from growing zones five through nine, and the broadleaf evergreen can reach heights of one to two feet at full maturity. It prefers full sun and grows best in acidic soils, although it can tolerate partial shade and more neutral soil make-ups as well.

Gem Berry
Gem Box’s unique foliage and compact shape lend perfectly to container planting. The evergreen can really help to liven up entrances during the winter months, as well as in Spring, Summer and Fall.

A smaller leaf variety, the tiny dark green leaves give it great color in the winter. In the spring, the foliage grows out beautiful red tips to add even more beauty and color to the landscape. The Gem Box grows fast, especially when compared to boxwoods. This can be great for those looking to create hedges at a much quicker pace.

Here is to adding color and interest to your spring, summer, fall and winter landscape – by growing evergreens! Happy Gardening, Jim and Mary

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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