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Guide To Evergreen Plants

16:36 Mon 24th May 2010 |

An evergreen plant can provide your garden with a feature that looks good all year round. However before you rush out and buy one you should consider a few things.


Is Your Garden Suitable?


Firstly would an evergreen plant grow in your garden? Evergreens have certain light requirements, like all plants. For example Mountain Laurel and hemlock will grow in full shade quite happily. However place a pine or Osmanthus in the same position and it will not develop. Do your research and work out potential positions for evergreens which will suit their light requirements.

Evergreens can also require more care than other plants. In the hot summer months they can be badly affected by water loss. As a result they will require more watering than other garden plants. It can also be worth putting down a layer of ‘mulch’ around the plant’s base to prevent further water loss.

Also in winter evergreens can suffer from ‘winter burn’. This is when the plant is unable to take up moisture through its roots from the frozen soil. Generally this results in leaves dying. To deal with this you could heavily water your evergreen before the ground freezes, so it has enough moisture to survive. Another option is to use an anti-desiccant. These coat the leave’s of the plant in a waxy substance which limits transpiration.


Buying an Evergreen


Once you’ve established your garden is suitable you need to ask yourself what you want to get out of an evergreen plant. If you are looking for one to use for hedging or screening then you might like to consider Norway spruce, Douglas fir or Leyland Cypress. These plants’ quick growth and compactness makes them perfect as a year round screen for your garden or drive. However you must remember to keep them regularly pruned. If they grow out of hand it can be hard to get them back under control and it is often easier just to replace them.

On the other hand evergreen shrubs require very little pruning. Shrubs like Boxwood, Rhododendrons or juniper are generally easy to maintain. As a result they can be perfect for the busy gardener. It is important though to remember that they are susceptible to the aforementioned summer and winter problems.

If you are looking for an evergreen climber plant to decorate a wall then Honeysuckle or Clematis can be good choices. Both come in evergreen varieties and look very colourful when in flower. Yet you will also have to buy some extra equipment to grow them. A trellis will be needed for the plant to climb up and you will also have to put in extra work ensuring the plant grows properly. This can be done by using wire or twine to tie the plant to whatever it is climbing.

With a little work an evergreen shrub or plant can be an excellent investment and will brighten up your garden over the cold and depressing winter months.

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