Best easy to grow Evergreen Shrubs

Here are some of the best evergreen shrubs ideal to add interest and colour all year round.

Most evergreen shrubs are low maintenance and easy to grow, which is why they are so popular. Before buying an evergreen shrub for your garden, it's best to check two things.

First, check its hardy rating. Most, but not all, evergreen shrubs are fully hardy. The Ceanothus illustrated is lovely but only H3/H4 hardy and so not suitable for all gardens.   

Second, a size check. With all shrubs there is a significant variation in size, even within the same group of shrubs. It is best to check the eventual size of the precise variety. Unless you have a lot of space, some larger varieties can outgrow the border, crowding out other plants.

Many evergreens have excellent foliage such as Euonymus, Escallonia and Camellia, others are grown for their flowers, such as the stunning blue of the Ceanothus.  The lovely Choisya has it all, attractive foliage with lovely creamy white flowers which are sweetly scented, making it a must for any garden.

Below are images and links for the best, easy to grow Evergreen Shrubs with advice on what to pick for your garden. Shrubs are of great interest to our garden birds, for shelter, nesting and food.  Habitat is as important to wildlife as bird feeders and a collection of shrubs will help to bring birds into the garden. Check out bird friendly shrubs.

Sometimes in a garden you need cover and privacy quickly. The Sunday Garden has 10 fast growing shrubs to check out for your garden.

Looking to buy evergreen shrubs? Crocus has a good selection and separately linked are the various shrubs listed below. All are affiliate links.


Euonymus lovely lime green foilage with white flowers

Although Euonymus has flowers as in the image, it is generally grown for its bright foliage which can lift a gloomy corner of the garden. There are a number of Euonymus to choose from.

Illustrated is E. fortunei 'Emerald n Gold' Very easy to grow, tolerant of most conditions, soils and maintenance free.

Buy Euonymus Crocus has 18 varieties to choose from.

Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

Another Evergreen Shrub not grown for its flowers is Garrya elliptica common name Silk Tassel bush, which has lovely long tassels in winter. It is easy to grow and whilst often described as not fully hardy although I have seen it growing in cold areas of UK as long as it is not waterlogged. 

Crocus has Garrya elliptica on sale


Ceanothus with bee

Ceanothus produces many blue flowers creating a soft cloud of blue. The flowers are attractive to bees and look good with Clematis montana, an ideal combination both flowering late spring. Ceanothus is slightly tender and dislikes cold drying winds, more advice and growing tips.

5 varieties of Ceanothus are on sale at Crocus including the autumn flowering variety.



Escallonia illustrated here and top right is a lovely evergreen, with glossy leaves and attractive flowers in the late spring early and summer. Escallonia also makes a lovely hedge.

The only drawback is Escallonia is slightly tender and needs a sheltered spot.

There are 4 varieties on sale at Crocus including the lovely Escallonia 'Apple Blossom'


Colourul Rhododendrons

There are so many Rhododendrons to choose from, ranging from small Azalea to large Rhododendrons as big as small trees.  Rhododendrons will respond well to a hard prune if they out grow their space. Rhododendrons and Azaleas are easy to grow. Their only requirement is acid soil and they have bright, strongly coloured flowers.


Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium, common name Holly, is another bright evergreen with the additional benefit of berries. It is slow growing and varieties need to be picked carefully to ensure berries are produced. You need a mix of male and female and the names are confusing -  for tips and advise. 



Choisya is a great garden shrub. It combines many virtues, being easy to grow, an evergreen with glossy leaves and lots of sweetly scented flowers in late spring and early summer.

It's common name is Mexican Orange blossom because of its very lovely scent.



Cistus, common name Rock Rose, is a small to medium sizes shrub evergreen in most areas but may be semi-evergreen in colder areas.

It has a preference for sunny dry growing conditions and rewards with many flowers over a long period in the summer.

Heavenly Bamboo

Heavenly Bamboo

Heavenly Bamboo,  latin name Nandina domestica  is not a bamboo at all but a lovely well behaved evergreen with white flowers followed by red berries. 

Many varieties have a delicate arching habit. 

Viburnum tinus


There are many Viburnums to choose from, many of which are evergreen. This is V. tinus, very easy to grow maintenance free and which has lovely white flowers and dark green foliage. 


Mahonia in flower

A tough shrub ideal for growing in difficult places. Mahonia has spikey foliage and yellow flowers in the winter, with some scented varieties. 


Pink Camellia with leaves

Camellia, when planted in the right place, has lovely glossy leaves and beautiful flowers. Camellia must be grown on acid soil and have particular growing requirements. Camellia is tricky to get right and the flowers can be blighted by bad weather.


Pittosporum tenifolium 'Gold star'

Pittosporum is a slightly tender evergreen shrub. Many varieties have variegated leaves, illustrated is Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Gold star' and some have scented flowers.

Pittosporum is an ideal garden sized shrub for a mixed border and easy to grow. I've seen it grown to good effect planted with ferns (illustrated on the Pittosporum page.)

Crinodendron hookerianum

Crinodendron_hookerianum_red lantern bush

This unusual evergreen shrub is Crinodendron hookerianum ' also known as the Chile lantern tree for the shape of its flowers, which appear in late spring and early summer

It has small glossy leaves and grows best in partial shade to keep a cool root run. Although classified H4 hardy, in practise it will need winter protection and is unlikely to thrive in exposed gardens although it will grow in acid soil. 

Sarcococca hookeriana

sweetly scented white flowers on Sarcococca hookeriana

Sarcococca hookeriana is a small evergreen shrub,it grows to less than 1m and has sweetly scented flowers in winter and early spring. Its common name is sweet box. It is fully hardy and easy to grow.

It is shade tolerant, and grouped together makes an ideal low growing scented hedge. Berries followed the small white flowers.


White flowers on Pyracantha

Pyracantha is an evergreen shrub, with an arching habit. It has white flowers in the spring followed by bright berries, usually orange or red in late summer and autumn.

Easy to grow Pyracantha is tolerant of most conditions, including partial shade. Attractive to birds for nesting in evergreen shrubbery and for the attractive berries.

Pieris Japonica

Pieris japonica with bright red spring foliage

Pieris japonica is a shrub with a strong spring colour. The new growth emerges bright red, which fades over the spring months followed by white flowers. 

There are many sizes and varieties for Pieris, from dwarf to a small sized tree. Pieris is easy to grow, provided the growing conditions are acid soil.

Tips on growing Pieris, good varieties to choose and images.

Page last updated 22/10/2023