Evergreen flowering shrubs are an excellent addition to any landscape design. Their vibrant flower stems and leaves enhance your garden’s visual appeal throughout the seasons.
Evergreen shrubs provide the best of both worlds. You get evergreen foliage throughout the year and a popping color display in your yard in spring and summer.
It’s also possible to get evergreen flowering shrubs for all light conditions, whether you have a partially shaded area or one that is fully exposed to the sun.
Read on to learn about the best flowering evergreen shrubs, their size, growing zones, soil type, maintenance requirements, and more.
Top 19 Evergreen Flowering Shrubs
Some common evergreen flowering shrubs include the following:
Azaleas’ colorful displays are common in early fall or spring.
Although different species have varying growth rates, most are slow-growing. Dwarf varieties grow up to 3 feet, while heirloom varieties grow to over 20 feet tall.
These low-maintenance shrubs are available in different colors.
One way to differentiate azaleas from rhododendrons is the flower shapes. The flower colors range from pale pink to white to purple and red. Azalea flowers are tubular shaped and grow in clusters.
It’s best to plant these evergreen shrubs in the spring in a lightly shaded site to promote blooming and healthy growth.
You also need acidic, well-drained soil, or you can plant the shrub in a container. Adding compost helps to maintain soil temperature, conserve water, and prevent the growth of weeds.
You also need to trim azaleas to encourage growth and maintain a compact appearance once the blooming period is over.
The rhododendron is another favorite flowering shrub that is perfect if you want to add a pop of color to your garden or yard.
The shrub forms clusters of yellow, purple, rose, white, or pink blooms, which pair well with its leathery green leaves.
Growing rhododendrons require partial to full shade and well-drained, acidic soil. These shrubs can grow up to 6 feet tall and bloom in early spring. It’s best to prune the shrubs to promote new growth from the remaining stubs.
Gardenia is an evergreen flowering tropical shrub often grown indoors for its scent. It has dark green leaves and fragrant, white flowers. You can also plant this shrub outdoors in fall or spring.
Gardenias grow well in rich, well-drained soil. You can also plant them in a container with a peat-based potting mix.
This seasonal bloomer needs plenty of sunshine to make flowers. Adding a layer of mulch helps with moisture retention and weed control.
Unlike most shrubs that require little maintenance, a gardenia shrub needs more attention and can be challenging to handle. Planting it requires acidic soil with a pH of 5-6.
It’s best to plant gardenias in the fall in areas with a light frost or in the spring in cooler regions. Watering should be consistent, and a slow-release fertilizer should be used during spring and summer.
Maintenance involves removing faded flowers to promote the growth of more blooms.
A holly bush makes a colorful addition to any garden or yard.
Characterized by shiny green leaves and clusters of yellow or red berries, these shrubs perform well in full sun to part shade. You also need well-drained soil with medium moisture.
Most holly varieties bloom in spring. Although these shrubs are drought tolerant, keeping the soil moist promotes green foliage, and organic fertilizer ensures the leaves remain brilliant and glossy.
Gardening enthusiasts recommend pruning holly shrubs when they get wide and extra tall to improve the plant’s overall appearance.
Camelia is another favorite evergreen flowering shrub that boasts bold colors like yellow, lavender, red, pink, and white. Depending on the cultivar, it blooms from winter to spring or fall to winter.
Camelias can last for years once they’re established. You only need to remove one bud from each of its clusters to increase the flower size.
Prune the shrub after flowering to encourage branching.
A common variety is the Japanese camellia, which grows in USDA zones 6-10 and has cup-shaped blossoms.
These shrubs grow up to 10 feet tall and grow in partially shaded landscapes.
Skimmia evergreen shrubs provide another way to add visual interest to your garden. These shrubs have leathery, glossy leaves in summer and produce colored flower buds in autumn.
Only female Skimmia varieties produce berries after flowering. However, they need the male Skimmia variety for pollination. Some varieties, like Skimmia japonica, produce berries by themselves.
The shrub prefers a lightly shaded area, but it can adapt to sunny spots or areas with a deeper shade. Skimmias thrive in acidic soil and windy, coastal areas.
Caring for Skimmia only requires mulching around the plants and light watering. Trim unwanted stems. Pruning also prevents the plant from producing berries the next winter.
Leucothoe is a fantastic evergreen flowering shrub that adds a unique aspect with its beautiful leaves.
In autumn, the shrub has purple flowers that turn to white with a hint of pink in late spring and summer.
Leucothoe can thrive in any soil and live with partial sun exposure.
Leucothoes also need frequent watering for them to perform. You’ll need to give them extra water during drought as the shrub is not drought-tolerant.
Fertilize the plant in early spring to encourage new growth.
Pruning is encouraged in spring once the flowering shrub is done blooming.
8. Mountain Laurel
Mountain laurel is a beautiful evergreen shrub often grown as a foundation or border plant. The shrub forms clusters of white and pink flowers with maroon spots.
This shrub thrives in partial shade and blooms from April to July. It’s also suitable for USDA zones 4-6.
Growing mountain laurel also requires well-drained, moist, and acidic soil. Its root system is also shallow and needs regular watering.
You must also cut off the flowers once they fade to stimulate growth.
9. Chinese Fringe Flower
The Chinese fringe flower is an ornamental shrub with pointed green leaves and spidery flowers. It thrives in full sun, and its fuchsia flowers add a unique contrast to any yard.
Chinese fringe flower bushes grow 5 to 6 feet tall and perform well in full or partial sun.
You can grow this evergreen shrub as a container plant, flowering hedge, or border plant.
The daphne shrub is famous for its clusters of pink, white, or lavender blooms in early spring or late winter.
These shrubs perform well in USDA zones 6-9, and different species have varying light requirements. Some will thrive in full sun, while others prefer full shade.
Most varieties are planted in early fall or spring. Unlike most shrubs, daphne is a slow-growing type. It takes seven to ten years to mature.
Daphne shrubs are also low-maintenance and only require trimming when there’s a broken limb and a slow-release granular fertilizer at the start of the second season.
Moreover, they don’t require pruning as the shrubs bloom during the last season’s growth.
Buxus or boxwood is a popular landscaping option due to its versatility. You can grow it as a short or medium-sized hedge to formalize gardens or to complement borders.
Boxwood has different cultivars that vary in growth rates, shapes, sizes, characteristics, and hardiness. It has waxy green leaves and yellow flowers without petals.
Most gardeners plant Buxus for its dense growth, low maintenance, and deer-resistant characteristics.
You can plant Buxus in various soil types and in partial shade. Overexposing Buxus to the sun can lead to damaged foliage.
Although Buxus is drought tolerant, mulching in dry periods helps with moisture retention and the prevention of diseases.
12. Cherry Laurel
Cherry laurel is another evergreen shrub that produces dainty white flowers, making the plant popular among bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
These fast-growing shrubs thrive in full sun but are also shade-tolerant. Cherry laurel plants only require well-drained and slightly acidic soil. Watering regularly is preferred for optimal growth.
Cherry laurels are easy to maintain and only need pruning in early summer or late spring.
The heather plant is an evergreen shrub that’s low-growing. There are different varieties, with each flowering at various times.
Heathers thrive in acidic soil, but some varieties can grow in alkaline to neutral soil. Grow them in full sun to partial shade.
Frequent watering promotes growth, and adding mulch suppresses the weeds.
Heather is slow growing and reaches about 18 inches in height. It’s best to plant heathers in early fall or spring.
Candytuft is a flowering evergreen that isn’t actually a shrub. It is a herbaceous perennial. The plant is native to Europe and can grow up to 18 inches tall.
It can perform well in most USDA zones and only requires alkaline, well-drained soil in a sunny area.
This shrub produces white flowers, although some cultivars can produce lilac or pink blooms. You’ll find this delicate plant suitable for border planting. It can also perform well in a rocky garden.
Cutting back the plant to ground level prevents the stems from woodiness, which ensures the flowering shrub doesn’t experience spindly growth.
Applying a phosphorous-rich fertilizer in spring also helps with the blooming.
Ilex, or Japanese holly, is a small, slow-growing, evergreen shrub with wavy-toothed leaves.
This evergreen shrub is compact and grows up to 10 feet tall.
Growing Ilex requires a sunny or partially shaded location with acidic, well-drained soil. It’s a perfect type of shrub to plant in tight spaces.
Note that llex is a slow-growing shrub and won’t thrive in places with high humidity and heat.
You can find different cultivars used in landscaping. Pruning in early spring or late winter is recommended to encourage healthy growth.
16. Photinia glabra
Photinia glabra, or Japanese Photinia, belongs to the Rosaceae family and is one of the smallest among its genus.
The evergreen flowering shrub only grows up to 12 feet tall and produces red flowers in late spring or early summer. Insects also pollinate it.
You can grow Photinia glabra in sandy, clay, or loamy soil as long as it’s well-drained. This hermaphrodite species prefers moist soil and can grow in semi-shade or nonshaded areas.
Additionally, Photinia glabra is drought and alkaline tolerant.
Remove old branches from the inside and outside to give the plant a natural look.
17. Japanese Mahonia
Japanese Mahonia is a medium-sized flowering evergreen shrub with leathery, spiny leaves. Its sprays of light yellow flowers bloom in late autumn, and dark blue-black berries follow that.
As an all-rounder plant, the Japanese Mahonia can be planted in different gardens. This low-maintenance plant is famous for attracting bees and is grown as a hedging plant on slopes or as an architectural specimen in wildlife-friendly gardens.
Japanese Mahonia performs well in partial sun or in a shaded area. It also has low to average water needs and can thrive in sand, loam, and clay soil.
You only need to remove dead branches in spring to encourage healthy growth to maintain this flowering shrub.
Pyracantha is an evergreen flowering shrub with clusters of yellow or red berries. This shrub grows upright, making it suitable to grow against a fence or wall.
Pyracantha’s clusters of white flowers turn into colorful berries in spring that attract mockingbirds and waxwings.
Pyracantha grows well in full sun to part shade conditions. It also loves well-drained soil.
19. Paxistima (Paxistima canbyi)
Paxistima is a low-growing evergreen shrub often mistaken for a perennial. Its tiny oval leaves surround the wiry, brown stems and closely resemble a yew (Taxus sp.). However, Paxistima only grows up to 12 inches tall, but can cover the ground 3 to 4 feet wide.
The benefits of Paxistima include this ground covering habit, which makes it an unusual alternative to juniper or heather, and its deer resistance. The flowers are tiny and not showy but can provide a lighter green cast to the foliage in May.
Paxistima can be difficult to establish, but regular watering during its first year often proves successful. Once established, however, this is a low-maintenance plant suitable for xeriscaping. Full sun with some afternoon shade in zones 3-7 will keep it thriving.
Evergreen flowering shrubs add color to your garden or yard throughout the year. Most of the above types are easy to care for and require little maintenance.
All you need is to grow the ones for your recommended hardiness zone, water them, and add organic fertilizer is needed.