Discover the Finest Evergreen Flowering Plants to Cultivate

Evergreen flowering plants are the best of both. Both gardeners and homeowners are looking for plants that have beautiful flowers. The two are equally important: Beautiful floral displays will give your yard a splash of color in the spring and summer while evergreen leaves offer a constant year-round presence that keeps your landscape free from the “feast-or-famine” syndrome.

You can certainly grow two different plants for these needs. In small yards you will eventually run out space if you do it this way. Wherever possible, it is better to satisfy all of these needs with the same plant.

The broadleaf evergreen shrubs can be used to meet this requirement for evergreen flowers. It’s nice to know that there are other options available, particularly when you need a groundcover for a particular area of the yard, or if a certain spot in your flower bed could use a perennial with both beautiful flowers as well as evergreen leaves.


Rhododendron with pink flowers and long oval leaves

Rhododendrons can be found in a variety of colors including white, lavender, pink, and reddish.

The evergreen leaves of these plants are almost as valuable as their blooms, and they can be quite large. The leaves of ‘Cynthia’, a cultivar from the Catawba Rhododendron, are six inches long. Cynthia (zones 5-8) has flowers that are rose-pink and grows up to 15 feet high and wide. It can be grown in partial shade to full sun.


Azalea Shrubs
Stewartstonian Azalea is characterized by its red flowers.

Rhododendrons are not just the name-bearing shrubs. They also include azaleas. Some of these are evergreen. Stewartstonian is a magnificent example of a evergreen azalea.

The Rhododendron x Gable Stewartstonian is a beautiful plant that offers three seasons of beauty: red flowers in spring, red foliage in fall, and evergreens in winter.

The plant grows to a height of 4 to 5 feet, and spreads out similarly. It can be grown in zones 5 through 8.


Mountain Laurel
Mountain laurel with white and pink buds and flowers

Even when the foliage is detached from its plant, it can still be a beautiful addition to any décor. Craftsmen enjoy the traditional practice of harvesting evergreen boughs to make wreaths and other outdoor decorations. Garlands are made with the broadleaf evergreens of Kalmia latiflora (zones 4-9).

Flowers are also equally beautiful. The flowers appear in large groups in the late spring. The unusually shaped buds, which are darker than the flowers that are opened (which are usually white or light pink), are just as attractive.

Mountain laurel (5 to 12 feet high x 5-6 feet wide) thrives in part shade to full sun.


Andromeda with white bell-shaped flower on red spikes

Pieris japonica blooms early in the spring. Its new leaves are orange-bronze. Cultivars with new leaves in a vibrant red have been developed. They are usually named “fire,” “red” or something similar.

‘Red Mill’
‘Mountain Fire’
‘Red Head’
Pieris japonica is available all year round, even in winter.

Before they open, red flower buds become clusters of hanging white blossoms
Evergreen leaves
In zones 5 to 7, grow it in partial shade. It grows to 6-8 feet tall with a similar width.


Winter Heath
Winter heath with pink flowers on needle stems

Erica carnea, and its hybrid Erica x darleyensis “Mediterranean Pink” (hardy in zone 6, full sunlight, 1 foot tall x 2 inches wide), are evergreen shrubs with pink flowers that last for months. It’s a trick that the flowers are actually made of long-lasting petals, not short-lived sepals. You won’t care if you are “tricked”, as long as you get to enjoy their beauty during the winter when there is nothing else in bloom.

“Heath”, not only is a genus, but also a whole family. This great family of evergreen flowers includes Erica, Rhododendron and Kalmia. Erica’s leaves are needle-like compared to those of the other three. The heath family is attracted to acidic soil.


Daphne burkwoodii in bloom in pink.

Daphne burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’ (3 feet tall by 4 feet wide) may only be semi-evergreen in the northernmost part of its range (zones 4-8), but it makes up for this with its variegated foliage. The flowers are fragrant, white or light pink, tubular and in clusters. This bush can be grown in partial shade or partial sun.


Chinese Fringe Flower
Loropetalum Chinensis var. rubrum Purple Majesty in bloom.

Loropetalum Chinense ‘Pipa’s Red’ is listed as a zone 7 to 9 plant (partial or full sun) and makes a great choice for an evergreen, flowering plant in areas where winters are not too harsh. The hot-pink flowers are beautiful, but its evergreen, burgundy leaves and arching branches make it a popular choice for zones 7 to 9 (partial to full sun).


Creeping Myrtle
Purple flowers on broad-leaf vines of the creeping myrtle.

Vinca minor has blue flowers. It is best used as a groundcover for shade where its evergreen, broad-leaved leaves always look good. Check to see if the plant is invasive in your area before planting. The creeping myrtle grows from 3 to 6 inches high, and can spread up to 18 inches.


Creeping Phlox
Closeup of a creeping phlox with pink flowers on a tree stump

Phlox subulata, like creeping myrtle is a flowering evergreen ground cover. The former can be grown under shade, while the latter requires full sun. This plant is a zone 3-to-9 species with needle-like, tiny leaves. This ground-hugger (measures 6 inches high x 2 feet in width) is more popular because of its flower color and quantity than the similar but plainer Phlox. Flowers are available in pink, red rose, white or blue. They can also be bi-colored.


Candytuft plant with white flowers arranged densely

Iberis purity (10 inches high x 12 inches in width) is technically a shrub, but most gardeners consider it a perennial. Flowers are lavender with white tinges. Prune to encourage new evergreen foliage, which looks better than older leaves. Candytuft can be grown in zones 4-8 in full or partial sun.


Lenten Rose
Lenten Rose with yellow-green and pink flowers on stems

Helleborus Orientalis is a perennial that grows up to 24 inches high and has glossy, leathery evergreen leaves. What we mistakenly think are its flowers (and which last for several months) are actually sepals. Flowers are available in many colors including pink, purple, yellow, green and blue.

The foliage of this early spring bloomer is so beautiful that it is tempting to call it a foliage plant. Plant Lenten Rose in zones 4-9 in partial or full shade.