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4 Compact Evergreens That Thrive In Cold Climates

4 Compact Evergreens That Thrive In Cold Climates

By Natalie Carmolli for Proven Winners® ColorChoice®
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners® ColorChoice®

Looking for something that won’t let you down after a particularly tough winter? Something that will provide a little cheerful color when all else is gray and sleepy? These little shrubs are just the ticket. Don’t underestimate them! Just because these guys are small, it doesn’t mean they aren’t tough. These four compact evergreens are hardy down to at least USDA Zone 4 – hardy enough to survive even the coldest climates.

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MONTANA MOSS® Juniperus chinensis

New to garden centers this year, Montana Moss® juniper brings a refreshing blue-green tone to groundcover junipers. Its moss-like foliage is soft to the touch; its ability to withstand deer, drought, heat, and sun makes it a new go-to choice for those who need tough evergreen groundcovers. Hardy in USDA Zones 4-9 (-30°F/-34°C), and reaches heights of 2-4' and widths of 3-5'.

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TATER TOT® Thuja occidentalis

An irresistible dwarf evergreen, Tater Tot® arborvitae is a delightful dwarf globe Thuja. It naturally grows as a tidy little globe of fragrant, fan-like evergreen foliage. It's quite tolerant of shade as well, so you can plant it just about anywhere and enjoy year-round beauty from this easy care native shrub. Looks great in a container, too. Hardy down to USDA Zones 3-7 (-40°F/-40°C), and is our smallest shrub of the bunch, at just 1-2' tall and wide.

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TORTUGA™ Juniperus communis

A super-tough selection of native Juniperus communis, Tortuga™ naturally grows as a neat, low mound of fluffy, jade green foliage. The perfect plant for even the most difficult locations, such as underneath a silver maple. It is tolerant of deer, drought, dry soil, air pollution, poor fertility, mountain goats, polar vortexes, black walnut toxicity, sand, rocks, groundhogs, limestone, and road salt; and who knows what else? Super hardy down to USDA Zones 2-7 (-50°F/-45.5°C), and wider than it is tall at 2' high and 3-4' wide.

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CELTIC PRIDE® Microbiota decussata

Siberian cypress is a hardy, low growing evergreen for sun or shade, but the species is often plagued with tip dieback. Celtic Pride® microbiota solves that with superior disease resistance and excellent winter color. The fern-like green foliage turns an attractive russet color in winter. Very hardy and deer resistant, it’s a great alternative to juniper for those with semi-shaded conditions. Also hardy down to the most frigid temps, USDA Zones 2-7 (-50°F/-45°C). This groundcover shrub transforms areas into a lush evergreen carpet at just 1-3' tall and 4-6' wide.

If you’re on the lookout for some feisty, fun little fellows that thrive in cold climates, these shrubs are the way to go. Try planting them in borders, groups of three or five, or mix them to create a yearlong worry-free display of varied colors and textures. They can even be placed in containers to dress up patios and porches. Ask for them at your local garden center or order online at

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Photos and story by Monrovia Nursery Company

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