Evergreen Shrubs by Size
Photo by Melody

Evergreen Shrubs by Size

By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)June 14, 2013
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Choose the right evergreen shrubs for any given area by knowing whether they are small, medium or large when mature.

Gardening picture

(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on May 24, 2009. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)  

A trip home from the local nursery with a pick-up truck load of healthy happy shrubs is exciting--you can see your landscape coming together! Thoughts of lining a walkway with small shrubbery or a drive-way with tall, bushy hedges causes us to overlook the fact that these little one gallon pots of greenery may some day grow to be 10 to 20 feet tall.

Save yourself a lot of work and money by knowing before shopping for that truck load of shrubs what their mature size will be. The shrubs below are listed by size. Large is over 10 feet tall, medium is less than 10 feet tall and small is less than 3 feet tall.

Large (over 10 feet)

Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) grows to 15 to 20 feet tall, and needs 12 to 15 feet to spread. Hardy in USDA zones 6a to 8b. For best results, plant cherry laurel in full sun to partial shade where soil is kept consistently moist. Blooms are white to near white and appear in mid spring. *Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.

Gibb's Firethorn (Pyracantha atalantioides) grows to 12 to 15 feet tall and needs 8 to 10 feet to spread. Hardy in USDA zones 7a to 10b. Best results are achieved when grown in well drained, rich garden soil in full sun. Blooms are fragrant, white to near white and appear from late spring through early summer. There is also a dwarf variety of firethorn bush. * Plant has spines or sharp edges.

Boxleaf Hebe (Hebe buxifolia)
Hebe buxifolia 'Nana' by Dave's
Garden member, 'bootandall'
 
Cherry Laurel Prunus laurocerasus
Prunus laurocerasus by Dave's
Garden member, 'designart'
 
Pink Escallonia Escallonia macrantha
Escallonia macrantha by Dave's
Garden member, 'htop'
 
Red Cestrum Cestrum elegans
Cestrum elegans by Dave's
Garden member, 'mgarr'
 
Gibb's Firethorn Pyracantha atalantioides
Pyracantha atalantioides by
Dave's Garden member, 
'Growin'
 
Red Cestrum (Cestrum elegans) grows to 8 to 10 feet tall and needs 4 to 6 feet to spread. Hardy in USDA zones 8a to 11. Best results are achieved when grown in average garden soil; do not over water and in full sun to partial shade. Blooms are pink-purple and can be enjoyed throughout the year. *All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.

Medium (less than 10 feet)

Darwin Barberry (Berberis darwinii) grows to 6 to 8 feet and needs 4 to 6 feet to spread. Hardy in USDA zones 7a to 8b. Best results are achieved when grown in well drained, rich garden soil in full sun. Blooms are yellow-orange and appear from mid spring through early summer. There is also a dwarf variety of firethorn bush. * Plant has spines or sharp edges.

Pink Escallonia (Escallonia macrantha) grows to 8 to 10 feet and needs 6 to 8 feet to spread. Hardy in USDA zones 8a to 9b. Best results are achieved when grown in well drained, rich garden soil (do not overwater) in full sun to light shade. Blooms are rose-mauve and appear from mid spring through early fall.

Possum Haw (Viburnum nudum) 'Winterthur' grows to 6 to 10 feet tall and needs 6 to 12 feet to spread. Hardy in USDA zones 5a to 9b. Best results are achieved when given average water and grown in well drained, average garden soil in full sun to partial shade. Blooms are white-near white and appear from late spring through early summer.

Small (less than 3 feet)

Bearberry Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri) 'Lowfast' grows to 6 to 18 inches and needs 4 to 8 feet to spread. Hardy in USDA zones 5a to 8b. Best results are achieved when given average water and grown in well drained, average garden soil in full sun to partial shade. Blooms are white-near white and appear from mid spring through early summer. Shrub tends to sprawl and may be used as a groundcover.

Boxleaf Hebe (Hebe buxifolia) 'Nana' grows to 12 to 18 inches tall and wide. Hardy in USDA in zones 8a to 10b but this will vary depending on microclimates where shrub is planted. Best results are achieved when given average water and grown in well drained, average garden soil under larger shrubs for protection from wind and cold. Give Hebes full sun to light shade. Blooms are white-near white and appear from mid spring through early summer.

Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus) grows to 12 to 18 inches and needs 9 to 12 inches to spread. Hardy in USDA zones 6a to 9b. Best results are achieved when given average water and grown in well drained, average garden soil in full sun. Blooms are bright yellow and appear in mid spring. * Pollen may cause allergic reaction.

Doing some research before heading off to the nursery to buy shrubs will prevent the hassle of reworking the entire area a few years in the future.

Happy Gardening


Sources:

Plant characteristics and care tips are a condensed version of what is found in Dave's Garden Plant Files. Please visit plant files for more information and great member photographs.

Photos:
Photo at top right is of Darwin Barberry (Berberis darwinii) by Dave's Garden member, 'Todd_Boland'

All photos are by Dave's Garden members and are credited above.


 


  About Jacqueline Cross  
Jacqueline CrossI'm a native Floridian...feet planted in the shifting sands of northwest FL. but my heart strings are tightly knotted to the hills of Tennessee. I live with my poodle, Minnie Pearl, Zsa Zsa the cat who runs the whole show and a new addition, Kitty Belle. I'm a writer, gardener, quilter, cross stitcher, soapmaker and nature lover. Mother to 3 wonderful daughters & Nana to 6 perfect grandchildren. I also write for Suite101.com and was promoted to Feature Writer in the vegetable gardens section in 2008.

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» Read articles about: Evergreen Trees And Shrubs, Contoneaster, Barberry, Cestrum, Viburnums

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Discussion about this article:
SubjectTopic StarterRepliesViewsLast Post
Yew May be Surprised! modal 0 21 Jun 23, 2011 9:16 AM
Nice succinct article WigglyPaw 1 20 Jun 23, 2011 6:27 AM
Darwin Barberry (Berberis darwinii)photo Foxfire9 0 25 May 28, 2009 8:07 PM
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