Zone 5 Shrubs: Taller Than Evergreens?
Shrubs are usually taller than evergreens, but not always. There are many varieties of evergreen shrub species that grow up to 12 feet tall. Some have been known to reach 20 feet or even higher! However, most shrubs do not exceed 6 feet in height. Many gardeners plant evergreens because they look pretty and provide shade during hot summer days.
Many gardeners also like the fact that evergreens provide shade during hot summer days. They prefer these plants because they don’t require much water and they produce large clumps of flowers. But, there are other reasons why some people choose to plant evergreens over shrubs. These include:
Evergreens are drought tolerant. If your soil is sandy or clayey, then you may want to consider planting a few evergreen bushes instead of shrubs.
Evergreens tend to be less invasive. They will not spread rapidly through your landscape and they won’t compete with native plants for space.
Some people enjoy the color of evergreens over those of shrubs. Evergreens are often darker green than shrubs, which makes them easier to see from a distance.
Evergreens can be used in virtually any landscape because of their adaptability. They can be used in formal gardens, but they can also be used in wild landscapes.
Evergreen shrubs are drought-tolerant. If you live in a warm, dry climate, then you will probably need to water your garden daily during summer. However, most evergreen shrubs require little water and they will look lush with little maintenance on your part.
Common Evergreen Shrubs
There are several types of evergreen shrubs and many come from Asian origins. One of the most popular is the Hydrangea shrub species. This group of shrubs includes popular varieties such as Hydrangea macrophylla and Hydrangea paniculate. These plants are deciduous and they lose all of their leaves in winter.
The flowers range in color, but most species have blue flowers. These plants are native to southern China.
Other popular evergreen shrubs include Ligustrum ovalifolium and Ligustrum japonicum. These shrubs are native to East Asia, but they are often used in topiary gardens and as windbreaks in coastal areas. English laurel (Lauroanthemum species) is another popular evergreen shrub. This plant is native to Japan, Korea and China.
It is often used in topiary gardens. Unlike many other evergreen plants, English laurel does not lose its leaves in winter. Instead, the leaves turn a golden yellow and retain their green color during cold months.
Evergreen Shrubs for Zone 5
Evergreen shrubs can be grown in most parts of North America, including those zones marked as 4 or 5. When choosing evergreen plants for zone 5, you have quite a few options. You can use the shrubs listed above or you can choose from one of these plant species:
Cowitberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)
Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)
Green alpine bearberry (Arctostaphylos viridis)
Kinnickinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Sources & references used in this article:
Seed predation and seedling mortality in the recruitment of a shrub, Haplopappus venetus (Asteraceae), along a climatic gradient by SM Louda – Ecology, 1983 – Wiley Online Library
Climate sensitivity of shrub growth across the tundra biome by IH Myers-Smith, SC Elmendorf, PSA Beck… – Nature Climate …, 2015 – nature.com
American wildlife & plants: a guide to wildlife food habits: the use of trees, shrubs, weeds, and herbs by birds and mammals of the United States by AC Martin, HS Zim, AL Nelson – 1961 – books.google.com