Alternatives to Boxwoods and Traditional Dwarf Hollies

Here are some of our favorite landscape plant selections that can be planted instead of the standard boxwoods and non-fruiting dwarf hollies:

Ligustrum ‘Sunshine’
This 3’-4’ tall and wide evergreen shrub is a wonderful alternative to boxwoods. Easily trimmed as a hedge, its new yellow foliage is present nearly year round. This plant is reliably evergreen. Ligustrum is sometimes referred to as privet, which has been known to be a problematic plant in our area, but this selection from Southern Living is not invasive.


Loropetalum ‘Purple Daydream’
This is a cultivated variety of the well-known fringebush that only reaches to 3’ tall by 4’ wide and makes a wonderful low maintenance cut hedge or open form hedge. The purple foliage is evergreen and this plant blooms red fringe-like flowers in the spring.


Ilex vomitoria ‘Taylor’s Rudolph’
This selection of dwarf yaupon holly is a fruiting variety that bears berries in spring and turns red in summer through fall, unlike most of its non-fruiting varieties. Though not edible, they can be an interest in the garden and add color late in the season. This is an evergreen, non prickly 4’ by 4’ hedge or open form shrub.


Viburnum obovatum ‘Mrs. Schiller’s Delight’
This cold hardy evergreen dwarf viburnum is usually 3’ tall by 4’ wide and blooms white clusters of petite flowers. This plant gives you the look year round of boxwoods or dwarf hollies but has the summer interest of the showy white blooms that neither boxwoods nor hollies have.


Small Encore Azalea
There are many smaller varieties of azalea that can be used, especially the encores which will take full sun. They come in a multitude of flower colors and various mature sizes from 2.5’ to 6’ tall. Come see our selection of azaleas!



  1. As yard sizes continue to diminish in size these suggestions are excellent alternatives! Keep up the great work of distinguishing yourself from the big box stores!