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Use Evergreen Shrubs with Yellow Foliage to Bring Light to Gray Days

Those of us gardening in the Pacific Northwest are used to winters that include more than our fair share of gray and stormy days.

But take heart, I have an antidote for dingy winter days that we can all use: shrubs with evergreen foliage in yellow and gold tones. Plants with leaves in light-reflecting colors will bounce light into the dark corners of your landscape.  

There are lots of evergreen shrubs in shades of blue, silver and gold—and most all of them do a good job of bringing light into the garden. In this post, I'll single out some of my favorite evergreen shrubs with gold foliage.


YELLOW FOLIAGE IS LIKE A RAY OF SUNSHINE


Here are some tips for using evergreen shrubs with yellow foliage in your garden:

  • Check its sun tolerance — Some shrubs with yellow foliage will burn in sun, while other plants lose their golden color in too much shade. So pay close attention and make sure to give these plants their preferred exposure. Typically, even the sun-lovers prefer some protection from the hottest part of the afternoon blast.

  • Jazz it up or cool it down — When paired with red or burgundy, yellow foliage makes for a zippy scene. If you desire a more subdued vignette, combine yellow evergreen shrubs with plants with blue or green leaves.

  • Easy does it — Yellow can be an insistent color in the landscape. It's easy to end up with too much of a good thing. But how much is too much? Well, you get to decide about that. You might want to start by using it as an accent plant vs. planting big, sweeping blocks of gold. Start small, see how you like it, and then adjust from there. 

Below, you'll find some of my top picks for yellow evergreen shrubs that'll add a touch of glitter to your winter landscape. And because these shrubs are all evergreen, they'll be on duty during the darkest days of winter, when you'll appreciate a colorful pick-me-up. 

These are just a few to get you started—search the eGardenGo database for even more ideas. And of course, once you spot one that catches your eye, click through for plant combination ideas to help you figure out how to bring light into your winter garden.


YELLOW EVERGREEN SHRUBS


Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope'

Kaleidoscope Abelia

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun
Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9

view plant

Abies nordmanniana 'Golden Spreader'

Golden Spreading Nordman Fir

Type: Conifer, Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

view plant

Acanthus mollis 'Hollard's Gold'

Hollard's Gold Bear's Breeches

Type: Perennial
Exposure: Full Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Calluna vulgaris 'Firefly'

Heather

Type: Groundcover, Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Full Sun
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8

view plant

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Treasure Island'

Dwarf Port Orford Cedar

Type: Conifer, Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8

view plant

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Vintage Gold'

Vintage Gold Threadleaf False Cypress

Type: Conifer, Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Choisya ternata 'Sundance'

Sundance Mexican Orange

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Afternoon Sun, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Choisya x 'Gold Fingers'

Gold Fingers Mexican Orange
Choisya x dewitteana 'Limo'
CHOISYA ARIZONICA X TERNATA 'LIMO'

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Afternoon Sun, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 8, 9, 10

view plant

Cryptomeria japonica 'Sekkan Sugi'

Golden Japanese Cedar

Type: Conifer, Shrub, Tree
Exposure: Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade
Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9

view plant

Cupressus macrocarpa 'Wilma Goldcrest'

Wilma Goldcrest Cypress

Type: Conifer, Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Cupressus sempervirens 'Swane's Golden'

Swane's Golden Italian Cypress

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Full Sun, Afternoon Sun, Reflected Heat
Zone: 7, 8, 9

view plant

Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' Camouflage

Camouflage™ Variegated Japanese Aralia

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Part Shade, Full Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Juniperus chinensis 'Daub's Frosted'

Daub's Frosted Juniper

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Full Sun, Part Sun, Afternoon Sun, Reflected Heat, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade
Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

view plant

Lonicera nitida 'Briloni'

Edmee Gold™ boxleaf honeysuckle

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

view plant

Lonicera nitida 'Twiggy'

Twiggy Box Honeysuckle

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Part Sun, Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9

view plant

Tsuga canadensis 'MonKinn'

Golden Duchess Eastern Hemlock

Type: Conifer, Shrub
Exposure: Part Shade, Morning Sun, Filtered Sun, Open Shade, Open Shade
Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7

view plant

Yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge'

Bright Edge Variegated Yucca

Type: Shrub, Succulent
Exposure: Full Sun, Full Sun, Afternoon Sun, Reflected Heat
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'

Color Guard Adam's Needle

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Full Sun, Afternoon Sun, Reflected Heat
Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Yucca filamentosa 'Golden Sword'

Golden Sword Variegated Yucca

Type: Shrub
Exposure: Full Sun, Full Shade, Afternoon Sun, Reflected Heat
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

view plant

Published December 28, 2019


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