A hot trend for cold climates is conifers with unexpected and unique coloring. Conifers that are so silvery blue that they glitter in the sun and junipers take on a purple cast. Pines that glow in shades of gold or plum and arborvitae transform into coppery-bronze foliage with orange tips. Some even display two or three colors on the same needle. Bonus: There are even a few here for gardeners in mild to warm climates.
Here are 21 exciting, vibrant varieties to add to your garden for dynamic color, texture, and structure all year round.
Favorite Blue Conifer Shrubs
Outstanding, cold hardy, evergreen shrub with blue-grey foliage on a low mounded, spreading form. It has more refined foliage color and denser habit than Blue Creeper juniper. Full sun. Up to 2' tall, spreading 6-8' wide. Zones 3-8.
Exhibits the best silver-blue winter color of the groundcover junipers. Winter foliage becomes plum purple in coldest climates. Full sun. Reaches up to 4" tall, spreading to 8' wide. Zones 3-9.
Attractive sparkling blue foliage on dense, spreading branches. Creates a colorful contrast to purple and green foliage plants. Ideal for mass plantings in minimal-care landscapes. Full sun. Slowly grows up to 3' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-8.
The lowest of the dwarf cedars, with a unique spreading form that rarely develops a leader. The intriguing form with blue-green foliage is a wonderful specimen for smaller spaces, rock gardens, and containers. Full sun. Up to 5' tall, spreading to 10' wide. Zones 6-9.
This charming, globe-shaped evergreen shrub is dwarf, flat-topped, and densely branched. The bright blue needles hold their color all year long but are a brighter hue in summer. Partial to full sun. Up to 5' tall, 6' wide. Zones 2-8.
Drew’s Blue™ Siberian
Handsome, cold hardy evergreen with attractive bluish-green summer foliage that turns to maroon in the winter. Full sun. Reaches up to 2' tall and 3' wide. Zones 2-8.
Unique Blue Conifer Trees
With no two plants alike, the strongly weeping branches and irregularly spreading and drooping top. This creates a unique, bright silver-blue specimen. Full sun. Slowly grows up to 6' tall and wide in natural form. Zones 2-8.
The beauty of a classic Colorado Blue Spruce on a slower-growing plant, perfect for smaller landscapes. A handsome pyramidal form with a denser growth habit and brighter blue needles. Partial to full sun. Up to 15' tall, 8' wide. Zones 2-8.
A colorful conifer for warm climates! New growth emerges lime-gray-blue and then matures to a cool gray-blue-green. One of the most beautiful and decorative pyramidal conifers for warm regions. 15-25' tall and wide. Zones 9-11.
Arborvitae that Turn Orange in Cold Weather
A very colorful evergreen tree! The real drama arrives when the weather cools. Then it transitions to deep gold, with glowing orange to russet red tips. Full sun. Reaches up to 25' tall and 8' wide. Zones 5-8.
A nearly perfectly globe-shaped shrub with fine, bright gold spring foliage and fantastic deep red fall color. This sport of the popular Rheingold has deeper color and is less prone to splitting. Full sun. Up to 2' tall and wide. Zones 5-8.
This compact shrub has a dense, mounded form and attractive yellow spring foliage. This matures to a golden orange color with hints of lime green. Foliage retains its color throughout winter. Partial to full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 3-8.
Yellow or Gold Conifer Shrubs
Exceptional bright green and gold-splashed foliage becomes tinged with bronze and purple tones during the winter months. Full sun. Reaches up to 2' tall, spreading to 6' wide. Zones 3-9.
Sea Of Gold®
Outstanding lacy, golden-yellow foliage color is retained better than other gold-tipped varieties and deepens in winter to a rich gold. Full sun. Reaches up to 3' tall and 4' wide. Zones 3-9.
A stunning selection with bright, golden-yellow foliage. This unique dwarf cedar has an intriguing spreading habit that can be trained into upright or patio tree forms. Partial to full sun. Up to 12' tall, 8' wide. Zones 7-9.
Unique Yellow or Gold Conifer Trees
A slower-growing, more compact Austrian Pine with showy yellow new growth that ages to light green. Tolerates poor soils, and harsh, drying winds. A showy conifer for windbreaks or for use as an eye-catching landscape specimen. Full sun. Up to 30' tall, 15' wide. Zones 4-8.
The dense, compact habit and beautiful symmetry of the naturally cone-shaped Black Hills Spruce. With an added burst of color from bright yellow new growth that accents the blue-green mature foliage. Partial to full sun. Can grow 30-50' tall, 15-25' wide. Zones 2-8.
This distinctive new conifer heralds spring with bright yellow-gold new growth in stunning contrast to the mature blue-green foliage. Discovered by a Monrovia craftsman in Oregon, it has a handsome pyramidal form with a dense, slower-growing habit. Full sun. Slowly reaches up to 60' tall, 20' wide with age. Zones 2-8.
This naturally pyramidal evergreen features yellow-tipped foliage that doesn't burn in the sun. Spring growth has a touch of orange coloring. Perfect on its own as a colorful accent, or grouped to form a hedge, privacy screen, or windbreak. Full sun. Up to 15' tall, 8' wide. Zones 4-7.
A superb new evergreen with glowing golden yellow foliage on graceful, upright, pyramidal arching branches. Improved sun tolerance over other gold hemlocks. Bright yellow-orange winter color. Partial to full sun. Up to 10' tall, 3' wide. Zones 4-8.
A stunning, fast-growing evergreen with vibrant yellow highlights on dark green foliage. In its natural form, the symmetrical, pyramidal shape rarely needs pruning. Tolerates heat, cold, and drought. Full sun. Up to 15' tall, 5' wide. Zones 5-8.
Learn More About Gardening in Fall and Winter
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