nw-friendly evergreen plants for containers

This list is a selection of evergreen shrubs, perennials and grasses well-suited for use in containers. All maintain an attractive appearance in winter and are reliably cold hardy in our area. The majority of these plants were selected for their exceptional foliage or architectural form. All will combine well with other flowering annuals or perennials when designing mixed containers. For container gardening tips, see our handout Container Gardening Basics. For individual plant information, please refer to cultivar signs, or consult one of our Swanson’s nursery professionals. 

Shrubs for shade

ABELIA Abelia cultivars
BOXWOOD Buxus species & cultivars
HEATHER Calluna species & cultivars
LAWSON CYPRESS Chamaecyparis lawsoniana
HINOKI CYPRESS Chamaecyparis obtusa cultivars
MEXICAN ORANGE Choisya ternata cultivars
JAPANESE CEDAR Cryptomeria japonica cultivars
HEATH Erica species & cultivars
ESCALLONIA Escallonia cultivars
CIDER GUM Eucalyptus species
WINTERCREEPER Euonymus fortunei cultivars
BOXLEAF EUONYMUS Euonymous japonica microphylla
HEBE Hebe species & cultivars
JAPANESE HOLLY Ilex crenata cultivars
JUNIPER Juniperus species
SHRUB HONEYSUCKLE Lonicera nitida cultivars
HEAVENLY BAMBOO Nandina species & cultivars
INDIA HAWTHORN Raphiolepis species & cultivars
OREGON SUNSHINE Senecio greyii

shrubs for sun

BOXWOOD Buxus species & cultivars
HINOKI CYPRESS Chamaecyparis obtusa cultivars
CRYPTOMERIA Cryptomeria japonica cultivars
WINTER DAPHNE Daphne odora cultivars
DWARF BAMBOOS Phyllostachys, Fargesia
SILVERBERRY Elaeagnus pungens
WINTERCREEPER Euonymus fortunei cultivars
GAULTHERIA Gaultheria procumbens
JAPANESE HOLLY Ilex crenata cultivars
MOUNTAIN LAUREL Kalmia latifolia cultivars
LEUCOTHOE Leucothoe species
HEAVENLY BAMBOO Nandina species & cultivars
ANDROMEDA Pieris japonica cultivars
EVERGREEN AZALEA Rhododendron ssp. & cultivars
RHODODENDRONS Rhododendron species & hybrids
VANILLA PLANT Sarcococca species
DWARF HEMLOCK Tsuga canadensis cultivars
HUCKLEBERRY Vaccinium species & cultivars
DAVID VIBURNUM Viburnum davidii

perennials for sun

ROCKCRESS Arabis ssp., Aubretia deltoides
THRIFT Armeria maritima
ELEPHANT EARS Bergenia species & cultivars
HARDY ICE PLANT Delosperma species & cultivars
CARNATION Dianthus species & cultivars
WALLFLOWER Erysimum species & cultivars
SPURGE Euphorbia species & cultivars
CORAL BELLS Heuchera species & cultivars
CANDYTUFT Iberis sempervirens & hybrids
LAVENDER Lavandula species & cultivars
ROSEMARY Rosmarinus species & cultivars
SAGE Salvia officinalis
STONECROP Sedum species & cultivars
HEN & CHICKS Sempervivum species & cultivars

perennials for shade

BEAR'S BREECH Acanthus mollis, A. spinosus
ELEPHANT EARS Bergenia species & cultivars
IVY Hedera small-leaved cultivars
HELLEBORE Helleborus species and cultivars
CORAL BELLS Heuchera species & cultivars
PERIWINKLE Vinca major cultivars

grasses and grass-like plants for sun

SEDGE Carex species & cultivars
FESCUE Festuca species & cultivars
BLUE OAT GRASS Helictotrichon sempervirens
NEW ZEALAND FLAX Phormium species & cultivars
FEATHER GRASS Nasella tenuissima

grasses and grass-like plants for shade

ACORUS Acorus species and cultivars
SEDGE Carex species
LILYTURF Liriope muscari cultivars
WOOD RUSH Luzula species & cultivars
MONDO GRASS Ophiopogon japonicus, O.p. ’Nigrescens'