HomeOutdoor Decor25 Best Hedge Plants That Are Also Evergreen

25 Best Hedge Plants That Are Also Evergreen

You may be looking for the best evergreen hedge plants for several reasons.

Whether adding privacy, creating a tidy-looking border, or adding height to your landscaping, these hedges may be just what you’re looking for!

Unlike a deciduous shrub, an evergreen one keeps its greenery all year. So you can have privacy in the winter too.

It will also help cut down on wind and sound, as well as provide a barrier and shelter for some wildlife. 

I tend to decide to write articles like this when I’m faced with needing solutions of my own. That’s what helps motivate me to do dig in deep with the research.

Spoiler alert: We recently planted number three on the list, the Carolina cherry laurel, to fill in a large space where we needed a tall tree for privacy. We are quite pleased with how quickly it’s growing.

Four different types of some of the best evergreen hedge plants for a yard.

The plant in the bottom right corner, with red berries and red leaves is a different photo of #23 Nandina/Heavenly bamboo.

Tips for Planting Evergreen Hedge Plants

  • Do not plant in a straight line. Zig-zag the trees to give a fuller effect and allow the trees to get air and sun. It also works best with the wind this way. This is especially a great tip for trees that are susceptible to blight. Trust me on this one, I speak from personal experience. Leyland cypresses are known to suffer from this.
  • Plant more than one variety in your border. This way, disease, and pests will be less likely to destroy the whole planting. 
  • Generally speaking, plants should be spaced approximately the same distance as their overall mature width. So if a hedge grows to 8 feet, you would space these 8 feet apart from the trunk.
  • Plant an extra couple of shrubs elsewhere. If something goes wrong with one plant, you have a replacement that’s the same size and type.

Best Evergreen Hedge Plants

  1. Yew 
  2. Allegheny Barberry
  3. Cherry Laurel
  4. American Arborvitae
  5. Emerald Green Arborvitae
  6. Western Red Cedar
  7. Rocky Mountain Juniper
  8. Laurustinus
  9. Common Boxwood
  10. Portuguese Laurel
  11. Holly
  12. Evergreen Euonymus
  13. Oregon Grape
  14. Leyland Cypress
  15. Japanese Cleyera
  16. Cotoneaster Hedge
  17. Firethorn
  18. Privet
  19. Azaleas
  20. Canadian Hemlock
  21. False Cypress
  22. Mirror Bush
  23. Heavenly Bamboo
  24. Red Robin
  25. Griselinia

1. Yew | Taxus baccata

A Japan yew hedge.

The commonly used evergreen bush is the yew. It’s a fairly slow-growing bush, so it’s ideal for a low-maintenance garden.

It is best that you pruned it in late summer or early fall. 

Yew responds very well to regular pruning. If you have an overgrown yew shrub, you can often restore it by hard pruning in late winter. 

It can vary considerably depending on the variety you choose, but yew plants can grow anywhere from 4 to 60 feet tall with a width of 4 to 20 feet. 

2. Allegheny Barberry | Berberis canadensis

A full-looking Barberry tree.

The barberry bush (or American barberry) is a traditional choice for security hedges due to its sharp thorns that line the branches.

Its bright red berries continue through the cold weather months, giving it more visual interest even in winter. 

It has become less popular in North America due to its invasive nature. However, there are now new, non-invasive cultivars. 

It tolerates many growing conditions and requires very little maintenance or pruning. Barberry can reach 3 to 6 feet in height and 4 to 7 feet wide.

3. Cherry Laurel | Prunus caroliniana

The Carolina cherry laurel is a great native choice for the English laurel. It’s a small evergreen shrub to a small tree that can easily grow up to 35 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide.

When the leaves are crushed, they have a maraschino cherry fragrance.

While full sun is preferred, it tolerates shade as long as the soil is moist and well-drained. 

It can withstand heavy pruning, is drought tolerant, and is moderately salt tolerant. 

4. American Arborvitae | Thuja 

An evergreen Arborvitae branch.

Also known as green giant arborvitae, it’s a coniferous cypress cedar tree with a pyramidal shape that can reach heights of 40 feet. 

This dense hedge is excellent for privacy and is a favorite habitat for birds and squirrels.

It can be grown in almost any soil condition, requires no pruning, and is pest and deer resistant. 

Another common variety is the Thuja occidentalis (white cedar). 

5. Emerald Green Arborvitae | Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragad’

Row of hedges of Green thuja.

This shrub is one of the most popular choices for a privacy screen. Its narrow, pyramidal shape has dense foliage that thrives in heat and humidity.

You can expect the emerald green to grow anywhere between 20 to 40 feet tall.

They’re low-maintenance and resistant to insects and disease. 

6. Western Red Cedar | Thuja plicata

Branch of a Wester red cedar used for tall privacy hedges.

This Western red cedar is part of the Cypress family and is a cross between T. plicata x T. standishii.

It is known for its dark green foliage and natural conical shape. The cultivated tree will likely grow to 50 to 70 feet.

Its tall, dense nature is perfect for putting along a driveway or closing off a backyard or other space. It does well in full sun to partial shade. 

7. Rocky Mountain Juniper | Juniperus scopulorum

Rocky mountain juniper branch with blue colored berries.

The bright blue-gray needles make this a stunning option. It forms a pyramidal shape naturally and has exfoliating red-brown bark. 

Rocky Mountain junipers have a mature height of 20 to 30 feet and spread 8 to 12 feet wide.

8. Laurustinus | Viburnum tinus

A viburnum evergreen hedge with clusters of white flowers.

Laurustinus offers color and texture all year round. During the winter, pink buds abound. The spring brings white flowers, and dark blue berries come in early summer. 

The abundance of flowers and berries invites pollinators and birds. It’s also an incredibly hardy plant. Overall, it’s one of the best hedging plants. 

Laurustinus grows up to 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. 

9. Common Boxwood | Buxus sempervirens

The thick leaves of a boxwood hedge plant.

The common boxwood is one of the classic fast-growing hedges and is perfect as a hedge plant.

It can reach significant heights and widths but is typically pruned smaller for hedges. 

The oval-shaped dark green leaves are often pruned into a box shape, hence the name, to line walkways and gardens. It does well in full sun to partial shade and in well-drained soil. 

The boxwood responds well to pruning and shaping, making it great for hedges and topiaries.

Don’t forget to Pin it for later!

Hedge plants are perfect for providing privacy, borders and sound barriers. Here is a list of 25 of the best hedge plants that are evergreen.

When clipped, the tiny leaves remain tidy. Prune in late spring as new growth darkens. 

The common boxwood grows to a height of 15 to 20 feet and a spread of 15 to 20 feet when it matures. 

10. Portuguese Laurel | Prunus lusitanica

The Portuguese laurel has lovely green leaves that curve away from its maroon stems. It’s an easy-to-grow hedge that you can cut back hard if needed. 

It’s best you prune it from late summer to autumn to yield a dense hedge. At maturity, it can reach 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide.

11. Holly | Ilex 

Hedge of Yaupon holly dense foliage of green leaves.

Well-known for their glossy, sharp green leaves and bright red berries, hollies look their best when pruned and full.

Holly bushes prefer acidic soil, are medium growers, and reach 6 to 10 feet tall. 

Some common varieties are the Japanese holly (Ilex crenata), American holly, Yaupon holly (pictured above), and English holly (Ilex aquifolium).

12. Evergreen Euonymus | Euonymus japonicus

Evergreen Euonymus japonicus branche of light colored waxy leaves.

One of the best evergreen hedge plants is the very dense evergreen euonymus. It doesn’t need full sun and is a good choice for that shady spot. 

It produces small and fragrant white flowers, it’s drought tolerant, and it reaches heights of 10 to 15 feet. 

13. Oregon Grape | Mahonia aquifolium

mahonia- A rounded hedge plant with dark green waxy leaves and clusters of yellow flowers.

The Oregon grape is an evergreen shrub that produces purple berries in the fall.

This native plant is drought-tolerant and grows between 3 to 10 feet in height and approximately 3 feet wide. 

The inner bark of the larger stems yields a natural yellow dye, and the plant is often used for making wreaths or filler in floral arrangements. 

14. Leyland Cypress | Cupressus × leylandii

A hedge row of leyland cypress trees c ut into square shapes.

The Leyland cypress is a quick-growing shrub, growing nearly three feet a year with little effort. 

Along with being fairly low maintenance, it’s also fragrant and has dense foliage, making it one of the best evergreen shrubs.

The Leyland cypress grows to a height of 60 to 70 feet and a spread of 15 to 25 feet.

15. Japanese Cleyera | Ternstroemia gymnanthera

Japanese Cleyera branch with long spikes leaves in bright green.

Cleyera hedges create low-maintenance privacy screens. They produce attractive glossy foliage that is evergreen. 

Although grown primarily for its foliage, it also puts off fragrant white flowers and dark red berries.

Cleyera shrubs grow between 8 to 10 feet with a spread of about 6 feet.

16. Cotoneaster Hedge | Cotoneaster lucidus

Cotoneaster Hedge evergreen plant leaves lush and dense for privacy.

Cotoneaster has leaves that are dark green and glossy. It has a rounded and dense shape, making for a great private shrub. The flowers are petite and are whitish-pink.

While it has and can be used as a hedge plant, it would be on the shorter side at 6-10 feet tall. However, its spread is about the same width as its height.

By the way, there is also a creeping version that works great as ground cover and is only 1 foot tall.

17. Firethorn | Pyracantha coccinea

Pyracantha coccinea, or firethorn branch with dark orange berries on background of dark green leaves.

Despite being a bit unruly, firethorns look striking. It is an evergreen shrub with white flowers in the spring and orange-red berries from summer into winter. 

Firethorn is fast-growing, drought-tolerant, and does well in full sun to partial shade. It grows up to 6 to 12 feet tall and wide. 

18. Privet | Ligustrum

The leafy green leaves of a Japanese Privet | Ligustrum.

Privets are broadleaf shrubs that put out white flowers. Be sure to pay attention to which variety of privets you’re looking at, as not all are evergreen. 

Under the right conditions, privets are easy to grow, reaching heights of 8 to 20 feet and spreading 6 to 8 feet.

Once mature, they are tolerant to some drought conditions. They also handle heavy pruning well.

Please be sure the privet species you choose is not invasive to your area. The species in our photo is Japonicum.

For instance, in the southeastern US, Chinese privet is regarded as a seriously invasive, aggressive species and is nearly impossible to control as it colonizes large areas. Yet, nurseries still sell them. 

19. Azaleas | Rhododendron Nova Zembla

Beautiful lipstick pink Nova Zembla Azalea or rhododendron with dark leaves.

Similar to privets, azaleas can be evergreen or deciduous hedging plants.

But if you’re looking for something with more obvious flowers, azaleas are far superior to privets. 

Nova zembla rhododendron is a good choice. It has a dense structure, blooms in mid-spring, and offers good fall color. 

Azaleas generally do best with well-drained soil and partial shade. The flowers are large and lush and come in a deep pink. 

Azaleas have mature heights of 2 to 4 feet, with a spread of 1 to 4 feet. 

20. Canadian Hemlock | Tsuga canadensis

Canadian Hemlock branch full and elongated needles, and bright green and lush.

In the wild, Canadian hemlocks grow as trees. But they are often sold in shrub form for use in hedge planting. 

They do well with yearly pruning, but they don’t do well with wind, drought, or high temperatures. Soil should be moist but have good drainage. 

The Canadian hemlock grows to a height of 40 to 70 feet and a spread of 25 to 35 at maturity. 

21. False Cypress | Chamaecyparis pisifera

A soft looking False Cypress branch.

False cypress is an evergreen conifer grown as a tree or shrub. 

It has soft fern-like needles, is deer resistant, and does well in full sun to partial sun. 

There are even dwarf varieties that are great for small spaces.

22. Mirror Bush | Coprosma repens

Mirror bush with green and yellow variegated leaves, long branch stems that droop.

This evergreen, also known as a looking-glass plant, has glossy leaves in various colors. It survives in warmer climates, or you can have it in a pot in colder regions and bring it indoors. 

It does give off a not-so-great smell when you crush the leaves, so that’s something to keep in mind. 

Mirror bushes reach a mature height of 3 to 5 feet and a width of about 4 to 6 feet.

23. Heavenly Bamboo | Nandina domestica

Reddish-orange nandina berries against dark green leaves,

This plant is trendy in the southern US, with its most striking berries.

White spring flowers appear in clusters similar to hydrangeas, followed by red berries in the fall and winter. 

It grows medium to fast, and it is best you prune it before new growth. It achieves heights up to 4 to 8 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide.

Nandina is a species that tends to be invasive in many areas, so check its status in your region before purchasing. Its berries are also toxic to Cedar waxwings. It’s best to prune the berries once they appear.

Native Beautyberry shrub (allicarpa americana) is a great alternative.

24. Red Robin | Photinia

Evergreen hedge of red robin plant. 8 stems with long red flower sticking out of each leaf cluster.

Despite its name, the red Robin bush displays different colors as the seasons change. 

Its large, coppery red leaves stand out in the spring and summer months. During the colder months, its foliage shifts to vivid deep green foliage.

Red robins will generally grow about 13 feet high and wide. 

25. Griselinia | Griselinia littoralis

A thick lush hedge of green, oval leaves.

Griselinia is particularly great for coastal areas as it is resistant to salt, cold temperatures, and strong winds. 

Not only does it have protective qualities, but it’s attractive as well. It is dense and has oval-shaped bright green leaves. 

These hedges grow to approximately 6 feet tall and about 2 feet wide.

What is the fastest-growing evergreen for privacy?

Thuja Green Giant is an excellent choice as a fast-growing privacy tree. It grows 3 to 5 feet per year. Another option is the Leyland cypress.

The best evergreen hedge plants are essential components of landscaping design.

Evergreen hedges add color, texture, and dimension to your garden all year long. And, in addition to privacy, they also provide a wealth of other benefits, like wind protection and even noise reduction.

With their low maintenance, beautiful foliage, and many other advantages, evergreen hedges are the perfect plants to enhance your outdoor space.

For more yard plant inspiration, here’s an article on some of the best climbing plants for a trellis or fantastic ground covers for shady spots.

Don’t forget to Pin it for later!

Get more enjoyment from your outdoor space. Our list of 25 of the best evergreen hedge plants are perfect for providing  year-round privacy and beauty. Turn your yard into a lush, living sanctuary!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. A shrub with red and green leaves and red berries is pictured but not in the detailed list of shrubs. What is the shrub pictured?