7 Boxwood Alternatives for Evergreen Landscape Elegance

Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) are slender, tall evergreens used as privacy screens or landscaping accents.


Rhododendron spp. azaleas are one of the most beautiful evergreen boxwood substitutes. They're planted for their brilliant flowers, not their evergreen foliage.


Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta) is called horned holly because its dark green leaves have needle-sharp tips.

Chinese Holly

East Coast native inkberry holly (Ilex glabra). Its little leaves resemble boxwood, although it thrives in damp circumstances.

Inkberry Holly

Japan holly (Ilex crenata) is a thick evergreen shrub with tiny, spherical, dark green leaves. It looks like boxwood, but Japanese holly is darker green.

Japanese Holly

Japanese plum yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia) is a heat- and shade-tolerant needled evergreen that can replace yew in the southern garden.

Japanese Plum Yew

Mid-sized natural shrub Northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) is semi-evergreen. Beautiful grayish-blue fruits appear in late summer winter.

Northern Bayberry