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Landscaping with Foliage Shrubs & Care

September 4, 2010

Presented by Chris Arvanitides

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1051 US Highway Rt. 202, Ringoes NJ, 08551 (908) 788·2600

Foliage and evergreen shrubs add year round beauty to your landscape. While seasons change and many other plants have stopped blooming or producing color, evergreen shrubs and broad leaf evergreens will remain consistent with each seasons change. They are strongly considered in landscape design for their year-round foliage and providing wonderful backdrops to other colorful plants.

Broadleaf evergreens and shrubs are used in a variety of ways:

Foundation Plantings

Foundation plants should enhance your home, make it more welcoming, and tie it to the surrounding landscape. Shrubs are typically chosen to compliment the architecture of the home.

Screens & Backgrounds

Whether you just want privacy for your own yard or need to disguise a property next to you, shrubs can provide the screen you are looking for. These living walls are a beautiful addition to your landscape and provide the privacy you are looking for as well. Foliage shrubs are also suited for backgrounds in situations where you have a garden that you change out every season beginning in

..... _ early spring with bulbs all the way

through fall with the addition of flowering mums. The rich colors of evergreen and foliage shrubs are the perfect contrast to the other plants you add during the seasons.


Whether you want to create a wall for protection or for decorative purposes. Foliage plants will provide you with the look you are trying to achieve. Hedge plants are often trimmed to precise sizes and shapes and include evergreen shrubs and foliage plants. Hedge plants can also serve as windbreaks. If this is the purpose you are looking to create, just be careful in choosing the correct type of plant that can withstand wind with out suffering. Perfect choices for hedges would be:

Boxwood Privet Cephalotaxus

Looking to add some all year interest into your landscape? Here's a list of great foliage shrubs to incorporate into your design that will provide structure and all year interest.

A commonly used evergreen shrub that is used to separate areas, foundation plantings, privacy screens, lining walkways and even as topiaries.

Boxwoods Facts:


Deer Resistant

Does well in shade or sun Clay soil tolerant

Slow growing

Because boxwoods have shallow root systems, heavy mulching is advised. Pruning can be done each year. Shearing of the plant will improve the density of the shrub as well.

Juniper comes in many shapes and sizes. Some junipers form a low rug that hovers on the ground, while others can grow up to 4' or more. Their shades range from green to bluish green and are famous for their lovely scent. They are fairly easy to grow. They thrive in a well-drained soll, Deer Resistant!


Great evergreen shrubs that are cold hardy and will not suffer from harsh winds or cold temperatures. They will flourish in both sun and shade. Their green thin needles provide a wonderful evergreen backdrop to any landscape. They rarely grow more than 10' tall. Deer Resistant too!

A loose spreading shrub that can grow 4-6' high. The most outstanding feature of this shrub with variegated leaves is it's redorange fruit borne in the fall. The showy fruits are scarlet capsules that crack open in the fall to display their scarlet seeds. There are several varieties of this shrub showing leaves of green, green and yellow and variegated. This plant can grow in full shade to full sun and has an average growth rate.

Holly is also a great choice as an evergreen shrub. Hollies can be used as a border hedge, or as a single plant. They tend to grow rapidly and some varieties can reach up to 10' plus. They do well in many soils and can grow in sun or shade. Many holly varieties produce beautiful red berries while others produce a small bluish black berry. All varieties of hollies will provide your home with year round beauty.

A slow growing shrub that can reach a mature height of 4-6', It is a handsome hedge plant that grows well in well-drained soil. It grows in full shade to full sun. A nice addition to a landscape looking for foliage plants and is somewhat deer resistant depending on population,

A dense evergreen shrub with glossy green foliage and clusters of small white flowers in the spring. This plant is shade and salt tolerant but not good in windy locations. Handsome, tall growing shrub 8-10' tall x 4-5' wide. Deer resistance varies depending on population.


A neat evergreen shrub with a compact habit, requires no pruning. It grows slowly to 6 to 12 feet high and 6 to 8 feet wide, with a slightly drooping habit. Its delicate sprays of buds, white or pink flowers, seed capsules, attractive deep green mature foliage, and brilliantly colored bronzy red new foliage in spring make it beautiful throughout the year. As a specimen, part of a shrub border, a mass planting, or a container subject, it is a classic for medium to light shade.

Buds appear in autumn, and develop in late winter or early spring into gracefully pendulous 6-inch clusters of white or pinkish bell-shaped blossoms resembling lily-of-the-valley. Deer resistant!

Caring for Broadleaf Evergreens & Foliage Plants

Caring for broad leaf evergreens is very easy, as they require very little maintenance other than a light application of fertilizer in early spring. If necessary, an application of fertilizer in late summer is fine, however, do not fertilize in late fall as the new growth will not have time to harden off before winter sets in and can be damaged by low temperatures and frost.

In order to protect the leaves of such shrubs as boxwoods (if located in a windy area) and skip laurels, (rhododendrons as well) from the onset of cold, windy winters, an application of WiltPruf is advised, as it wlll protect the leaf from drying out. Wilt-pruf is an anti-desiccant, which

coats the leaves and protects them from harsh winter weather.

Pruning of broadleaf evergreens is optional. While some Will let their shrubs grow freely, others will prune them to keep a certain shape or size. Boxwoods are great specimens to prune to various shapes and heights. Most broadleaf evergreens require

a limited amount of pruning on a very selective basis. Generally, pruning can be done whenever it is convenient, but the best time is early spring. Envision the natural plant shape and selectively cut back out-of-place branches. A compact plant results when branches are pruned back to a lateral within the plant canopy. This will also hide the stub and extend the time between prunings. When needed, moderate to heavy pruning should be done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.