7 Best Evergreen Shrubs to Consider for Full Sun

Make sure the shrubs you are growing are suitable for full sun. Which ones should you consider?

The finest shrubs for full sun are often cultivated for their flowering displays. But a sun-loving shrub may provide you with much more than that. Some shrubs have lovely foliage for either the whole growing season or just one season, typically the fall. Others have evergreen foliage, which keeps a garden interesting all year round.

In this article, I’ll be discussing 7 evergreen shrubs that you may cultivate in your sunny garden!

1. Boxwood

The boxwood’s popularity may be attributed, in part, to the fact that it can flourish in a variety of environments. The shrub has a sturdy form and evergreen leaves that are brightly colored and provide your garden with structure and color throughout the whole year.

Boxwoods can grow in full sun and moderate shade. Plants growing in hotter climates benefit from the shade cast by the noon sun. A boxwood can tolerate a range of different soils but it absolutely needs a location with good drainage. It cannot tolerate a wet root ball. Either incorporate organic materials into the soil or plant the shrub on top of a mound to improve drainage.

The majority of boxwoods may be shaped into balls or hedges, or they can be let to develop in a more natural way.

an array of round boxwoods in the garden

2. Chinese Fringe Flower

The Chinese fringe flower is an evergreen bush that is most renowned for its delicate, fragrant blossoms that emerge in spring. Each flower has stunning petals. However, the Chinese fringe flower also has interesting foliage, as it changes throughout the year from crimson to deep green.

Cultivate your Chinese fringe flower in a place that gets full light. The plant benefits from bright early light but likes to be shielded from the harsh noon sun. 

In warm climates, this shrub is evergreen; in areas with harsher winters, it is regarded as a perennial. Overall, Chinese fringe flowers are excellent privacy bushes and work well as topiaries or hedges.

chinese fringe flowers growing in the garden

3. Wintercreeper

The wintercreeper, a broadleaf evergreen shrub, is usually cultivated for its variegated leaves, which feature golden borders and green centers. In the fall, they change to a pinkish-red color. The tiny, greenish-white flowers, which bloom in spring, do not add any visual interest.

Wintercreeper does best in full sun but can withstand some shade. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.

A versatile plant, wintercreeper euonymus may be taught to climb like ivy to cover walls, chimneys, and fences and can act as a groundcover, an edging plant along pathways, a slope cover, and a foundation planting.

fortunei spindle wintercreeper plant

4. Emerald Green Arborvitae

The emerald green arborvitae belongs to the thuja occidentalis species of needled evergreen shrubs and trees. These plants have needles that are arranged in flat sprays that resemble fans or scales—much different from most needled evergreens.

Arborvitae should be cultivated in either full sun or light shade. Though they typically need at least six hours of sunshine every day, too much direct sunlight may burn the leaves and stress the plant. They shouldn’t, however, be placed completely in the shadow either, since this might significantly limit the foliage’s density.

These bushes feature delicate, evergreen foliage that is usually green but sometimes yellow. Arborvitae are often used as privacy hedges because of their erect or columnar growth habit hardiness, and quick pace of development.

tall emerald green arborvitae plants

5. Variegated English Holly

Aquifoliaceae, a variegated English holly, is an evergreen shrub. It is distinguished by its glossy, dark-green leaves with creamy white borders. It often develops in a pyramidal form, growing 15 to 40 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet broad.

The variegated English holly thrives in full sun but tolerates shade created by trees. It grows in mild conditions and is hardy as far south as zone 6. It is often grown in coastal regions because it is very salt-tolerant.

Brilliant red berries start to grow in the autumn and winter, adding to its attractiveness and subsequently supplying local birds with food for the winter. Because of this magnificent plant’s timeless appearance and the ability to trim its branches into wreaths, everyone loves it. It looks lovely anywhere you grow it: in pots, on the grass, in garden beds, behind trees, or as a hedge.

a landscape of variegated english holly plant

6. Bird’s Nest Spruce

The bird’s nest spruce is a thick, multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a somewhat rounded shape. The shrub has relatively light yellowish-green needles that darken to a grayish-green as they become older. They provide the landscape with a year-round aesthetic appeal and refuge for animals.

The optimal conditions for growing bird’s nest spruce provide at least 6 hours each day of direct sunshine. Shrubs planted in hot climates usually benefit from a little midday shade from the sun, but if they receive too much shade, they are likely to struggle and wither.

These shrubs grow well in borders or on their own as accents in the yard. If you select a big enough pot that can accommodate an adult shrub, you can even grow them as a container plant.

a birds nest spruce grown in the garden

7. Common Juniper

Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the sprawling shrub known as the common juniper (juniperus communis) may be found growing on rocky soils. Evergreen leaves begin as tender, needle-like new growth that eventually flattens out to resemble scales. Small, unnoticeable yellow or green flowers bloom in the spring. The foliage, which softens with age, comes in a variety of shades of green, blue, silver, and gold. Some of the foliage also takes on bronze or similar tones in the winter.

The sun-loving evergreen common juniper needs full light for the majority of the day. Lack of light may cause a common juniper to become stunted. The plant cannot grow in shady locations.

Juniper bushes are either male or female. The male flowers provide the pollen for the female flowers. Several female plants may get pollen from a single male bush. After being pollinated, the female flowers produce berries or cones. 

The common juniper is an ideal choice for borders and bedding.

Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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