Evergreen for indoor


Hi, i would appreciate help with this. I need to find a nice evergreen for indoors, it would be right in front of a unit that has a little lobby that is cold in the winter . So we cannot put a tropic plant there, and it has a bit of sun in the morning, but it is mostly shady. I once planted the evergreen from home depot, but it died, i think because it had no sun. I read on your website that evergreen can grow in shade, where can I find shady evergreen??? Thank you in advance
I really wanna find this plant, a little evergreen bush or small tree, but the plants they sell in stores only those that has full sun on the label.
With regards,
Tanya Doyle


Hello, thank you for reaching out to the Toronto Master Gardeners for help in your search for your indoor plant.

You have sent  us quite a challenge.  When looking for an indoor plant like the one  you require,  it being an  evergreen, (or having functioning leaves year-round),  we would typically  look to tropical plants, meaning those that cannot tolerate winter conditions.  Some can tolerate low light conditions but would require warmish temperatures and more importantly some humidity to counteract the dry winter air.   Most of us think of conifers as evergreens, pines, spruces, cedars etc.  These cannot be grown as indoor plants as they need a winter dormancy and some either direct or filtered daylight.  There are a couple of exceptions that might work for you:  One is Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophulla.  This is a true conifer (with needles). It can grow up to 6’ indoors and is happy with temperatures as low at 10c .  In fact, it does not like to be too warm. Temperatures  over 25c without high humidity will cause needles or even branches to drop.  It does like to be kept moist, so water plentifully but never allow the soil to stay soggy or have the pot to stand in water. It is fine without direct light but does need bright light.  If you place it in a corner, you will have to turn it regularly to ensure all sides get a bit of light.  Another possibility would be a Japanese Yew Podocarpus.  In the right conditions this can grow up to 8’ and is often used as a foyer plant.  It too is a true conifer but has long slender thin needles that resemble thin leaves and has a graceful delicate look.  One disadvantage of a Podocarpus is that it has fast growing roots, meaning you will have to re-pot yearly into a pot one size larger. It too can take temperatures as low as 10c and does well in bright not necessarily direct light.  It doesn’t need quite as much watering as the Norfolk Island Pine so  water thoroughly but allow the top half inch of soil to dry before re-watering.

Both of these plants need a standard liquid fertilizer applied bi-weekly during the active growing  period (spring and summer).  These plants both need a period of dormancy (fall and winter).  During this time, cut back on watering and eliminate fertilizer.

I am including a link to growing plants indoors, I hope it is some help to you.  Good luck, I hope you find the right plant for your spot.