Small or Dwarf Evergreen Shrubs For Full Sun (With Pictures)

Plantation of tiny evergreen plants in full sun adds year-round color, fragrance, and beauty to a garden setting. Dwarf, evergreen bushes and shrubs require little to no upkeep to keep their height, form, and growth habits in check. You don’t have to confine your options to sun-loving coniferous shrubs when selecting tiny evergreen bushes for a sunny garden. In more than six hours of daily sunlight, many flowering dwarf, evergreen shrubs flourish.

It is relatively simple to locate low-growing landscape shrubs in full or partial sun. Most conifer bushes, for example, like full sun and perform well in partial shade. For long blooming periods and thick foliage development, some sun-tolerant evergreen bushy plants need many hours of daily sunlight.

The most suitable full-sun bushes, which maintain their leaves all year but grow to be less than 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall, will be helpfully identified in this article. You’ll also be able to choose which blooming bushes to plant in your front or backyard by looking at photographs of them and reading about their evergreen foliage.

What Does Full Sun Mean?

Little evergreen trees need six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day if they are kept in full sun. During the intense midday and afternoon sunlight, some shrubs for full sun may need shade. For full sun to partial shade or part sun, these bushy evergreen plants are often referred to as shrubs.

How to Choose Small Evergreen Shrubs for Full Sun

Many factors must be taken into account when choosing appropriate evergreen shrubs for a sunny garden landscape. First, determine if the location receives full sun, partial sun, or partial shade exposure levels. Next, consider your USDA growing zone, soil type, drainage requirements, pruning needs, and susceptibility to pathogens and pests.

Types of Small Evergreen Shrubs for Full Sun (With Pictures) – Identification Guide

Little evergreen bushes, added to your yard for full sun, may add a lot of charm. Low-growing bushes may be used to shade taller plants, border foundations, or decorate bed edges. Let’s take a closer look at some of the greatest characteristics of sun-loving, small evergreen shrubs. Pictures of the evergreen bushes may also be useful for identifying them.

Dwarf Arborvitae Shrubs (Thuja occidentalis)

Evergreen shrubs with delicate, feathery leaves that grow in bright sunlight are known as small American arborvitae plants. Arboreal dwarf arborvitae bushes may reach 6 feet (1.8 meters) in height. Evergreen plants with foliage that ranges from golden-yellow to emerald-green may have a rounded or conical growth habit depending on the cultivar.

Landscaping shrub borders, container gardens, and growing as a specimen plant are all perfect uses for tiny evergreen arborvitae shrubs. They’re also effective as a privacy screen for forming dense masses of plants. For full sun, here are descriptions of several of the most lovely little evergreen arborvitae trees:

Thuja occidentalis ‘Aurea Nana’: The bright golden-green needle-like leaves of the little sun loving coniferous shrub give it a globose form. In the autumn and winter, the evergreen foliage turns an lovely orange-yellow. Height: 6 feet (1.8 meters).

Thuja occidentalis ‘Fire Chief’: The ‘Fire Chief’ is a compact landscape evergreen shrub with golden foliage that turns deep green and fiery red in winter. It is one of the most unique arborvitae varieties available. 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 meters) in height.

Thuja occidentalis ‘Hetz Midget’: The rounded development and thickly-covering dark green leaves distinguish the compact evergreen shrub. Soft feathery sprays change color in the winter to a golden bronze. It grows between 3 and 4 feet tall (1 to 1.2 meters).

Thuja occidentalis ‘Danica’: The rounded habit of this slow-growing dwarf evergreen makes for upright sprays of bright green leaves. 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters) in height is common.

USDA growing zone: 2 to 7 (check individual cultivars)

Soil type: Moist, well-drained soils

Sun exposure: Full sun

Small Juniper Shrubs (Juniperus)

For sunny gardens, dwarf evergreen juniper bushes are a great choice. The foliage of juniper bushes is blue-green or emerald-green. A rounded, spreading, or upright columnar growth may be seen in low-growing bushy juniper conifers. The sun-lovering, evergreen trees grow to a height of 0.5 to 5 feet (15 cm).

Some of the most versatile evergreen plants for full sun are dwarf juniper conifers. Creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) is a good example of a full-sun evergreen ground cover. Little common juniper bushes (Juniperus communis) on the other hand display a columnar form. Juniperus squamata, or flaky juniper bushes, have a spreading growth habit and a flat top. They are low in height. For sunny growing, here are several kinds of little evergreen juniper bushes:

Small juniper shrub ‘Gold Cone’ (Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’): With thick golden-green leaves, this upright, columnar dwarf tree looks very healthy. The height ranges from 3 to 5 feet (1.5 meters).

Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’): A compact, mounding habit with densely-growing prickly silvery-blue needles makes this low-growing sun loving conifer shrub a cut above the rest. 3 feet (1 metre) tall

Blue Chip Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Blue Chip’): Soft, silvery-blue needle-like leaves on creeping branches characterize this spreading shrubby coniferous plant. For full-sun ground cover, this is an excellent plant. It grows to be 8 inches to 12 inches (20 cm to 30 cm) tall and 8 feet (2.4 m) broad.

USDA growing zone: 3 to 9 (check individual cultivars)

Soil type: Well-draining soils with low moisture

Sun exposure: Full sun

Dwarf Mountain Pine Shrubs (Pinus mugo ‘Pumilio’)

‘Pumilio’ is a tiny landscaping plant that produces a mound of soft green needles. It is used as a ground cover in sunny locations. Slow-growing and retaining its emerald-green color throughout the year, the remarkable dwarf shrub is an excellent choice for small gardens.

The little plant may grow to be 3–5 feet (1.5 m) tall and 10 feet (3 m) broad. Planting as an evergreen ground cover, improving rock gardens, or growing along a foundation line are some of the ideas for landscaping the dwarf pine shrub.

USDA growing zone: 3 – 7

Soil type: Alkaline, loamy, acidic, and clay soils are the most common types of well-drained soils.

Sun exposure: Full sun

Dwarf Japanese Black Pine (Pinus mugo ‘Mops’)

The dwarf Japanese black pine ‘Mops’ is a sun loving miniature shrub ideal for evergreen plantings, especially in small spaces. This slow-growing, compact pine shrub grows 3 to 5 feet (1.5 to 1.5 meters) high and broad. The silvery-blue foliage of the attractive shrub will brighten up any garden throughout the year.

Growing dwarf Japanese black pine bushes as foundation plants, specimen bushes, or around rock gardens is a great idea. Dwarf pine trees, once established, are drought-tolerant landscaping plants.

USDA growing zone: 3 to 7

Soil type: From loamy to clay, these are the most well-draining soil types.

Sun exposure: Full sun

Dwarf Evergreen Colorado Spruce Shrubs (Picea pungens ‘Globosa’)

Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ is a little bushy evergreen spruce that grows in full sun and has lovely silvery blue foliage. The stiff, silvery-blue needle leaves that adorn a landscape all year long are what distinguish this little shrub. In a front or back yard, the shrub’s strange leaves and compact form will stand out.

Picea pungens ‘Globosa’ grows to be 3–5 feet (1.5–1.8 meters) tall and broad. On a patio, deck, or balcony, you can cultivate the dwarf Colorado spruce as a front-of-house foundation plant, border plant, or container plant.

USDA growing zone: 2 to 8

Soil type: Soil that is held moist and slightly acidic

Sun exposure: Full sun

Small White Spruce Shrub (Picea glauca ‘Alberta Globe’) 

One of the greatest garden plants for full sun is Picea glauca ‘Alberta Globe. The light green, densely growing foliage, ball form, and minimal growth distinguish the attractive green conifer. The little evergreen plant grows to be 1.3 feet (0.4 meters) tall and 2 feet (0.6 meters) broad.

Planting along a sunny border, growing as a foundation, or planting in containers are examples of landscaping uses for sun-tolerant little white spruce shrubs.

USDA growing zone: 2 to 7

Soil type: Slightly acidic, well-drained soils

Sun exposure: Full sun

Dwarf Japanese Spindle (Euonymus japonicus)

Small evergreen Japanese spindle shrubs have bright leaves that give any sunny garden a decorative touch. Aureo-Marginatus, Silver King, and Microphyllus are the cultivars depicted in this photograph.

The leaves on this sun-loving variegated plant stay green all year, giving it visual appeal in every season. Little elongated oval leaves and yellow spring blooms distinguish the shrub. For low-maintenance landscapes, Japanese spindle is a wonderful evergreen foliage plant.

The shrub may be used as ground cover, foundation plants, or bed and border brighteners. Additionally, in containers, the shrub thrives. Little Japanese spindle shrubs reach 3 feet (1 meter) in height and 2 feet (0.6 meter) in diameter.

USDA growing zone: 6 – 9

Soil type: Well-draining soils with a high moisture level.

Sun exposure: Full sun or partial sun

Winter Heath (Erica carnea)

Winter heath is a lovely little bush with evergreen leaves and purple blooms that thrives in full sun. The long blooming season of this lovely tiny shrub lasts through winter and into spring. The short shrub tops out at around 1 foot (0.3 meters) tall. Little pink, magenta, or rose-colored blooms bloom on tall spikes to distinguish winter heath.

To brighten up a sunny patio or decking area, plant winter heath in containers. Winter heath may also be used as ground cover, foundation plants, or rock garden plants in groupings.

USDA growing zone: 5 to 8

Soil type: Acidic, sandy, medium moist soil with good drainage

Sun exposure: Full sun

Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara ‘Feelin’ Blue’)

One of the smallest cedar shrubs is deodar cedar ‘Feelin’ Blue. It thrives in full sun with weeping branches. The brilliant, bluish-green needle leaves that sprout from spreading, arching limbs distinguish this little sun-loving evergreen shrub. You might grow an attractive dwarf weeping tree by tying this shrub-like conifer tree to the ground.

Deodar cedar may reach a height of 1–3 feet (0.3–1 m) and a width of up to 10 feet (3 m). To cascade over walls or fences, or as a specimen tree for its ornamental qualities, plant the shrub in a landscape as ground cover. The landscaping plant is also heat and humidity tolerant.

USDA growing zone: 6 to 9

Soil type: Medium moisture, well-drained soil

Sun exposure: Full sun

Low-Growing Wintercreeper Shrubs for Full Sun (Euonymus fortunei)

In a sunny garden, the tiny evergreen euonymus shrubs’ colorful foliage is stunning. Wintercreeper is a low-maintenance sun-loving evergreen shrub with spectacular variegated ovate leaves. This picture shows the compact cultivars: ‘Emerald’n’ Gold, ‘Emerald Gaiety,’ and ‘Moonshadow.’ The low-growing nature, colorful leaves, and tiny greenish blooms of wintercreeper make it a dwarf shrub to identify.

The woody, climbing plant grows between 1 and 6 feet (0.3 and 1.8 meters) tall in lesser versions. Wintercreeper is a multipurpose evergreen shrub with a wide range of applications. You might employ a small, spreading bushy plant as a ground cover or to conceal a foundation, for example. Over trellises or arbors, the climbing vine will climb as well.

USDA growing zone: 5 to 9

Soil type: Moisture and well-drained soils are necessary for good growing.

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Small Inkberry Evergreen ‘Shamrock’ Shrub (Ilex glabra ‘Shamrock’)

The cultivar Ilex glabra ‘Shamrock’ is a low-maintenance evergreen shrub that thrives in full sun and tolerates poorly drained soil. Little white flowers, dark green oval leaves, and blueish-black berries are all distinguishing features of the sun-loving inkberry ‘Shamrock.’

Inkberry bushes are small, seldom growing taller than 4 feet (1.2 meters). Low-growing evergreen hedges, mixed shrub borders, foundation plantings, and line walks are all fantastic uses for small inkberry plants. Inkberry grows well beside ponds or streams because to its ability to tolerate soggy soil.

USDA growing zone: 4 to 9

Soil type: It thrives on moist soil and can handle soggy weather conditions.

Sun exposure: Full sun or partial sun

Small Azalea Shrubs (Rhododendron spp.

Small evergreen flowering bushes for full sun that grow just 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall are available as azalea shrubs, which include stunning hues for shady gardens. The bushy development, thick, leathery leaves, and spectacular funnel-shaped colorful flowers identify azaleas. Dwarf decorative shrubs grow between 2 and 6 feet (0.6 and 1.8 meters) tall with their rounded growth habit.

In an evergreen landscape, decorative dwarf azalea shrubs have significant aesthetic appeal. Late spring and early summer are characterized by the showy pink, yellow, purple, white, red, and multi-colored blooms. The lovely foliage of this tiny, rounded shrub contrasts with these magnificent blossoms.

Azaleas are ideal for planting in west or south-facing front or backyards, since they love the sun. Evergreen azalea varieties are ideal for use as a colorful hedge, privacy screen, foundation planting, or shrub border. Some heat-loving azaleas, on the other hand, are suitable for growing as shrubs in Florida.

USDA growing zone: 3 to 7

Soil type: Moist, acidic, well-drained soils

Sun exposure: Full sun, filtered sunlight, partial shade, and shadow

Chinese Privet ‘Sunshine’ (Ligustrum sinense ‘Sunshine’)

The little white blooms and bluish-black berries of the tiny Chinese privet shrub brighten up a sunny garden. Chinese privet has lustrous green leaves that are ideal for bringing a burst of brightness to a garden. The little shrub’s tiny, glossy golden yellow leaves are an instantly recognized characteristic.

Privet ‘Sunshine’ is a 3 to 6 foot (1 to 1.8 meter) tall and 4 foot (1.2 meter) broad Chinese privet. As an evergreen hedge, shrub border, or growing in pots in a container garden, the decorative shrub is perfect. Salt, heat, and shade are all compatible with Chinese privet.

USDA growing zone: 6 – 10

Soil type: Average to dry soil that drains well.

Sun exposure: Full sun or partial sun

Kaleidoscope Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’)

Throughout the seasons, the foliage of kaleidoscope abelia changes, giving the shrub long-term appeal in the garden. Multi-colored leaves, tiny star-shaped white blooms, and scarlet autumn hues are some of the identifying characteristics of kaleidoscope abelia. Little abelia bushes grow to be 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 1 meter) tall as decorative landscaping plants. In the front of the house, grow abelia kaleidoscope shrubs as a hedge, shrub border, or foundation planting.

USDA growing zone: 6 to 9

Soil type: Average, well-drained soils with medium moisture

Sun exposure: Full sun or partial sun

Dwarf Japanese Pieris Shrub (Pieris japonica ‘Cavatine’)

Japanese Pieris japonica ‘Cavatine’ is a tiny, compact ornamental shrub with white blooms and clusters of evergreen leaves. It looks fantastic in any front or backyard. Pieris bushes have slender, lance-shaped leaves and conical flower clusters with urn-shaped blooms, which are two attractive features.

The Japanese Pieris ‘Cavatine’ grows to be 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall and spreads up to 3 feet (1 meter). The spectacular white-flowering evergreen shrub thrives in the sunnier side of buildings, south-facing front yards, and dappled sunlight. It is also known as lily-of-the-valley shrub.

USDA growing zone: 5 to 8

Soil type: Well-drained, slightly acidic soils

Sun exposure: Full sun to partial shade

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