Strawberry tree Arbutus unedo

Five evergreen plants for shade

Discover five beautiful evergreens for a shady area of your garden.

Evergreen plants are an essential part of any garden - they offer structure, form and interest, especially in winter, and act as a foil for the colourful flowers of annuals and perennials. 

Find out how to plant a flowering evergreen shrub

Many evergreen perennials and shrubs are suitable for growing in a shady spot, either in part or full shade. 

Here are our top picks of stunning evergreen plants for shade.


Strawberry tree

Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) is a small, attractive evergreen tree, with bell-shaped flowers and pretty red fruits in autumn. As it grows, it often forms a beautiful multi-stemmed structure. Watch Joe Swift's video guide to trees for small gardens

Japanese spurge

Pachysandra terminalis is a shade-loving perennial that can cope with dry shade, making it useful for creating a dense, evergreen carpet beneath trees and shrubs. It likes an acid soil, so is often paired with acid-loving rhododendrons. Shelter from cold winds.


Box (Buxus sempervirens) is a bushy, upright shrub or small tree with small, glossy dark green leaves. It provides fantastic structure in the garden, clipped into balls or topiary shapes. It can also be grown as a low hedge, to edge a bed or border. 


Hebes, or shrubby Veronicas, are compact shrubs that naturally grow in a rounded shape. They make a good alternative to box balls. Pollinators love the small flowers that are produced in early summer. Hebe pinguifolia 'Sutherlandii' and Hebe 'Green Globe' (pictured) are good choices. 


Phillyrea angustifolia is a robust plant that eventually grows into a large shrub. Like box, it makes great topiary and can be clipped to form hedges or topiary shapes. Grow in partial shade rather than full shade and be sure to carry out any pruning and clipping over summer, so new growth has time to harden off before winter.

Evergreen plants are an essential part of any garden - they offer structure, form and interest, especially in winter.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

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