Bushes or shrubs are important features in landscapes, where they help to bridge the gap between smaller perennials and annuals and larger-sized trees. Evergreen shrubs are especially useful for maintaining year-long interest in the garden. When choosing evergreen shrubs, keep in mind the general growing conditions. Also consider the mature size of the shrubs, as this helps in the selection of the best site with proper growing space.
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Dwarf yaupon (Ilex vomitoria nana) is a fine-textured evergreen bush that grows to a mature height of 2 feet with an equal spread. The plant thrives in areas of sun or shade, with more dense foliage in the sun, and has a medium to slow growth rate. The shrub is well tolerant of short-term freezing and does not react well to staying dry for extended periods. Dwarf yaupon is easily propagated with cuttings and adapts to a variety of soil types. The shrub is susceptible to the leaf miner; control infestations of the insects with a preventive spray of systemic insecticide.
Aspidistra (Aspidistra elatior) is a slow-growing, leafy evergreen shrub that grows to a full height of about 2 feet. The shrubs are a perennial native of East Asia and spread from rhizomes. Although it is hardy, aspidistra is susceptible to winter kill, but returns easily during the next growing season. One popular use for the shrub is as ground cover in areas of shade in the garden, given its tolerance for lowlight conditions and minimal tolerance for direct sunlight. Aspidistra is also grown as an accent and edging plant and in containers. Prune the older leaves regularly in order to maintain the appearance.
Boxwood (Buxus) is an evergreen shrub that grows well in both full sun and shade. The plant has a slow growth rate, rising to a mature height of 2 to 3 feet, and responds well to hard pruning in order to keep its shape. Boxwood does not require fertile soil in order to grow well but prefers a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. These small-sized shrubs are popular in both formal and informal landscapes as screens, accents and specimen planting. They are easily propagated from hardwood or semi-hardwood cuttings taken from vigorous plants between late summer and fall. Plant in well-drained soil to minimise the risk of root disease.
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