Small Shade Evergreens. With woody stems and bright foliage that sticks around all year, evergreen shrubs add color and interest to yards and landscapes. These shrubs come in a plethora of shapes and sizes, and thrive in almost any condition down to the smallest space. Shady areas prove hard to plant in, so identifying shade types will allow you to...
With woody stems and bright foliage that sticks around all year, evergreen shrubs add color and interest to yards and landscapes. These shrubs come in a plethora of shapes and sizes, and thrive in almost any condition down to the smallest space. Shady areas prove hard to plant in, so identifying shade types will allow you to pick the best shade-friendly evergreen shrub for your yard.
Evergreens come in two groups, broadleaf and narrow-leaf. Broadleaf evergreens still grow leaves, but retain their foliage all year, sometimes changing to vibrant red, purples and yellows. In addition, many broadleaf evergreen shrubs bear flowers or berries, which lends your landscape even more color. However, according the University of Missouri Extension, these shrubs need a little extra protection from winds in winter. Popular broadleaf evergreen shrubs include boxwoods, laurels and hollies.
Easily identify narrow-leaf evergreen shrubs by the presence of needles, instead of leaves growing on their branches. Many narrow-leaf evergreen shrubs also bear cones, making them conifers. Among different types of narrow-leaf evergreens are yews, American arborvitaes and junipers.
Shade comes in three categories: light, partial or medium and full shade. Light shade refers to a shaded area with exposure to bright light. The shade might only stick around for a few hours as well.
Partial or medium shade occurs in areas blocked from the sun for the majority of the day. North-facing exposures that receive bright light also get classified as medium shade.
Full shade, writes the University of Missouri Extension, means very little direct sunlight reaches the ground during the day. Find these areas under a group of trees, decks and patios in north-facing directions.
Many varieties of yews offer landscaping options for small, shade evergreen shrubs with narrow leaves. The Dens Yew (Taxus x media 'Densiformis'), for example, thrives in full shade and reaches 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide at maturity. A popular evergreen shrub, this yew bears bright green needles and requires little maintenance.
Other types of full shade yews include the Japanese dwarf yew (Taxus cuspidata), which grows a little slower and gets only 3 feet tall by 5 feet wide.
Most broadleaf evergreen boxwood shrubs grow well in partial shade. Of the smaller boxwoods, the Littleleaf boxwood (Buxus microphylla) grows only 3 to 4 feet tall. Another small shrub, the Green Mountain boxwood (Buxus 'Green Mountain') grows in an upright, pyramidal shape and reaches 3 to 5 feet tall. It bears dark green foliage and produces flowers in the spring.
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