I have built a small greenhouse (unheated; Canadian zone 5). I built it so that I could have a place to go in winter where there are green leafy things to look at.

What are some pleasant-looking, broadleaved evergreen plants that would be suitable for an unheated greenhouse?

  • Are you looking for pot plants or in-ground plantings? If in-ground, are you able to open the greenhouse's sides during the summer so that it stays at roughly the same as the outside temperature? Is the greenhouse in full or part sun in the summer? In the winter?
    – Jurp
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 23:06
  • I assume you mean ornamental evergreens? Is the greenhouse in a sunny situation (when there is any sun, that is)? How small is it and is it glass or plastic/perspex/polycarbonate (just trying to hazard a guess as to what the likely temperature inside, particularly overnight, might fall to)?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 0:22
  • @Bamboo Ornamental evergreens sounds about right. I'm not so interested in coniferous plants though (broad leaves prefered). The greenhouse is south facing in full sun. It is a A-frame shape and is made of 6 mil poly. The dimensions are 14ft wide x 16ft long by 9ft tall. Here is a photo of it when it was unfinished.
    – User1974
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 1:57
  • @Jurp Good question. Potted plants are ideal. The greenhouse is seasonal; I take it down in summer (small backyard--no room).
    – User1974
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 1:59
  • I read that your temperatures may go down to -20deg F - if you're only using 6ml poly plastic sheet and not twin wall greenhouse plastic, it won't confer much insulation overnight, so any pots inside the greenhouse are at risk of freezing without heating overnight, see here doityourself.com/stry/buygreenhouse. Also not sure whether the roof is plastic or solid...?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


Some ideas:

  1. Cranberries, lingonberries, winterberry, holly, barberry, and heather
  2. Kale
  3. Strawberries
  4. Late-fruiting raspberries (ok, not evergreen, but the fruit can be late, which is a nice treat)
  • 2
    Holly and heathers would probably be happier outside, especially in summer. (And a holly tree would soon get too tall for a normal greenhouse, unless you prune it hard). There are varieties that are hardy down to zone 3 - though your choice of zone 5 holly varieties is not very large.
    – alephzero
    Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 18:37

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