Do you have a garden space with tons of sun? It’s time to find some plants that are pretty but tough! Fortunately, there are tons of beautiful evergreen flowering shrubs for full sun. Use this list to get started planting in your garden.
1. American holly
The American holly bush (Ilex opaca) has vibrant green leaves and bright red berries on its branches. Branches from these plants make popular Christmas decorations but are pretty year-round. They love the full sun and attract songbirds, gamebirds, and mammals.
Animals can eat berries, but they are poisonous to humans. Be careful planting evergreen shrubs like this if you have little ones around. Female holly plants may not produce berries if there is not a male pollinator partner plant nearby.
Rhododendron is one of the most popular evergreen flowering shrubs available. They can be grown in full sun in all but the hottest climates as long as the plants are adequately irrigated.
These lovely flowering evergreen shrubs have large green leaves that stay colorful throughout the winter. Their bright clusters of flowers make springtime beautiful. These plants are evergreen and deciduous. Find them in almost every part of Northern America, including Canada and Florida.
3. Cherry Laurel
Cherry laurels (Prunus laurocerasus) are tall broadleaf evergreen shrubs known for their shiny dark green leaves and showy white flowers. These fast-growing flowering evergreens typically grow to a mature size of 10-12 feet tall and 8-10 feet wide.
Perfect for hedges, living fences, or even as a standalone specimen shrub, Cherry Laurel’s flowers attract pollinators before ripening into small red fruits that serve as sustenance for birds.
These shrubs grow best in sunny spots where the white flowers tend to bloom best. That said, laurel is also tolerant of some shade. Laurel is also semi-tolerant to salty soil.
There are 175 different euonymus species, including dwarf varieties and tall trees. The shrubs for full sun have great fall foliage and are lovely placed in an open area or along a wall that gets plenty of sun. Plant them in early spring and watch their foliage change color throughout the year.
5. Eternal Fragrance daphne
Eternal Fragrance daphne (Daphne x transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance’) is a broadleaved evergreen flowering shrub known for its beautiful scent. This compact variety grows to a mature size of 2-3 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide.
The floral scent of these flowering shrubs makes them a good choice for along a walkway or next to an entryway. Place them around a patio or deck, where they can be fully enjoyed. They can also be massed along a gentle slope or planted in your front yard up against a picket fence, where passersby can enjoy the fragrance.
Daphne flowers best in full sun, but is tolerant of partial shade. This plant thrives in Zones 6-9.
6. Flowering maple (Abutilon pictum)
Flowering maple has beautiful flowers shaped like bulbs. They come in a wide variety of colors, including reds, oranges, and pinks. The soft leaves are the perfect shade of green. These evergreen perennials love full sun, so plant them somewhere that gets little to no shade.
7. Desert rose (Adenium obesum)
Desert rose is a lovely pink plant perfect for a sunlit area. They grow about 12 inches each year and are often used as bonsai plants in the home. Place them near windows for direct sunlight. They are native to Africa, the Middle East, and Madagascar but have made their way over to North America. These plants will die if exposed to frost or freezing temperatures, so keep this in mind when finding them a home.
8. Rosemary barberry (Berberis × stenophylla)
Rosemary barberry is a low-maintenance option with small flowers. This broadleaf evergreen shrub grows to be about 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide. It has free-flowing branches covered in little flowers. The flowers are often golden-yellow in color. These plants also have purple-black fruit they bear in the spring.
9. Soft Caress Mahonia
Soft Caress mahonia (Mahonia eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’) is a dwarf mahonia variety with a compact growth habit. This yellow- flowering plant grows to a mature size of 3-4 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide.
This plant can work as an accent plant or in a low mass planting, depending on your needs. While most types of Mahonia have sharp leaves, this variety is named for its softer leaves. This makes it more suitable for beside walkways.
Mahonia grows best in partial sun to partial shade. While tolerant of full shade, the plant likely will not flower well with little available sunlight for photosynthesis. This plant thrives in Zones 7-9.
Camellia (Camellia japonica) is a stunning flowering evergreen shrub. These pretty plants are avaiulable in many differeent varieties. Many grow to reach a mature size of 8-12 feet tall and 6-10 feet wide, but there are dwarf and large cultivars available.
Camellias flower best when they get some direct sunlight, but harsh afternoon sun can be hard on the plants. Choose these plants for areas that get direct sunlight in the morning but not in the afternoon. These plants thrive in Zones 7-10, and are hardy down to 10℉ (-12°C).
Camellias are best planted where their gorgeous flowers can be most frequently enjoyed. Use them as a privacy hedge along a pathway, where their evergreen foliage is useful year-round and the flowers can be enjoyed in the spring. With their peony-like flowers, they also make wonderful flowering backdrops for herbaceous perennials.
Gardenia shrubs are another option that flower best when it receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. That said, in hot areas it should be given an area that gets a bit of shade in the afternoon. These shrubs need lots of sun to flower, but extra-hot afternoon light in the afternoon can burn the leaves.
Like many flowering evergreen shrubs, gardenia grows best with organic mulch. If you grow a gardenia in a container, be sure to provide a bright light or filtered shade. These sun-loving evergreens enjoy moist and well-drained soil at their roots. The evergreen foliage looks nice all year long.
Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen shrub that loves the full sun. The needle-like leaves are often used for cooking and scented applications. It has a fibrous root system and is native to the Mediterranean and Asia. These plants can be grown in warmer climates but may not survive in the ground outside in climates at or below about Zone 6 or so.
13. Mountain laurel
Mountain laurels are lovely state park trees in North America. They have circular spring blooms that are often pink or white in color. This is a relatively slow-growing shrub. They grow about a foot each year and are planted in masses to make them appear larger. These evergreen shrubs partner great with rhododendrons and azaleas.
14. Carol Mackie daphne
Carol Mackie daphne (Daphne × burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’) is a wonderful broadleaf plant perfect for the front of your house in warmer climates. These showy shrubs bloom in early spring with fragrant flowers. Mature plants typically reach a size of 3-4 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide.
The white flowers bloom best in sun. This plant grows best in Zones 5-9, and is typically evergreen in Zones 7-9.
‘Carol Mackie’ is known for its variegated foliage. It is evergreen in more temperate climates but will lose its leaves in colder regions. In those colder areas, it may take some time for the leaves to grow back in the Spring. If growing this plant in Zones 5-6, treat it more like a deciduous shrub in your house landscaping plan and give it a spot where its summer blooms can be appreciated.
15. Bottlebrush (Callistemon)
This plant looks exactly like it’s name. The red flowers look like a brush you would clean a baby bottle with. The trees grow up to 25 feet tall. The plant is grown in an upright form and a weeping variety. Evergreen shrubs like this enjoy full sun or partial shade and can thrive in many different types of soil.
16. California lilac
Add this evergreen flowering shrub to your garden, and you’ll get sweet scents all spring and summer long. These flowering evergreen shrubs are gorgeous when in bloom. During the fall and winter, they have lovely green foliage that compliments the weather. This evergreen shrub grows to be about 20 feet tall in the right conditions.
17. Flannel bush (Fremontodendron)
These California evergreen flowering shrubs for the full sun will delight your garden. In early spring, they sprout bright yellow flowers. Plant them in a sunny spot and watch them thrive. With ideal conditions, these can grow to be 20 feet tall. They have dark green leaves that beautifully complement the yellow blossoms. Plant them in full sun or partial shade for best results.
18. Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentila fruticosa)
This evergreen shrub looks much like strawberry blossoms in the spring. You will see yellow, orange, white, and pink flowers. They can grow to about 4 feet tall and love zones 2 through 9. They prefer full sun but can live just fine with more shade. Find a place with plenty of morning sun and afternoon shade for this species of evergreen shrub.
Add any of these evergreen flowering shrubs for full sun to your garden for plenty of scents, blossoms, and beautiful foliage all year long. They are easy to care for and provide colorful foliage to your yard, garden, or patio. They make great additions for foundation planting and, of course, the perfect shrub border for your space.
19. Evergreen rose
Evergreen rose (Rosa sempervirens) is a white flowering evergreen shrub with white, rose-shaped flowers that bloom in spring and summer. Unlike most roses (which are deciduous, even if they do hang onto their leaves for quite awhile), this species is evergreen. Evergreen Rose is generally hardy in Zones 6-9.
It can be grown as a shrub or as a climber. It grows to be an upright shrub reaching six feet tall and wide. As a climber, its canes can reach 15-20 feet long. This white flowering evergreen shrub prefers full sun or partial shade and well-draine, acidic soil. It is an attractive addition to any garden!
What are the best evergreen shrubs for the front of a house in full sun?
Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’)
Bird’s Nest Spruce (Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’)
Winter Gem Boxwood (Buxus microphylla japonica ‘Winter Gem’)
Little Gem Norway Spruce (Picea abies ‘Little Gem’)
Hollywood Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Torulosa’)
- Colorado State University Extension, Evergreen Shrubs
- University of Missouri Extension, Selecting Landscape Plants: Broad-leaved Evergreens
- University of Minnesota Extension, Choosing evergreens for your landscapes
- PennState Extension, Evergreen Native Plants