Flowering evergreen shrubs in landscape design

Many varieties of deciduous shrubs produce flowers, usually in the spring. Compared to all the shrub varieties available, only a select few are both evergreen and produce flowers. Unlike deciduous shrubs that lose their leaves in the fall, evergreen leaf varieties of shrubs carry the landscape design through winter months. Speaking of landscape design, the height and width of shrubs plus their year-round green appeal give you more bang for the buck. Imagine having flowers on the evergreens for a seasonal punch of color.

Landscape design with flowering evergreen shrubs

Your local garden center provides plants suitable for your area. If ordering from a catalog or online source, read the listed USDA planting zones shown in the description and then check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to select plants more likely to survive winter temperatures. Read plant descriptions for the potential height and width of the plant.

Space multiple shrubs as far apart as the potential width of a full-grown plant. For example, if a shrub width when mature is 6 feet wide, then space the shrubs 6 feet apart. Plant shrubs in row as foundation plants or plant odd numbered shrubs in groups away from the house to create a landscaping island. Shrubs may be planted alone as a focal point. Following are some evergreen shrub options.

Glossy abelia
Glossy abelia (Abelia x gradiflora) grows in full sun to partial shade in USDA zones 6 to 9. It’s highly scented blooms display from summer into fall. Thin the shrub by snipping canes to the ground or let the abelia grow to its full height potential of 10 feet or more. I grow glossy abelia on the side of the porch where it creates a privacy screen. Butterflies and bees enjoy the highly fragrant bell-shaped blooms.

Winter daphne

Winter daphene (Daphne odora) is a slow-grower that blooms in the winter. Hardy in USDA zones, this shrub can grow up to 4 feet wide and 4 feet tall. Plant near a walkway to enjoy the highly fragrant pinkish blooms.

Azalea and rhododendron
Evergreen shrubs, like these azalea and rhododendron, bloom in spring. I use azalea as fountain plants. As slow growing shrubs, they relatively labor-free. Each spring, the burst of color takes away the drab winter landscape.

With all the different varieties and colors of evergreen azalea and rhododendron (Rhododendron cultivars and hybrids), you are certain to find the right specimen for your landscape design. Bloom colors may be white, red, pink, pink, coral or bi-colors. Rhododendron and azalea thrive in shade, are slow growers that may reach heights of 8 to 10 feet, and are cold hardy in USDA planting zones 5 through 9.

Bearberry cotoneaster

If you are looking for a fast growing evergreen shrub that also blooms, consider bearberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri), which is hardy in USDA planting zones 5 to 7. Growing about 2 feet tall, the drought-tolerant bearberry can be used as ground cover. Plant is full sun to partial shade.
Indian Hawthorn

If you live in USDA planting zones 7 through 10, you will appreciate Indian Hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis x Delacourii) for its drought tolerant nature. Choose a full sun to part shade location that can accommodate the potential 5-foot height and width of this evergreen shrub. Small pinkish-white blooms appear in the spring.


Camellia (Camellia japonica) may bloom in the winter or spring. The deep green leaves of camellia present a nice background for blooms of red, white or shades of pink. Plant in partial shade where this evergreen shrub may up to 15 feet tall and wide, depending on the variety. Camellia grows in USDA planting zones 6 through 9.

Related posts: