If your garden gets plenty of sun, you should consider planting a selection of evergreen shrubs. Hebes, for example, are low-growing and ideal for sunny locations. This group of evergreen shrubs usually grow only to a height of one metre (3′), and are great for free-draining soils. Several species of Hebe are available, including ‘Silver Queen’ with its variegated leaves and ‘Starlight’ with narrow silvery leaf margins. Other varieties of Hebes include ‘Sweet Kim’, which has pink stems and pale gold foliage. Bees and butterflies are drawn to Hebes.
There are many varieties of Osmanthus. Osmanthus xburkwoodii, for example, is a slow-growing shrub that grows to about six feet high and bears fragrant, white flowers. Its foliage is lustrous, leathery-textured, and strongly serrated. Leaves may lose their toothed edges as the shrub matures. Osmanthus suavis is more upright and bears clusters of fragrant, white flowers.
Osmanthus Bushes make great natural hedges, growing densely and neatly into an attractive screen. They grow well in sun and need little maintenance aside from occasional pruning. After the first year, Osmanthus Bushes do not need much care other than a light trimming in summer. If you prune the bushes too heavily, they can not flower for years. Instead, let their natural beauty express itself.
Osmanthus is an excellent choice for containers, and it can be grown in pots for years. Planting them close to your door is tradition in China, so you can easily move them out of the way next year. Osmanthus is also excellent for gardens because it blooms half the year. The flowers are tiny and white, and are often described as smelling like peaches or jasmine. The flowers drift into your home, making them an attractive addition to any terrace.
Osmanthus heterophyllus is a wonderful evergreen shrub. The leaves are textured, but without being rough. It is often called false holly and can survive as far north as twenty feet. The leaves of Osmanthus heterophyllus are prickled, which gives it a unique appearance. Because of its mixed leaves, Osmanthus heterophyllus is the most versatile evergreen shrub for sun and shade.
Inkberry is a great choice for a shrub border. In the landscape, inkberry grows in a dense mat of whorls that form around the central stem. Between the whorls are numerous dormant buds. It is important to prune dead branches and keep the growth habit healthy. It attracts a variety of wildlife including birds, turkey and honeybees.
Inkberry grows in a variety of soils and prefers slightly acidic soil over alkaline soil. Continuously dry conditions will cause the inkberry to suffer from iron chlorosis. Inkberry is a native of eastern U.S. states and the Pacific Northwest. Despite its name, inkberry grows best in full sun to partial shade. Pruning male inkberry is not recommended in the midsummer because it sets fruit after it blooms.
Inkberry has glossy, narrow-oval foliage. Its leaves are dark green above and lighter green beneath. Its leaves have toothed edges and grow from rhizomes. Inkberry shrubs grow five to 10 feet tall and five to eight feet wide at maturity. There are many cultivars of inkberry available. They can be propagated by stem cuttings or suckers.
Inkberry is a great choice for a hedge. It has a unique shape and produces small white flowers in spring and early summer. As it grows older, the plant opens and resembles a tree. Pruning inkberry is minimal and is best done in early spring before new growth begins. However, it is often pruned as an informal hedge to keep its shape. If you want a more formal hedge, you can trim it and remove the root suckers.
Inkberry holly grows naturally in Coastal Plains along the east coast of the United States. It grows in sandy woodlands, edges of swamps and bogs, and along sandy dunes. It tolerates periodic flooding, drought and salt exposure and is adaptable to a wide range of soil textures. Inkberry holly grows slowly and spreads by root suckers. However, you should be sure to check the soil pH level before planting in order to avoid chlorosis.
Inkberry ‘Little Heath’
Inkberry ‘Little Heat’ grows well in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They will appreciate partial shade in warm climates. This plant can tolerate a variety of soil types, but does best in moist acidic soils. Native to moist, swampy areas, inkberry does not do well in alkaline soils. Its glossy dark green oval leaves are attractive and it has greenish-white flowers in late spring, followed by pea-sized black fruits in early fall. The native inkberry is leggy and often has a lack of form, but the cultivars that grow in landscape situations have better behavior and form.
Inkberry ‘Little Heat’ is a dwarf shrub that grows to four feet tall and spreads six to eight feet. It has bright green foliage, and the leaves are relatively low-maintenance. It requires little pruning and can be used as a hedge. It has few pest and disease problems, though it can be susceptible to chlorosis if grown in soil with a high pH level.
Inkberry holly is a ground-breaking alternative to boxwood. It grows natively in eastern North America. Its compact, rounded shape makes it ideal for hedging. In addition, it’s low-maintenance and tolerates wet conditions. So, regardless of where you want to grow your Inkberry holly, you can’t go wrong with this plant.
Ilex glabra, commonly known as inkberry, is a deciduous shrub with an upright growth habit. Its white spring blossoms are followed by blue-black drupes. This species is dioecious, so if you have the space, you can grow both male and female in close proximity. You can also thin it if necessary to control the growth habit, as the compacta form has a more compact habit than its sister varieties.
These plants require little maintenance and thrive in most climates. However, if you live in an area with harsh winter winds, you might want to consider growing a hebe in a less cold site. Hebes do not require much pruning, though you can tidy them up if you want. You can also remove frost-damaged growth once it shows new growth.
When planting hebe, remember that the leaves are green and not red, and prune back flowering branches every two years to maintain a dense, compact form. During spring and summer, cut back branching by about one-third, if desired, to encourage a bushier form. Taking cuttings of hebes can be as simple as dipping them into a rooting hormone and planting them in a potting medium without soil. Keep cuttings moist and out of the sun for a few weeks before planting.
Another great choice for planting a hebe is ‘Variegata’, which features glossy, gray-green leaves with a white margin and creamy-white underside. The foliage of this evergreen shrub is excellent for mass plantings, containers, and borders. It is hardy in the Northwest and requires little water. However, it will not thrive in extremely hot temperatures.
Hebes are evergreen shrubs that are very attractive and easy to maintain. They can be used as a hedging plant, as they can tolerate drier and salty air. They are easy to grow and care for and make great flowering hedges. The low-growing varieties look good year-round and are great in containers. Aside from flowering, hebes make wonderful additions to rock gardens and mixed borders.
The Japanese spindle is a small tree or evergreen shrub native to Japan, Korea, and China. This shrub grows to be up to 8m tall and has oval leaves with a finely serrated margin. It is native to warmer climates but can also survive colder climates. Its leaves are glossy green and grow in opposite pairs. The plant produces a rosy-purple flower in late spring. It is hardy and can tolerate some drought, but is susceptible to winter damage. There are many cultivated varieties of this plant that have beautiful variegated foliage.
If you’d like to grow a beautiful hedge, consider a Japanese spindle. This shrub’s leaves will fall off in the winter, but will come back in full glory in the spring. Its berries are poisonous and can cause serious digestive issues if consumed. Regardless of the location, spindle will provide you with a lovely variety of autumn colors. Its foliage will keep you and your neighbors happy year round.
The Silver King is another great choice for a garden. This shrub grows to between 10 and 20 feet tall with a similar spread. It has fragrant foliage and can be pruned to a smaller size. It can also be trained to form a small tree. The leaves are oval and 1 to 2 inches long and are glossy with silvery margins. In addition to being tough, the Silver King also has a moderate water requirement. In fact, it needs water about once a week, although this is usually more in very hot climates.
The Euonymus japonicus plant grows well in all types of soil, but it prefers a well-drained loamy soil and a sunny location. The plant’s stems are compact, so you can propagate seedlings in pots and transplant them to a permanent location. Just make sure you keep them well-drained to avoid root rot. Once established, Euonymus japonicus requires minimal maintenance, but you should prune them to maintain their shape.