Plants that provide year-round colour in the form of leaves or flowers are called evergreens. These plants are the foundation of a garden landscape as they do not need to be replanted and are a consistent presence throughout the year.
Which plants provide year around interest depends greatly on your climate. The U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the country into zones to help gardeners determine which plants thrive in each area or zone. A plant, such as calla lily, that is evergreen in USDA hardiness zone 9, where winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing, will die to the ground in winter in colder zones.
Flowering seasons vary depending upon the type of evergreen plant you select. Camellias bloom in the late winter or early spring. Azaleas bloom in the late spring or early summer. Some flowers are longer lived than others, but generally last only one season. When grown in a warm climate, plants such as euphorbia or ixora, or other tropical natives, bloom year round.
Evergreen plants are available in a wide range of cultivars and varieties. From classic needled varieties that offer green foliage with no flowers to broad-leaf evergreens with showy blooms, like camellias. Others still, are tropical plants with large leaves and exotic flowers.
Most evergreen plants need well-drained, organic-rich soil. Preparing the soil before you plant your evergreen assures a long-lived plant. Evergreens require varying amounts of sunlight, but generally partial to full sun is ideal.
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