Finding shade tolerant evergreens can be difficult in any climate, but the task can be especially challenging in USDA plant hardiness zone 8, as many evergreens, especially conifers, prefer chillier climates. Fortunately, mild climate gardeners have several choices when it comes to selecting shady zone 8 evergreens. Read on to learn more about a few zone 8 evergreen shade plants, including conifers, flowering evergreens, and shade-tolerant ornamental grasses.
Shade Plants for Zone 8
While there are numerous choices for evergreen plants that thrive in zone 8 shade gardens, below are some of the more commonly planted in the landscape.
Conifer Trees and Shrubs
False cypress ‘Snow’ (Chamaecyparis pisifera) – False cypress ‘Snow’ reaches 6 feet (2 m.) by 6 feet (2 m.) with gray green color and rounded form. Suitible for zones 4 through 8.
Pringles Dwarf Podocarpus (Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Pringles Dwarf’) – Pringles dwarf podocarpus gets around 3 to 5 feet (1-1.5 m.) tall with 6 feet (2 m.) spread. It’s compact with dark green foliage. Suitable for zones 8 through 11.
Korean fir ‘Silberlocke (Abies koreana ‘Silberlocke) – Reaching heights of about 20 feet (6 m.) with a similar 20 foot (6 m.) spread, Korean fir ‘silberlocke’ has attractive green foliage with silvery white undersides and nice vertical form. Suitable for zones 5 through 8.
Himalayan Sweetbox (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis) – Having a height around 18 to 24 inches (46-61 cm.) with an 8 foot (2 m.) spread, you’ll appreciate this dark evergreen’s attractive white blooms followed by dark fruit. Sweetbox makes a good candidate for groundcover. Suitable in zones 6 to 9.
Valley Valentine Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica ‘Valley Valentine’) – This upright evergreen has a height of 2 to 4 feet (61 cm. to 1 m.) and width of 3 to 5 feet (1-1.5 m.). Valley Valentine Japanese Pieris produces orange gold foliage in spring prior to turning green and pinkish red blooms. Suitable for zones 5 to 8.
Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora) – Glossy abelia is a nice mounding abelia with glossy green leaves and white blooms. It reaches 4 to 6 feet (1-2 m.) tall with 5 feet (1.5 m.) spread. Suitable to zones 6 to 9.
Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichor sempervirens) – This popular ornamental grass, blue oat grass, features attractive blue green foliage and reaches 36 inches (91 cm.) tall. It is suitable for zones 4 to 9.
New Zealand Flax (Phormium texax) – An attractive ornamental grass for the garden and low growing, New Zealand flax is around 9 inches (23 cm.), you’ll love its reddish brown color. Suitable for zones 8 to 10.
Evergreen Striped Weeping Sedge (Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’) – The attractive grass of evergreen striped weeping sedge only reaches about 16 inches (41 cm.) tall and has gold, dark green, and white foliage. Suitable for zones 6 to 8.