Evergreen shrubs and trees for the Southwest

Last updated on October 6th, 2022 at 02:00 pm

Evergreen shrubs and trees for the Southwest.

Shrubs that stay green all year.

The Waxleaf Privet “Ligustrum japonicum” is a good evergreen plant or shrub.  Excellent to use as a stand-alone plant or place in a row for a great border privacy wall.


They can also be trimmed to almost any shape.  A round ball or square shape is perfect for that special contemporary look.  They grow to about 8 ft. tall and 6 ft. wide.  Small white flowers during the early spring seasons.  They like regular watering with good, loamy composted soil.  Use them in pots and trim or purchase them as a tiered plant. The photo above nicely trimmed into a square shape.  They are not drought-tolerant plants.  Use a good drip system to water regularly.

USDA zones 7-11

Evergreen shrubs and trees for the Southwest

Boxleaf Euonymus “Euonymus japonicus Microphyllus”.  An excellent choice for a small short hedge as they will only grow to about 2 ft. tall.  You can also use them in pots and place them at the front entrance. They like regular watering.  It is a dense evergreen shrub that has small creamy white flowers in early spring.  They can take the full or partial sun.  They tolerate poor soil but will do better with composted soils.

USDA zones 6-9


Evergreen Shrubs that do well in Southwest
Boxleaf Euonymus

Red Tip Photinia “Photinia fraseri”.


photinia-fraseriFull Sun or partial shade.  A fast-growing shrub that can be used for a large hedge or stand-alone plant. The red-tip leaves provide great color throughout the seasons.  Moderate water once established. Easily grown in good well composted soil.  This evergreen plant does well in the American Southwest

USDA zones 7-9

The Texas Sage

Green Cloud Sage drought tolerant evergreen
Texas sage bushes are drought-tolerant evergreen Shrubs.


There are many varieties and all are evergreens. However, younger plants take 2-3 years before they stay evergreen.  They are drought tolerant once established and will bloom mainly in mid-summer or after the monsoon season starts. Most will grow to about 5-7 ft. tall and wide.  Profuse purple blooms numerous times throughout the summer months.  More about Texas Sage Bushes.

USDA Zones 7-11

Texas Mountain Laurel “Sophora secundiflora”

A showy multi-stemmed shrub can be used as a small tree. Very fragrant violet-blue flowers. Clusters of flowers for a wonderful display. Slow growing and easily trained as a nice espalier or patio tree. It’s an easy-to-grow evergreen specimen.  A drought-tolerant tree is well suited for the Southwest area.  It is best to plant in full sun.

USDA Zones 8-11

Cherry Carolina Laurel – ‘Prunus caroliniana’

Evergreen shrubs and trees for the Southwest
Carolina Laurel

It gets its name from the maraschino cherry-like flower fragrance it gives during the spring season.  Great looking evergreen shrub or tree.  Perfect for a screen border.  Gets about 15 ft. tall and 7 ft. wide.  Fragrant creamy-white profuse flowers during spring are followed by small black non-edible berries.  Learn more about the Carolina Laurel Tree.

USDA Zones 7-11

Viburnum – Viburnum tinus ‘Compactum’
Evergreen Shrubs Pictures

There are many Viburnum varieties but the most common in the Southwest is the “tinus” variety.  A nice evergreen shrub should be used as a stand-alone plant or plant several in a row for a nice short border plant.  It can be planted in a large container.  It does have a slight fragrance with pinkish-white flowers. More information on this shrub here. 

USDA Zones 7-11

The Pyracantha Plant is an evergreen plant

Pyracantha coccinea – It will generate a lot of berries mainly during the fall season and will have them all the way to late winter. All varieties will produce nice little white profuse flowers during the spring season.

Autumn berries on a fan-shaped pyracantha plant

Pyracantha Plant Evergreen

They love the full sun but can tolerate some shade. Pyracantha plants are not really drought-tolerant it is recommended to water regularly even after establishment.  Read more about Pyracantha Varieties.

USDA Zones 7-9

Pine Trees for evergreen landscape

Pine trees are evergreen throughout the Southwest.  Most are drought-tolerant.  There are many types of pine trees learn more here… “Pine Trees Southwest“.


Drought Tolerant trees and shrubs

The Italian Cypress is a handsome evergreen tree.  Grows to 3-4 ft. wide and 80 ft. tall.  Most Cypress trees are moderate to low-watering trees once established. It will take about 2-4 years before these trees become established.  Learn more about Cypress Trees for the desert Southwest.

The arborvitae tree

The Arborvitae tree is a beautiful lime-green conifer tree.  Pictured above is the Golden Dwarf Arborvitae a compact dwarf evergreen shrub. It will still grow 8-10 ft. tall. With a pointed globe that rarely needs pruning. The Arborvitae tree. 

These are evergreen shrubs and trees that can be used in your Southwest home for landscaping purposes.

Got questions or want to comment on the above plants?  Please do so below!  We would love to hear from you.

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Juan Marquez
Juan Marquez
8 years ago


Paul Guzman
Paul Guzman
8 years ago
Reply to  Juan Marquez

Thank you Juan. We appreciate your comments.

Ted Stallings
5 years ago

We have a rather large facility at Clovis NM. The construction is finished and ready for landscaping. Are you interested or can your recommend someone? We tried a local guy but he does not have the experience.

Paul Guzman
5 years ago
Reply to  Ted Stallings

Our apologies Ted we do not service the Clovis NM, area. But you can visit our Nurseries in the Las Cruces area we will do our best to give all the right landscape information. You can also ask questions on our contact page.

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