QUESTION: What’s the difference between evergreen, semi-evergreen, deciduous, and semi-deciduous plants? – Willamette F
JENNIFER POINDEXTER AT GARDENING CHANNEL REPLIES: This is a great question because it’s terminology you run across often when learning about different plants and how to grow them.
Let’s begin with discussing what evergreen means. Evergreen plants never lose their color. They remain a rich green all year long and should neve lose their foliage.
If an evergreen plant loses its color, chances are it’s ill. When these plants turn brown, they typically remain this way.
Next on the list is the term deciduous tree or plant. Deciduous trees are the beautiful plants you see which put on a rich display of color in spring, summer, and fall but lose their foliage over winter.
If you’re looking for beautiful aesthetics in your landscape, these trees can provide this. Plus, their leaves may be used to make compost when the plants lose them each year.
These characteristics make deciduous trees or plants functional options to have around your yard or garden.
The last two terms to discuss are frequently used interchangeably, but we’ll discuss the small variations between semi-evergreen and semi-deciduous. Semi-evergreen trees and plants have growth habits which fall somewhere between evergreen and deciduous.
These plants do lose their leaves but only for a short time over winter or fall. If you live somewhere which is prone to having a dry season, this is the time some semi-evergreen plants will choose to drop their foliage.
These plants have a window (usually between one and two months) which allows the tree or plant to shed its old foliage and allow time for new to form.
Semi-deciduous are similar to semi-evergreen as they have growth habits which fall somewhere between evergreen and deciduous.
However, there is a minor difference between the two which is worth noting. With semi-deciduous plants, their dormancy period depends upon the weather as they prefer to shed their leaves during the cooler months of the year.
Semi-evergreens consistently lose their leaves at the same time each year. They typically prefer late winter or the dry season. Semi-deciduous perform this task anytime the weather cools.
It’s also important to note that semi-evergreen and semi-deciduous trees rarely lose all of their leaves. The only exception is semi-deciduous trees may lose all of their leaves if you’re experiencing an extreme cold snap during fall or winter.
A few examples of each of these plants are:
· Blue spruce
· White fir
· Eastern hemlock
Semi-Evergreen and Semi-Deciduous Plants
· Pink lemonade blueberry bush
· Maple trees
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what these terms mean to help you have a clear understanding of the terminology included in many articles pertaining to gardening.
It should also help ensure that you grow the right types of plants for creating your garden or landscaped yard.