Many shrub varieties are quite easy to grow and care for, requiring little more than a periodic pruning and a few splashes of water during the highest heat of summer. Flowering shrubs work well as border or foundation plants, and can serve as hedges along property lines or in other locations. In general, look for slow-growing evergreen shrubs to minimize maintenance requirements. Plenty of flowering and non-flowering shrubs are available to suit your needs. Following is a short list of popular, very low-maintenance evergreen shrubs.
Japanese Andromeda is an evergreen, flowering shrub that is easily grown from seed. Suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 7, the plant can tolerate all kinds of soils and prefers full sun to light shade. Its mature leaves are a lustrous dark-green. For several weeks each spring, dazzling creamy-white flowers cascade over the plant. Should you want to prune the shrub for size or shape, do so just after the flowering is finished.
Evergreen Azaleas are slow-growing flowering shrubs well-suited to planting in gardens or along foundations. Typically, Azaleas are purchased in pots, ready for planting at home. Azaleas require acidic, quick-draining soil and partial sun. During the dry season, Azaleas may require periodic watering. Most varieties of evergreen Azalea require little or no pruning.
Arborvitae plants are common evergreen landscape shrubs known for their pyramidal shape and thick foliage. They are available in a range of forms to suit most needs, from the 30 foot tall American Arborvitae to the eight foot tall “Compacta” Oriental Arborvitae. Arborvitae features dark green, scale-like foliage and does not have ornamental flowers. Typically, the arborvitae does not require any pruning at all.
Juniper shrubs are evergreen plants that are very tolerant to hot, dry conditions. They prefer to be planted in full sun and can tolerate most types of soil. Juniper shrubs have slow growing, needle-like foliage which, depending on the variety, may be green, yellow, or even blue. Pruning is generally unnecessary.
There are many other great low-maintenance shrubs to choose from, including Mountain Laurel, Holly, Barberry, Aucuba, Yew, Hemlock, and Boxwood.