planting evergreen perennials

Suggestions for Year-round Interest

The “bones” of a garden are very important. They add winter interest and create an overall structure or theme to continue throughout the landscape.

From rock garden specimens to woodland shade plants, there are many perennials that are evergreen.

We have divided these into sun and shade categories for you.

You can download all the lists for reference here: Evergreen Perennials pdf.


Evergreen Perennials for Shade

  • Acanthus sp. – Bear’s breech. Large, chiseled foliage, topped by purple and white flower spikes in summer.
  • Acorus – Sweet flag. Short fans of yellow or green blades. Loves damp conditions.
  • Asarum europaeum – Wild ginger, 4-6” x 6-8”. Brownish flowers hide under glossy, heart-shaped leaves, May-June. Moist conditions.
  • Bergenia – Many varieties, tolerant of sun or shade. Pink or white flowers appear in spring, above large, glossy leaves which take on reddish tones in fall and winter.
  • Carex ‘Evergold’, C. morrowii – Sedge. Nice shade tolerant grasses in several colors, some variegated.
  • Epimedium – Airy clusters of flowers range in color. Floating foliage. New growth reddish in tones. Great ground cover. Drought tolerant.
  • Euphorbia robiae – A running perennial with rich, dark green rosettes of leaves, to 2’. Chartreuse flowers in spring.
  • Farfugium ‘Aureo-maculata’ – Leopard plant, 1-2’ x 18-24”. This unique form has dark green leaves spotted with yellow. Moist conditions.
  • Helleborus – Lenten rose, 12-24” x 10-18”, depending on variety. A must have in every shade garden. These winter bloomers come in many colors and foliage textures.
  • Heuchera – Coral bells, 8-18” x 12-24”, depending on variety. Colors of foliage range from green, amber, red, purple to pewter. Tall flower spikes June-July.
  • xHeucherella – 8-18” x 10-16”. An interesting group of hybrids between Heuchera and Tiarella. Soft pink blooms, May-July.
  • Liriope – Lily turf. Short grass-like blades with lavender or white flower spikes.
  • Ophiopogon – Mondo grass, 4-6” x 8-12”. Short tufts of spiky grass, small flowers July -August. O. ‘Nigrescens’ is a black form.
  • Pulmonaria – Lungwort ,16-24”. Wide variety of silvery-green foliage plants that bloom in shades of white, purple and blue. March-May.
  • Saxifraga – Saxifrage. Many low growing varieties available. Starry flowers in shades of pink and white April-June.
  • Tiarella – Foam flower, 6-12” x 18-24”. Similar to Heuchera. Many hybrids available.

Evergreen Perennials for Sun

  • Armeria maritima – Thrift,4-6” x 6-8”. Grassy tufts with pink blooms in April-June. Drought tolerant. Rock gardens.
  • Antennaria diocia – Cat’s paw, 4-6”. Tiny mounds of silvery-gray foliage topped with rosy pink flowers, May-June. Rock gardens.
  • Arabis – Rock cress, 6-8”. There are many to choose from, flowers ranging from white to purple and red. Blooms April-June. Trailer.
  • Carex buchanaii, C. flagellifera, C. testacea – Bronze or Orange Sedge, 1½ - 3’. Fine textured, clumping grasses. Blades are a toffee or copper color year round.
  • Cerastium – Snow-in-summer, 6-8” x 24-30”. Silvery-gray foliage, white flowers in early summer. Cerastium alpinum is a mini version. Rock gardens.
  • Convolvulus cneorum – Bush morning glory, 6-12” x 24-30”. Silver foliage, violet or white flowers most of the summer. Drought tolerant.
  • Delosperma – Ice plant, 2-4” x 1-2’. Yellow, pink or purple blooms June-September. Rock gardens.
  • Dianthus – Many varieties from low growers to tall, cut flowers, often clove scented.
  • Erisymum ‘Bowles Mauve’ – Wallflower, 24-30” x 18-24”. Mauve blooms atop gray-green foliage most of the year!
  • Euphorbia characias – Spurge, 3-5’. Several varieties. White to chartreuse flowers, Feb-May.
  • Geranium x cantabrigiense – Cambridge Cranesbill, 6-8” x 12-18”. ‘Biokovo” has white flowers, ‘Cambridge’ has magenta blooms. Both May-August.
  • Iberis – Candy tuft, 8-10” x 1-2’. A popular spring bloomer with white flowers, great for rock gardens or walls. Drought tolerant.
  • Kniphofia – Red-hot poker, 18-42”, depending on variety. Spiky blooms are yellow, orange or red. June-September.
  • Lavendula – Lavender, 1-3’. A must have in the border. Wide range of fragrant flowers and foliage to choose from.
  • Lewisia – 6-8”. Excellent rock garden choice! Starry flowers in many colors, May-June.
  • Lithodora diffusa – Lithodora. Beautiful blue flowers compliment the dark green foliage. Needs well drained soil.
  • Rosmarinus – Rosemary. Sizes vary depending on variety. Good hedge alternative, culinary uses.
  • Santolina – Lavender cotton ,12-18” x 1-2’. Fragrant, feathery silver foliage with yellow pom-pom flowers. Said to deter insect pests.
  • Saponaria – Soapwort , 2-4” x 6-8”. Pink or white blooms appear above this great rock garden trailer.
  • Sempervivum – Hen and chicks. Many varieties, most consisting of pretty rosettes bunched together. Rock gardens.
  • Teucrium – Germander, 10-12” x 12-18”. Bloom spikes of rosy-purple flowers July-August, with glossy green foliage.
  • Thymus – Thyme. Many varieties, from ground covers to small shrubs.

Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.


Lewisia: Bitterroot