Small Evergreen Shrubs for Full Sun
When it comes to foundation plantings, small evergreen shrubs for full sun are also in demand, especially in new construction. Very often, new construction means building in an area with immature trees. As a result, foundation plants often need to do well in full sun. Below is a list of a dozen great small evergreen shrubs for full sun that just might fit right into your landscaping plans.
Arborvitae, Mr. Bowling Ball
As its name would imply, this sun-loving shrub is round in shape. It has a slow growth habit and reaches a height and width of 24 to 30 inches. Therefore, it is a very popular foundation plant for full sun. Its dense foliage is light and feathery and it retains its vibrant green color all year long. Mr. Bowling Ball thrives in full sun and a variety of soils. It grows in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 7.
Arborvitae, Little Giant Dwarf
A bit larger than Mr. Bowling Ball, this arborvitae grows to about 4 feet tall and wide. It is slow growing, winter hardy, and needs no pruning. All of these attributes make it a perfect foundation plant for sunny locations. If you are looking for small evergreen shrubs for full sun, this one just might be perfect. It does best in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
If you are looking for small evergreen shrubs for full sun that also flower, the encore azalea just might be a perfect choice. The encore azalea is available in many different varieties and grows to about 2 or 3 feet in height and width. Common colors include red, pink, white, purple, and coral. It blooms from spring to fall and has vibrant green leaves. The encore needs at least 4 to 6 hours of sunshine per day for optimum blooms. the encore azalea grows in USDA Growing Zones 6 to 9.
Boxwood, Baby Gem
This particular boxwood is one of the great small evergreen shrubs for full sun. It is a slow grower and at maturity will reach a height and width of about 3 feet. Like most boxwoods, it is also a great shrub for pruning into a hedge. As a bonus, this boxwood is also deer resistant. It grows in USDA Growing Zones 5 to 9.
Euonymus, Emerald n’ Gold
Euonymus shrubs all have variegated leaves. Therefore, all varieties add interest to the landscape. The emerald n’ gold variety has bicolored leaves that are emerald at the center and gold at the edges. This varieity grows to about 2 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. It prefers full sun but will tolerate part shade. Emerald n’ gold needs average soil that is well-drained. It grows in USDA Growing Zones 5 to 8.
Euonymus, Emerald Gaiety
This euonymus grows a little taller, roughly 3 to 5 feet in width and height. The leaves are green and white. Interestingly, the emerald gaiety can also be grown as a vine if given the support of a trellis. Like most euonymus, it prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Gaiety grows in USDA Growing Zones 5 to 8.
Like the emerald n’ gold euonymus, moonshadow is also colored emerald and gold. The pattern, however, is just the opposite. Moonshadow has bicolored leaves that are gold in the center and emerald at the edges. It grows to about 3 feet tall and wide. Moonshadow will also tolerate light shade. It grows in USDA Growing Zones 4 to 9.
Japanese Holly, Dwarf
The dwarf Japanese holly only grows about one inch per year. As a result, it is a great evergreen shrub for tight locations. At maturity, it is only about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It prefers full sun and is winter hardy. The dark green leaves are glossy and the Japanese holly always add interest to the garden, no matter the season. It does best in USDA Growing Zones 6 to 9.
Juniper, Blue Star
This pretty evergreen shrub grows to about 1 to 3 feet tall and just as wide. The foliage consists of short blue-green needles. Additionally, blue star junipers can be planted together to form a low maintenance groundcover. It does best in full sun and well-drained soil. It grows in USDA Growing Zones 4 to 8.
Pine, Dwarf Mugo
The dwarf mugo pine is one of the more popular small evergreen shrubs for full sun. It is a spreading pine that gives off a fragrant pine scent. It grows to about 3 to 4 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. Dwarf mugo pine is very hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions. The dwarf mugo pine does best in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 7.
Spruce, Bird’s Nest
This interesting small evergreen shrub is flat-topped with a spreading habit of growth. Like its namesake, it resembles a bird’s nest. At maturity it reaches about 18 inches in height and spreads to about 4 feet. It is very slow growing and only grows about 4 inches per year. Consequently, the bird’s nest spruce is a great specimen plant and a nice addition to any foundation planting. It grows well in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
This pretty little shrub blooms, oddly enough, during the winter. It has pink or purple blooms and thrives in sandy, slightly acidic soil. Additionally, bloom period is long for winter heath and it will also tolerate part shade. The winter heath grows to about 1 foot tall and 1 1/2 feet wide. According to the garden design website, winter heath makes a great choice for massing on banks and slopes. It grows in USDA Growing Zones 5 to 7.
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