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Semi-Evergreen Is Half True

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Awww, which is it? You see a plant tag that says ‘semi-evergreen’ and you may wonder, what exactly does that mean? Is it evergreen or deciduous?

Well, whether or not a ‘semi-evergreen’ plant keeps its leaves or drops them just depends – on where you live, as well as the weather.

In warmer zones, a plant can be evergreen year after year, such as privet hedge down South but, further north in our area, it usually drops most or all of its leaves.

Other plants are semi-evergreen right here, depending on the year.

My Bayberry bushes and Abelia that keep most of their leaves in warmer winters have been bare for months. Soon, they’ll put out a fresh flush of growth and the plants will be fine but for now, they’re basically branches.

So, when you see ‘semi-evergreen’ on a plant tag, remember that just how green it will stay depends upon where it’s planted and the weather. And if you’re planting for privacy, beware – a harsh, snowy winter can completely blow your cover.

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