Flower garden and landscape

The best conifers with yellow needles


Thanks to the efforts of breeders, the assortment of coniferous perennials has recently been replenished with a number of unusual varieties with yellow needles. It seems that the most original ideas that gardening enthusiasts and landscape designers have so far not been able to bring to life are just waiting in the wings. And from all this variety of yellow conifers, you can always choose the types and varieties that are best suited for the site. We will talk about the most interesting of them in the article.

Blue spruce (Picea pungens) Maigold variety.

Conifers with yellow needles in garden design

Pines, spruce, thuja, juniper ... The choice of yellow conifers is large enough. They add bright colors to the garden, and, most importantly, help revitalize the boring winter landscape. Quite often, these plants play the main role in a monophonic array, in other cases they are successfully combined with the color of facades and paths.

Golden and yellow shades for many are the embodiment of solar heat, energy, optimism and openness. They will undoubtedly appeal to people with an active lifestyle, creative personalities. But at the same time, an excess of yellow can cause unexplained anxiety and tire your eyes.

That is why landscape designers are advised not to scatter yellow plants throughout the site, but to organize them in small groups. For example, near the front door you can create a composition of yellow junipers or plant a pine tree with golden needles, and place several creeping green junipers near its foot.

The color brightness of conifers can vary depending on the planting location. In the sun, the needles will be brighter, in the shade - paler. In trees and shrubs with yellow needles, this difference is especially noticeable. The composition of the soil also affects the color: on loams and clay soils, the needles look brighter than on sandy ones. Also, its color is enhanced by an alkaline pH reaction.

Yellow junipers

Light-loving and drought-resistant junipers are certainly favorites of any garden. They strengthen hills and slopes well, tolerate haircuts, can be used for green hedges or take a place in the center of the composition.

Juniper medium

Most common in our gardens junipers are medium (Juniperus media), which are quite resistant to adverse conditions. The most famous yellow varieties include:

  • Pfitzeriana aurea - a slowly growing shrub up to 1 m high, which forms a spreading crown up to 2 m wide. Its young shoots at the beginning of growth have a yellowish-lemon hue, then they darken a little and become yellow-green, but can turn completely green in the shade. Therefore, the plant is best planted in sunny places.
  • Old gold - It is considered one of the brightest varieties. In spring, it is yellow-green, with golden tips; by winter, the needles turn brown-yellow. The bush has a compact size, for a year gives only 5 cm of growth. It grows poorly in the shade.

Medium junipers are best suited to create color arrays and groups. Mordigan gold, Gold coast, Gold star.

Juniper medium (Juniperus media) Old Gold.


Juniper (J.communis) is quite resistant to air pollution, can withstand frosts, can grow on poor soils. Differs in a wide variety: the crown can be low, sprawling or columnar, reaching a height of up to several meters.

This species is represented by a number of yellow coniferous varieties. Here are just a few of them:

  • Gold con - a columnar variety, reaching a height of up to 2-4 m. The bush can grow up to 1 m wide. During the period of active growth, the plant changes color several times: in spring it has bright yellow needles, in autumn it is yellow-green, and closer to winter it becomes bronze. The plant can burn in the sun, so it needs easy shading.
  • Schneverdinger goldmachangel- a fast-growing multi-stemmed shrub that can reach a height of 2.5 to 5 m. The tips of the shoots hang down, which makes the plant look a bit “shaggy”. The needles on the new shoots are painted in a bright lemon yellow color, and at the end of autumn it turns brown.
  • Golden showers - A new variety that is still rarely seen in our gardens. Spreading pyramidal bush, which in adult form reaches only 1 m in height. The needles are needle-shaped, in the summer they are golden-green, by winter they are painted in a bronze hue. It requires a well-lit place and needs good shelter in the winter.

Read more about the diversity of junipers in the article Junipers in the garden - types and uses.

Juniper horizontal

Junipers are horizontal (J. horizontalis) often used as groundcover for alpine slides, as well as for decorating retaining walls. Among them, such yellow varieties deserve special attention:

  • Golden carpet dwarfish creeping variety. In the illuminated areas, its needles retain a bright yellow-green color throughout the year.
  • Mother lode - the brightest colored variety with golden yellow needles, which in winter acquires a plum-brown hue.
  • Lime glow - a compact plant, reaching a height of up to 30 cm. In this case, it can occupy a large area - up to 2 m in diameter. In summer, the needles are very bright, lemon-yellow, and in winter it becomes bronze.

Juniper Chinese

To revitalize the landscape, you can also use junipers are Chinese (J. chinensis) of such varieties:

  • Aurea - a beautiful bush of a pyramidal shape with raised branches. Needles are scaly, yellow-green. The plant reaches a height of 5 m or more.
  • Plumosa aurea - bush with a spreading crown and a depression in the center. It grows rather slowly, annual growth is 5-8 cm. The needles are scaly, soft, painted bright, golden yellow in spring, darken in winter and become bronze yellow.
Juniper (J.communis) Gold Cone. Juniper horizontal (J. horizontalis) Golden Carpet. Chinese Juniper (J. chinensis) Plumosa Aurea.

Tui with yellow needles

In landscape gardening, it is most often used thuja western (Thuja occidentalis) It is used to design alleys, borders and hedges, and it often acts as a solo plant.

This conifer is completely unpretentious, withstands heat, frost, and air pollution. At least three dozen varieties of arborvitae with yellow needles are known. The most common ones are:

  • Golden globe - spherical dwarf shrub reaching up to 0.8 m in diameter. The tips of the shoots have a light yellowish tint, and inside the bush they are darker. This variety has loose needles, therefore, to achieve a higher density, it is recommended to conduct an annual haircut.
  • Golden smaragd - a plant with a conical or pyramidal crown, which reaches a height of up to 3 m. The needles are beautiful and pleasant to the touch, its tips are painted in a golden hue. This variety manifests itself better in the open, because in the shade its decorativeness is lost.
  • Rheingold - A slowly growing bush with a spherical shape of the crown, which gradually stretches into a cone with age. The needles of this variety are thin, soft, with a golden hue.
  • Yellow ribbon - A small tree with a loose conical crown, which grows by 10-20 cm in a year. His needles are bright, orange-yellow. The variety looks great in hedges, lends itself well to cutting.
  • Golden tuffet - Another slowly growing variety of thuja, which has a spherical crown. Thin bright yellow needles adorn slightly drooping shoots throughout the summer. And by the beginning of winter, the bushes acquire a reddish-brown hue.

Which one to choose for your garden? Read our article The most winter-hardy arborvitae - landing, care, haircut.

There is one feature that distinguishes thujas from other conifers: in the cold season, they all change color. Bright yellow varieties that are so pleasing to the eye in summer turn brown or pale brown in winter. When landing, this nuance must be taken into account.

Thuja occidentalis (Thuja occidentalis) Golden Globe.

Golden pines

These conifers prefer calcareous, sandy or rocky soil, although some species prefer fertilized soils. Pine trees withstand frost and drought, but harder to take root in a polluted urban environment.

Unlike thuja, pine trees lose their yellowness during the period of active growth, and a bright yellow color appears on pine needles already at the end of summer. A very spectacular sight are yellow-colored varieties of pine on the background of a snowy garden.

Read more about pines in garden design in the article Spectacular pines on the site - planting, formation, species and varieties.

In landscape gardening, pine trees of different types are used. However, in small areas they are more likely to plant mountain pine (Pinus mugo), which is able to grow in relative shading and also has many decorative forms. It is in this group that there are varieties with yellow needles, such as:

  • Carstens wintergold - a dwarf plant having a dense crown in the form of a ball. This is a chameleon variety that changes the color of needles from yellowish green in summer to bronze yellow in winter.
  • Little gold star - a beautiful slowly growing variety that reaches a height of up to 0.5 m. The shape of the crown is open, with a diameter of up to 0.8 m.
  • Ophir - the trees of this variety form a spherical crown with a diameter of up to 1 m. Most often, the variety is grown on a stem. The needles during the summer change their color from bright green to lemon, and in winter it turns golden yellow.
  • Zundert - a bush with a pyramidal crown reaching a height of up to 90 cm, a width of up to 1.2 m. Long green needles with yellowish tips acquire a rich golden hue in winter.
  • Amber Gold - dwarf variety with a spherical shape of the crown, which becomes pyramidal with age. In winter, the needles of this variety are painted in the warmest, amber shade.
Mountain pine (Pinus mugo) Carstens Wintergold.

Yellow spruce

Beautiful, slender trees with a pyramidal crown can be found in any corner of our country. Besides ordinary spruce, a few more species have spread in Russia. They may put up with a lack of light, but still prefer good lighting. They grow well on light loams and sandy soils.

Currently, not so many varieties of spruce with yellow needles have been bred, and yellow can only be called conditionally. As a rule, young needles acquire a light shade only at the beginning of growth, and then become ordinary green. It will be all the more interesting to watch one of such beauties in your garden.

Common spruce (Picea abies) varieties Aurea magnifica - one of the most beautiful and rare varieties of fir trees. It grows slowly, and only after 10 years it reaches 180 cm in height and 90 cm in diameter. The color of the needles is yellow-green in the summer months, and in winter it changes to bright yellow-orange. For this variety, it is recommended to select a sunny place and moderately moist soil.

Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) varieties Aurea has shoots with a short, harsh needles of silver-green color. In early spring, its young growth is yellow, a little later it turns green. Small fir trees during the period of active growth become almost completely golden.

Blue spruce (Picea pungens) varieties Maigold It looks very advantageous against the background of its plain relatives. Her young shoots are covered with cream-yellow needles, which only after a few weeks gradually turn into the usual bluish-green color. This variety can be planted as a single plant.

Yellow needles have very interesting forms. Canadian firs (Picea glauca) These small growth trees can be planted in rock gardens or grown in containers. The following grades deserve special attention:

  • Dendrofarma gold - A compact bush of spherical shape, which at the age of 10 reaches a diameter of 50 cm. It looks great on the stem. The needles are small, in the spring it has a golden hue, gradually turning into green.
  • Daisy's white - dwarf conical shape, very dense, by 10 years reaches only 60 cm in height. In spring, the shoots are light cream, then they gradually turn green.
  • Sun on the sky - a conical variety, in adulthood, has a height of about 1 m. Soft, short needles in the spring are painted a pale yellow color, and over time it becomes bluish-green.
Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) varieties Aurea. Korean Fir (Abies koreana) Aurea. Canadian Spruce (Picea glauca) Daisy's White.

Some other species with yellow needles

There are conifers that are not so common in our gardens, but they also deserve attention. These are fir, larch, yew, cypress trees. Among them, you can also find interesting specimens with yellow needles.

Fir is very similar to spruce, between them there are only small differences in the shape of the crown. But, unlike spruce, fir does not tolerate frost, heat and drought. Dwarf forms are good in solitary landings, in rocky gardens and on alpine hills. To protect plants from severe frosts, they need to be well covered, especially at a young age.

Best adapted to the climate of the middle band Korean fir (Abies koreana) It is worth noting several yellow-coniferous varieties of this species:

  • Aurea - A slowly growing shrub with very beautiful purple cones. It looks especially attractive in spring, when young needles of golden yellow color grow on green branches.
  • Golden glow - a dwarf plant with a pillow-shaped crown. In spring, young shoots with needles of light yellow color appear on it. In winter, they acquire a bright yellow color.
  • Luminetta - a small tree with a pyramidal crown, at the age of 10 reaches a height of 1.5-2 m. The needles are dense, long, with rounded tips, shiny, rich green. Young needles are very bright, grassy yellow.

Of the other types of fir, the following grades are most interesting:

  • Nordman Fir (A. nordmanniana) grade Golden Spreader - a semi-dwarf shrub, each year giving an increase of up to 4-5 cm. The bush forms a pillow-shaped crown, with age it turns into a wide pyramid. The needles are yellow, up to 2.5 cm long.
  • Solid fir (A. concolor) grade Wintergold - grows quite slowly, reaches 10 m in height by 10 years. Young needles are yellowish-green, completely green with age. It looks especially bright after frosts.

Those who want to decorate their site with golden shrubs, candles, may be worth a look at cypress (Chamaecyparis) These plants have the same shape as cypress trees, but their branches are not so large and the cones are much smaller. Japanese and North American cypresses are more frost-resistant than their southern counterparts, but they do not tolerate drought well. In the hot summer months, cypresses need frequent watering.

Of the varieties with golden yellow needles the most famous cypress Ivonna - a candle-shaped tree, 2-2.5 m high. Likes moist, well-drained soils, grows best in sunny places protected from the wind.