Tall Evergreen Shrubs

Updated July 19, 2017

Evergreen shrubs retain most of their foliage year-round to provide a constant source of vibrancy to the garden. Tall evergreen shrub varieties make ideal barriers and screening plants to grow along the home and garden for privacy. Many tall evergreen shrubs produce flowers in the spring for an added burst of colour and often fragrance to the garden. When selecting tall evergreen shrubs for the planting site, consider good soil aeration and drainage, as these are essential for optimum growth.

Common Boxwood

Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that has a dense, rounded form and medium to fine texture. It grows 15 to 20 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide, creating an ideal shrub for a makeshift screen in the garden. Common boxwood bears spring-blooming, creamy yellow flowers that are fragrant. The lustrous, dark green foliage on common boxwood grows up to 1 inch long and casts an orange hue in winter. Hardy, common boxwood is drought tolerant and easy to transplant. It grows best in full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 or higher. Grow common boxwood in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 to 8.

English Laurel

English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is a moderately growing evergreen shrub with a medium to coarse texture. It grows 10 to 18 feet tall and 8 to 11 feet wide and is noted for its oval, rounded and dense form. English laurel produces small, white flowers that emerge in spring and are fragrant. The dark green, lustrous leaves on English laurel are 2 to 6 inches long. English laurel grow best in full sun to shade and well-drained, moist soil that is nutrient-rich. Grow English laurel in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 to 8.

Japanese Holly

Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) is an evergreen shrub that is noted for its dense and rounded form. It grows 4 to 10 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide and has a slow to moderate growth rate. Japanese holly bears small, spring-blooming, dull green flowers that attract bumblebees to the shrub. The dark green leaves on Japanese holly grow ½ inch to just over 1 inch long. They grow best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, acidic soil. Grow Japanese holly in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 to 8.

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About the Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.