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When it comes to greening the garden or balcony, various aspects have to be considered. This is especially true when it comes to shady locations. Evergreen plants for the shade are then ideal.

In a nutshell

  • evergreen shade plants are available in different variations
  • not every plant is suitable for cultivation in tubs or outdoors
  • when choosing, attention should be paid to toxicity
  • easy-care plants for the shade are often also suitable as privacy screens

Evergreen shade plants from A to E

Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens

The boxwood is easy to care for, tolerates pruning and is robust and evergreen. It can stand as a solitary plant in a bucket or outdoors, has long proven itself as a hedge and can be wonderfully shaped. In addition, it also fits well in locations that are in the light shade.

However, the cutting must be done frequently and regularly at short intervals. Because the boxwood can reach a height of up to six meters and then does not fit on a balcony or in most gardens.

Fat Man - Pachysandra terminalis

The so-called fat man only reaches a comparatively low height and is therefore wonderfully suited for pot culture and for planting under trees and taller shrubs. Its properties are:

  • a height of up to 35 centimeters
  • evergreen foliage
  • preferred locations in light shade or full shade
  • blooms between April and May
  • white, showy flowers and fleshy leaves

Daphne mezereum - Daphne mezereum

Mezereon, Daphne mezereum

Daphne is a low, dense-growing shrub that is also wonderfully suited to pot culture. The evergreen plant grows to a maximum height of one meter and can grow in partial shade as well as in the shade. However, the plant does not tolerate direct sun.

Daphne blooms between March and May and conjures up splashes of color with its lilac-colored flowers in the garden or on the balcony.

Ivy - Hedera helix

Ivy can also be used as a climbing screen or as a ground cover. With a trellis, the ivy can also protect against unwanted looks on the balcony, it also grows comparatively quickly and proves to be both robust and resistant as well as easy to care for. The different types have different properties.

Tip: Overall, however, ivy is also ideal for people without green fingers and experience in plant care.

G to K

Common mahonia - Mahonia aquifolium

Evergreen mahonia can be in partial or full shade and has these characteristics:

  • reaches a height of about one meter, therefore suitable for pot culture
  • golden-yellow flowers from April to May
  • forms purple-black berries between spring and summer
  • Fruits are edible, harvest between August and December
  • decorative shaped leaves

Sacred Bamboo - Nandina domestica

Strictly speaking, the sacred bamboo is not bamboo, but a type of barberry. As long as the shrub is sheltered from the wind and in the shade, it usually thrives without any problems and is easy to care for.

In autumn it enchants with the colorful coloring of the leaves. Flowers and berries have been a source of food for insects and birds for a long time.

Evergreen Honeysuckle - Lonicera henryi

Evergreen honeysuckle is a fast-growing plant that thrives in both sun and shade. If it is placed in a shady location, however, care is easier and the water requirement is lower. The evergreen honeysuckle can also be used as a privacy screen through trellises or climbing aids on fences and railings. In addition, the plant offers these properties and benefits:

  • Can be used as a ground cover or as a climbing plant with a trellis
  • reaches heights of four to eight meters
  • can spread to widths of one and a half to two and a half meters
  • good alternative to ivy
  • evergreen leaves
  • exudes a light fragrance
  • Flowers are yellow or red
  • Flowering period from June to July
  • forms black fruits in berry form
  • also suitable for pot culture

Cherry Laurel - Prunus laurocerasus

The cherry laurel offers different varieties and breeds for different conditions. Varieties whose leaves are green all year round can also be found among these. Inflorescences and fruits are extremely decorative. In addition, the plants can reach heights of up to 2.5 meters and tolerate pruning well.

As a result, the plants provide good privacy protection, but can also be cultivated as a hedge or planted individually.

Creeping Spindle - Euonymus fortunei

Source: Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) This image was made by Loadmaster (David R. Tribble) Email the author: David R. Tribble Also see my personal gallery at Google Photos, Leaves-4137, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

The creeping spindle - known in botanical jargon as Euonymus fortunei - can be used both as a ground cover and as a privacy screen. As a ground cover, it reaches a height of about 20 to 60 centimeters. If a climbing aid or trellis is provided, it can reach a height and growth length of up to ten meters. In addition, it has the following properties:

  • Flowering period from June to July
  • reddish-brown foliage in autumn but no shedding of the leaves
  • ideal for light shade to full shade
  • perennial
  • decorative green leaves

L to S

Laurel rose - Kalmia

The laurel rose is an evergreen heather plant that feels at home in shady locations and can be grown both in tubs and outdoors. Their properties and special features include:

  • can reach a height of up to two meters
  • the flower is reminiscent of rhododendrons
  • need an acidic substrate
  • shiny green leaves
  • also suitable for pot culture

Column Yew - Taxus baccata

The columnar yew and yews in general are evergreen plants that can sometimes reach impressive heights and widths. However, they can be blended to keep the dimensions compact

  • impressive as a solitary tree
  • ideal for semi-shady to shady locations
  • can reach heights of up to four to seven meters
  • inconspicuous flowers
  • red berry-like fruits
  • needle-shaped green leaves

Attention: But beware! The columnar yew, like other yew variants, is highly poisonous in all parts. The plant should therefore be avoided in gardens or on terraces and balconies with children and pets. In addition, appropriate protection for the skin must be worn when cutting the columnar yew and the green waste must be destroyed or disposed of with the residual waste to prevent poisoning.

Snowball - Viburnum opulus

The viburnum has showy and very pleasantly scented inflorescences. The strength of the scent depends on the variety. Its claims and important factors include:

  • Evergreen varieties available
  • prefers a semi-shady location, but also tolerates sun
  • reaches heights of one and a half to six meters, depending on the variety
  • possible flower colors are white, yellow and pink, depending on the variety or cultivar
  • Flowering time also depends on the variety

If you not only want a suitable variety for the shade, but also want to enjoy fragrant flowers in winter, you should opt for the evergreen Winter Snowball. They bloom between November and April.

False Cypress - Chamaecyparis

Source: Σ64, Chamaecyparis obtusa 02, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 3.0

False cypresses are not only a wonderful alternative to cypresses, as they are suitable for sunny to shady locations. They also bring other benefits:

  • grows columnar
  • reaches a height of up to six meters, but can be pruned and kept compact
  • no visible flower but brownish cones
  • very hardy
  • suitable as a privacy screen and for pot culture
  • lush green leaves

Skimmia - Skimmia japonica

Skimmia, Skimmia japonica

Skimmias are ornamental plants with thick, fleshy, and glossy leaves. They form eye-catching flower and fruit clusters and are juicy green. Since they can remain outdoors or in planters all year round, they are a good choice for the garden, terrace and balcony.

Evergreen shade plants with Z

Dwarf Hat Spruce - Picea glauca 'Conica'

The small spruce or conifer with the botanical name "Conica" is ideal for light shade or semi-shade - but can also stand in full sun. The versatile plant is easy to care for and ideal for growing in pots, but should be rotated regularly. Because without turning, the green grows towards the light in a targeted manner.

Notice: Due to the existing winter hardiness with sufficient protection, the dwarf hat spruce is also suitable for planting outdoors.

Cotoneaster - Cotoneaster

The cotoneaster is ideal for pot culture or a box on the balcony. The evergreen plant thrives in the sun as well as in the shade. In spring, it sets accents with white flowers, which later develop into bright red berries.

Due to the hardy nature of the cotoneaster, it can be used in many ways and is easy to care for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Evergreen plants for the garden and balcony - how to care for them?

It is often forgotten to provide the plants with sufficient water and fertilizer. But even in full shade, the evergreen plants sometimes have a high consumption. However, the care should always be tailored to the type of plant.

Are plants in bucket culture more complex?

With regard to watering and fertilization, the effort for plants in a bucket is actually somewhat higher. Especially when they are under one roof. However, it is much easier to overwinter non-hardy plants than outdoors, as the planters can simply be moved to a frost-free location.

Are there evergreen, hardy shade plants?

Yes. Coniferous plants and conifers in particular are green all year round and in many cases are hardy here in Germany. They are also a good choice as a privacy screen, as they do not shed the green and usually grow very quickly.

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