10 Best Evergreen Flowering Plants to Grow

Vinca minor vines with blue flowers.

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Evergreen flowering plants represent the best of both worlds. Many gardeners seek plants with pretty flowers, just as many seek specimens with evergreen leaves. Both are important: Great floral displays give your yard eye-popping color in spring and summer, while evergreen foliage offers a year-round constancy that saves your landscape from the feast-or-famine syndrome.

Sure, you can grow different plants to satisfy these dual needs. But, in small yards, you would eventually run out of space doing it that way. It would be much better to have these needs satisfied with one and the same plant wherever possible.

Evergreen shrubs of the broadleaf variety multitask nicely to fill this need for evergreen flowering plants. But it is nice to have other options, too, especially when a problem area in the yard demands a ground cover, or when there is a vacant spot in a flower bed that could really use a perennial that has both beautiful flowers and evergreen leaves.

  • 01 of 10

    Rhododendrons

    Hot-pink rhododendrons in bloom.

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    The Rhododendron genus includes not only its namesake shrubs but also azaleas. Only some of the latter are evergreen. Flowers of the former can come in many colors, including:

    • Lavender
    • White
    • Pink
    • Reddish

    Their evergreen leaves are valued almost as highly as the blooms and can be quite large. Those on Cynthia, a cultivar of the Catawba rhododendron, are 6 inches long. Cynthia (zones 5 to 8) grows 8 to 15 feet tall and wide and has rose-pink flowers. Grow it in full sun to partial shade.

  • 02 of 10

    Mountain Laurel

    Mountain laurel blooming in light pink.

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    Evergreen foliage can provide fabulous visual interest even when it is no longer attached to its plant. Crafts enthusiasts appreciate the time-honored practice of harvesting evergreen boughs (whether broadleaf or needled) to make wreaths, kissing balls, swags, Christmas garlands, and other outdoor Christmas decorations. The broadleaf evergreen leaves of Kalmia latifolia (zones 4 to 9) are especially valued for use in garlands.

    The flowers are equally magnificent. They appear in large clusters in late spring. The unusually-shaped buds are of a darker color than the opened flowers (which are often white or light pink) and draw just as much interest.

    Mountain laurel shrub (5 to 12 feet tall x 5 to 6 feet wide) does well in full sun to part shade.

  • 03 of 10

    Andromeda

    White racemes of Andromeda.

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    Pieris japonica is a shrub that blooms in early spring. Its new foliage is orange-bronze. Cultivars have been developed that have new leaves that are a bright red; they typically have "fire," "red," or the like in their names, including:

    • Red Mill
    • Mountain Fire
    • Red Head

    Even during the winter, Pieris japonica offers:

    • Red flower buds, before they open to become hanging clusters of white blossoms
    • Evergreen leaves

    Grow it in partial shade in zones 5 to 7. It becomes 6 to 8 feet in height, with a similar spread.

  • 04 of 10

    Winter Heath

    Closeup of winter heath in bloom.

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    Erica carnea and its hybrid, Erica x darleyensis 'Mediterranean Pink' (hardy to zone 6, full sun, 1-foot tall x 2 feet wide), are small evergreen shrubs that offer pink "flowers" for months on end. The trick here is that those flowers are really made up of long-lasting sepals rather than short-lived petals. But when you are treated to their beauty in the winter, during a time when nothing else is in bloom, you won't mind being "tricked" at all.

    "Heath" is not only a genus (Erica) but also a family. Erica, Rhododendron, Kalmia, and Pieris all belong to this great family of evergreen flowering plants. But compared to the other three, the leaves of Erica are quite needle-like. The heath family loves acidic soil.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Daphne

    Daphne burkwoodii in bloom in pink.

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    Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie' (3 feet tall x 4 feet wide) is technically only semi-evergreen at the northern extreme of its range (zones 4 to 8), but it more than makes up for it by being variegated. The flowers are very fragrant, white to light-pink, tubular, and grow in clusters. Grow this bush in partial sun to partial shade.

  • 06 of 10

    Chinese Fringe Flower

    Loropetalum chinensis var. rubrum Purple Majesty in bloom.

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    Loropetalum chinense 'Pipa's Red' (5 feet tall x 6 feet wide) is a good choice for an evergreen flowering plant where winters aren't terribly harsh, as it's listed for zones 7 to 9 (partial to full sun). Its flowers are hot-pink, but it's best known for its burgundy-tinged, evergreen leaves and arching branches.

  • 07 of 10

    Creeping Myrtle

    Vinca minor vines with blue flowers.

    Georgianna Lane / Getty Images 

    Vinca minor is most commonly a blue-flowering ground cover. But this viny plant is most valued as a ground cover for shade, where its broadleaf, evergreen leaves will always look nice. Before planting it, do check, though, to see if it's invasive locally. Creeping myrtle (zones 4 to 8) becomes 3 to 6 inches tall, with a spread of 18 inches.

  • 08 of 10

    Creeping Phlox

    Creeping phlox flowers in hot pink.

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    Like creeping myrtle, Phlox subulata is an evergreen flowering ground cover. But whereas the former creeper can be grown in shade, the latter needs full sun. This zone-3-to-9 plant bears tiny, needle-like leaves. But this ground-hugger (6 inches tall x 2 feet wide) is grown more for its outstanding floral color and number of blooms, which is why it's more popular than the related-but-plainer Phlox stolonifera. Flowers can be pink, red, rose, white, blue, purple, lavender, or bicolored.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Candytuft

    Candytuft plant in flower.

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    Technically a subshrub, most gardeners treat Iberis sempervirens 'Purity' (10 inches tall x 12 inches wide) as a perennial. Flowers are white, with tinges of lavender. Prune it to keep new evergreen leaves coming, as these look better than the older leaves. Grow candytuft in zones 4 to 8 in full to partial sun.

  • 10 of 10

    Lenten Rose

    Light-pink Lenten rose blossom.

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    Helleborus orientalis (18 to 24 inches tall and wide) is a perennial with shiny, leathery, evergreen leaves. Like winter heath, what we think of as its flowers are really sepals (and they last for months). Flowers come in a variety of colors, including purple, pink, yellow, green, blue, lavender, and red.

    But the foliage is so attractive in its own right that it's tempting to call this early-spring bloomer a foliage plant. Grow Lenten rose in zones 4 to 9 in partial to full shade.