What to Plant Under Potted Evergreens

What to Plant Under Potted Evergreens

We love using evergreen topiary and other shrubs in containers because they look great nearly year-round and are an excellent visual break from mixed container plantings (which we also love, of course). However, there can be the issue of bare soil at the top of the planter which always leads to the question–just top with mulch or dress with plants?

Annuals are an excellent solution as you can change them out to keep the planter looking seasonal, but if you want a one-stop solution, look no further than ground covers. They spread to cover the soil and then generally cascade over the edges providing a softening effect. And, they’re super easy to maintain.

Here are seven we recommend.

Huntington Carpet Rosemary

Just the thing for under other waterwise shrubs such as Little Ollie® Dwarf Olive or Little Ragu® Sweet Bay. 1 to 2 ft. tall, 8 ft. wide. Full sun.


Chocolate Chip Carpet Bugle
Zone: 4 – 9

Bronze-tinged spreading foliage with pretty violet spring flowers. Lovely with blue-hued conifers such as Blue Point juniper. Up to 3 in. tall and 3 ft. wide. Partial to full sun.


Jewel of the Desert Garnet Ice Plant
Zone: 5 – 10

Long season, super-hardy bloomer! Use under other waterwise plants such as potted Tiny Tower cypress. Up to 4 in. tall and 20 in. wide. Full sun.


Bowles’ Common Periwinkle
Zone: 4 – 10

Under a potted spiral topiary such as Swane’s Golden Italian cypress, adds loads of flowery softness. 4 to 6 in. tall, spreading. Full shade to full sun.


Zone: 6 – 8

Thrives in dapple light. Effective under a smaller potted Japanese maple such as Fireglow. Partial shade to filtered sun. Up to 18 in. tall and wide.


Angel Wing Jasmine
Zone 10 – 11

We love a gardenia that’s been trained into a standard but why not add more fragrance with a trailing jasmine! Up to 15 ft. long (can be cut back). Full sun.


Bronze Carpet Stonecrop
Zone: 3 – 9

Where it’s super cold and you want winter color, this is the ideal choice for under a potted evergreen. Up to 6 in. tall and 24 in. wide. Partial to full sun.

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