Evergreen shrubs and evergreen trees come in many colors and shades of green. Evergreens bring year-round color, mass, and structure to the garden. Find out which varieties have green, blue-green, blue, variegated, yellow, gold, and even chartreuse colors. Some evergreens will change into reds, purples, or bronzes in the fall.
If you need year round screening in your landscape, then evergreens are the plants of choice. Hedges of bright to dark green evergreens, such as yew or holly, also make ideal backdrops for perennial gardens, sculptures, and other garden ornaments.
The term evergreen is a bit of a misnomer, as needled and broad-leaf evergreens are also available in a wide range of colors. Most brightly colored evergreens work better as garden accents rather than massed. A small bright blue or gold conifer can bring winter interest to a perennial bed, especially when contrasted with grasses, showy sedum’s dark seedheads, and all-green conifers.
Massing ground cover junipers or Russian arborvitae, which turns purplish bronze in winter is common practice. Before you invest in them, check their winter appearance to make sure you like the hue they come in.
Colorful Evergreens Sorted By Foliage Color
Green or Blue-Green Evergreens shifting to Red, Purple, or Bronze in Fall:
- Elegans Japanese Cedar, Cryptomeria japonica ‘Pygmaea’- Plum.
- ‘Bar Harbor’ creeping juniper, Juniperus horizontalis ‘Bar Harbor’- Plum.
- ‘Burkii’ Eastern Red Cedar, Juniperus virginana ‘Burkii’- Purple.
- Siberian cypress, Microbiota decussata- Bronze.
- ‘PJM’ rhododendron, Rhododendron ‘PJM’- Dark burgundy-purple.
- Weeping blue Atlas cedar, Cedrus libani subsp. Atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’- Light gray blue.
- ‘Blue Forest’ juniper, Juniperus sabina ‘Blue Forest’- Blue.
- ’Wichita Blue’ juniper, Juniperus scopulorum ‘Wichita Blue’- Silvery blue.
- ‘Blue Carpet’ juniper, Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Carpet’- Bright blue.
- ‘Hoopsi’ blue spruce, Picea pungens ‘Hoopsi’- Silver-blue.
- Horstman’s ’Silberlocke’ Korean firm, Abies koreana ’Silberlocke’- Curved needles show white undersides.
- ’Snow Sprite’ deodar cedar, Cedrus deodara ‘Snow Sprite’- Ivory to creamy yellow new growth.
- ‘Carol Mackie’ daphne, Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’- Cream-edged green.
- ‘Goshiki’ false-holly, Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’- Gold to cream variegation on cream.
- ‘Moon Frost’ hemlock, Tsuga canadensis ‘Moon Frost’- Whitish in winter.
Yellow, Gold, and Chartreuse Evergreens:
- ‘Golden Mop’ false cypress, Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Golden Mop’- Bright yellow.
- ‘Sunrise’ winter creeper, Euonymus fortunei ‘Sunrise’- Yellow to yellow-green leaves.
- Gold Star juniper, Juniperus chinensis ‘Bakaurea’ (Gold Star)- Light green with gold tips.
- ‘Skylands’ oriental spruce, Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’- Yellow with dark green interior.
- Techny Gold arborvitae, Thuga occidentalis ‘Walter Brown’ Techny Gold- Bright gold and green.