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Evergreen low growing shrubs to cover the ground in part sun or shade

Shade loving evergreens with such low grow growing or spreading habit of growth will have the dual advantage of helping reduce weed growth, while also providing an attractive foil to taller planting.

All of the plants below are not only compact and low growing but also evergreen, so they will provide an attractive ground cover for bare soil for the entire year. Such winter cover will also reduce the chance of weed seedlings germinating during winter months while providing winter protection to the soil and roots of surrounding plantings.

Ground cover can be planted on mass under trees and larger shrubs to provide attractive swathes of planting. Alternatively you can plant in smaller clumps to define the edge of a bed or provide cover around the base of a specimen plant.

Dig in plenty of soil when planting if soil is poor and water in generously after planting. Applying a surface mulch will also help plants as they establish. Some of these ground covering shrubs will also benefit from a late winter trim to shape if they start to get leggy. Many will also spread by self layering them selves into bare soil and can as such become invasive.

Click on an image or plant name to view the full plant profile
Click Image for Full ProfileLatin & Common NameType & FormFlowersFoliageEarmark
Lonicera piliataLonicera piliataShrub, Ground cover, Rounded - BushNon-floweringDark Green foliage
Osmanthus heterophyllus - Variegatus - Variegated OsmanthusOsmanthus heterophyllus


Variegated Osmanthus
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, SpreadingWhite flowers (Autumn)Variegated Green-Gold foliage
Ruscus aculeatus - Butchers Broom, RuscusRuscus aculeatus

Butchers Broom, Ruscus
Shrub, Ground cover, SpikeyNon-floweringDark Green foliage
Sarcococca confusa - Sweet BoxSarcococca confusa

Sweet Box
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Rounded - BushWhite flowers (Winter, scented)Medium Green foliage
Skimmia Japonica - Ruby Dome - SkimmiaSkimmia Japonica

'Ruby Dome'

Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Spreading archingWhite flowers (Spring, scented)Medium Green foliage
Viburnum davidiiViburnum davidiiShrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Rounded - ClumpWhite flowers (Summer)Medium Green foliage
Euonymus fortunei - emerald Gaiety Euonymus fortunei

'emerald Gaiety '
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Rounded - BushNon-flowering foliage
Rhododendron yakushimanum - Dwarf rododendronRhododendron yakushimanum

Dwarf rododendron
Ground cover, Container-friendly, Spreading clumpWhite flowers (Spring)Light Green foliage
Hypericum beaniiHypericum beaniiShrub, Ground cover, Spreading clumpYellow flowers (Summer)Dark Green foliage
Euonymus fortunei - Emerald n GoldEuonymus fortunei

'Emerald n Gold'
Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Spreading clumpNon-floweringVariegated Green-Gold foliage

You can use our plant-finder to find plants that match your garden conditions exactly, for example Evergreen low growing shrubs to cover the ground in part sun or shade - click to give it a try!

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