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Saturday - September 26, 2009

From: Waxhaw, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small evergreen shrubs for horse barn in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I want to plant some low growing evergreen shrubs in pots in my paddock around my barn. The horses can occasionally be in this are but not for an extended time. I am in NC. Any suggestions?


The following are small evergreen shrubs that are found in North Carolina.  None of them occurs on any of the toxic plant databases that I searched (Poisonous Plants of North Carolina, Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock, Toxic Plants of Texas, University of Pennsylvania Poisonous Plants, and Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System), so the plants should be safe FOR the horses.  However, I don't know if they will be safe FROM the horses, i.e., I don't know whether the horses might think they are very tasty.  

You should realize that plants in pots do not withstand cold weather as well as plants whose roots are in the ground.  If you have a prolonged very cold period, you should consider protecting the potted plants to keep their roots from freezing.  You can read about Overwintering Potted Plants from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Artemisia ludoviciana (white sagebrush)

Ilex glabra (inkberry) has cultivars that are only 3-4 feet high, e.g., Ilex glabra 'Shamrock'

Juniperus communis var. depressa (common juniper) and here are photos and more information.

Leiophyllum buxifolium (sandmyrtle)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) has dwarf cultivars 

Paxistima canbyi (Canby's mountain-lover)

Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto)

Artemisia ludoviciana

Ilex glabra

Leiophyllum buxifolium

Morella cerifera

Paxistima canbyi

Sabal minor




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