8 Boxwood Alternatives to Add Evergreen Elegance to Your Landscape

Arborvitae, known for their tall, narrow evergreen form, also come in compact varieties like 'Woodwardii' and 'Tater Tot.' These evergreens thrive in cooler climates and can be used as hedges, screens, or individual specimens. 

Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

Azaleas are prized for their vibrant spring blooms, with colors ranging from pink to yellow. Some varieties, like Encore Azaleas, bloom again in fall. They thrive in full sun to full shade and acidic, well-drained soil. 

Azalea (Rhododendron spp.)

Chinese holly, with its dark green, needle-sharp leaves, is a versatile large evergreen that tolerates heat and drought. Varieties like Carissa are dwarf, while Burfordii can grow up to 15 feet tall.

Chinese Holly (Ilex cornuta)

Native to the East Coast, inkberry holly resembles boxwood but thrives in moist conditions. Varieties like Gem Box stay compact, avoiding the leaf-shedding issue of older varieties.

Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra)

Japanese holly is a dense evergreen with tiny, dark green leaves, often mistaken for boxwood. Available in various shapes and sizes, it s ideal for hedges.

Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata)

This heat and shade-tolerant evergreen is an excellent alternative to yew in southern gardens. It has light green new growth that matures to dark green and can be lightly sheared. 

Japanese Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia)

Northern bayberry is a semi-evergreen native shrub with fragrant, waxy fruits. Tolerating salt spray, drought, and wet soils, it s great for informal screens or native gardens. 

Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)

A cross between Pyracantha and Osteomeles, Juke Box has glossy evergreen foliage and a compact shape. 

Pyracomeles Juke Box (xPyracomeles sp.)