Here in North Texas, despite the mild winters, it definitely gets cool enough for our yards and vegetation to lose their color in the winter. Let’s explore some of the best evergreen shrubs for Texas, to keep your landscape looking lively year-round.
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Many people think of conifers when they hear the term ‘evergreen.’ It tends to prompt images of pines, spruces, firs- basically the ones we use as Christmas trees! The truth is, there is a lot more variety in the category of evergreens than you may realize.
Some consider evergreens as “backbone plants,” because they provide depth, texture and color to your yard all year long. Let’s take a look at some great options for evergreen shrubs in Texas.
Rose Creek Abelia
This is actually a hybrid evergreen that produces small pink leaves that resemble a button. They eventually turn green in the fall, and then take on a gentle purple hue in the winter.
Rose Creek Abelia is considered a semi-evergreen depending on the region, but grows as a “true” evergreen in the North Texas climate. As if the colorful foliage wasn’t enough to seduce you, rose creek also produces lovely tube-like white flowers in the springtime that smell fantastic.
This beautiful low-growing evergreen gives your yard a burst of deep purple foliage all year round. The leaves are broad like a deciduous plant, and the deep plum hue is complemented by pink flower clusters that blossom in the spring.
As with most evergreens, daydream loropetalum enjoys mildly acidic soil that is well-drained. They only get a few feet tall, but they can get fairly wide, so be sure to plant them about 5 feet apart.
True to it’s name, this evergreen shrub boasts spiny golden foliage that brings a flare of “sunshine” to your garden. It is a sterile plant, meaning it will not bloom, and isn’t at all invasive. They grow to about 6 feet tall, but can be pruned according to your aesthetic preference.
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Sunshine ligustrum thrives in warm climates with full sun exposure. Water frequently when you first plant it to encourage strong roots, but otherwise make sure the surrounding soil is well-drained.
Texas Mountain Laurel
This mult-trunked evergreen can be cultivated as either a shrub or a small tree. It is valued for its easy care and grape bubblegum-scented flowers that bloom in early spring.
The foliage are “true leaves” rather than spikes or spines, and the blossoms are long drooping columns. This shrub is actually in the pea family!
Spineless Prickly Pear
You may not think of succulents as evergreens, but they are! This light-colored cactus provides color and character without sharp spines.
The round, flat foliage is typically a soft medium green in color, with small bumps where the spines would be. Some varieties actually have purple foliage! Prickly pear also produces yello flowers in the spring, which turn to dark reddish-purple fruits in the fall.
Also known as purple sage, this plant is nicknamed the “Texas barometer bush.” This is due to its tendency to burst into bloom just after a rainshower.
Cenizo has small, bushy foliage with light purple flowers, and needs very little care. The overall shape and texture of this and Texas Mountain Laurel are closer to what we normally envision as a shrub.
Dwarf Buford Holly
The leaves of this evergreen make it look more like a deciduous plant, but make no mistake- it maintains its color year-round. Despite its tolerance for colder weather, mulching in the winter will help protect and fortify the root system.
This holly shrub produces bright green leaves that darken in the winter, with red berries emerging in late autumn. It has a low canopy and can grow to about 8 feet high.
If you’d like to add some color to your yard just before winter sets in, our seasonal planting services can help make that happen.
Nelly Stevens Holly
This breed of holly can grow quite large- up to 30 feet high if allowed to- and naturally takes on a conical “Christmas tree shape.” It produces red berries, just like other holly bushes, and the spiny leaves are a deep green color.
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The Nelly Stevens holly shrub is weather-hardy,but it does prefer full to partial sun exposure. Be sure not to plant it at a low point in your yard, as it thrives in well-drained soil that’s slightly acidic.
Large and spiky, this plant’s fronds can range in color from icy blue to seafoam green. The leaves are shorter and wider when they’re younger, somewhat resembling a large artichoke.
Adult plants have thinner spikes that look somewhat like a trunkless yucca tree. Blue agave can grow several feet high and wide- and yes, it is the cactus tequilais made from!
This is a common evergreen shrub here in Texas, appreciated for its classic “evergreen” appearance of thin spiky foliage that can be found in shades of blue, green, grey, and even gold. Additionally, the leaves and small berries have a bright, cheerful fragrance.
Big Bend Yucca
This plant can be grown as a shrub or a tree, and some even choose to keep them in large pots. The foliage is thinner than the agave, and ranges in color from bright green to bluish-green.
Be sure you don’t over-water, and place it in a well-irrigated area. And keep in mind that the tips of the leaves can be very sharp!
These gardens workhorses are able to withstand extreme weather conditions and, in most cases, sail through these extremes where other plant may struggle or go dormant. This makes them a great choice for brightening up Texas lawns.
Do you think there should be another evergreen shrub to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.