9 Best shrubs for the garden

A shrub’s value and relevance in a garden or landscape are universally recognized. Without shrubs, a garden or landscape loses a lot of its allure, appeal, and beauty. Even in a tiny garden when tree planting is impossible, certain well-chosen shrubs must find a home. Shrubs are significant because they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and forms, and their flowers come in a variety of colors.

1. Azalea (Scientific name:Rhododendron arborescens, Family: Ericaceae)

Azalea shrubs are a rhododendron variation with glossy green leaves and spring blooms in pinks, peaches, coral, purple, or white. Some plants bloom again after a period of dormancy. Pay attention to the plant label to see if it’s evergreen or deciduous (meaning it loses its leaves in the winter). They look great when planted in a mass or as a low hedge. This lovely flowering shrub does well in the shade.

Zone: 5-9

Flower color: Pink, white, purple, crimson, yellow

Varieties: Red Ruffles, Golden Flare

Propagation: Layering and seeds

Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

9 great shrubs for garden

2. Camelia (Scientific name: Camelia japonica, Family: Theaceae)

When other shrubs are dormant, camellia is the star of the winter garden, with spectacular rose-like blossoms in colors of white, pink, or red. This broad-leafed evergreen’s glossy, green foliage is also appealing all year. The bloom season is long, and you can have flowers from November to April or May by spacing out your plantings of early, mid, and late-season kinds.

Zone: 7-9

Flower color: Red, pink, white

Varieties: April Blush, April Dawn

Propagation: Stem cuttings

Soil: Slightly acidic well-drained soil

camelia, garden shrub

3. Forsythia (Scientific name: Forsythia suspensa , Family: Oleaceae)

Forsythia’s vivid canary-yellow flowers are like the first ray of sunshine after the long winter days, covering each arching branch in a profusion of blooms that last one to two weeks. Despite its short bloom duration, the joyful eruption of yellow blooms makes this shrub well worth growing.

Zones: 5-8

Flower color: Bright yellow

Varieties: Kolgold, Show Off Sugar Baby

Propagation: Cuttings

Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

4. Hydrangea (Scientific name: Hydrangea macrophylla, Family: Hydrangeaceae)

Hydrangeas are one of the few blooming plants that bloom beautifully in partial shade. ‘Limelight’ is a hydrangea that has become a late-summer garden celebrity. Late in July, this erect shrub produces huge cone-shaped panicles that change colour from lime-green to white and finally to a rosy pink as they develop.

Zone: 3-10

Flower color: Green, white, Purple

Varieties: Little Lime, Fire, and Ice, Annabelle, Incrediball, Ruby Slippers, Gatsby Star, Wedding Gown, Cherry Explosion, Tuff Stuff, Tiny Tuff Stuff.

Propagation: Seeds and Cuttings

Soil: well-drained soil rich in organic matter


5. Lilac (Scientific name: Syringa vulgaris, Family: Oleaceae )

On a sunny May day, you’re likely to be welcomed by the enticing, unmistakable scent of spring-blooming lilacs if you open your windows. Early, mid and late season cultivars all have at least a 6-week bloom period. Reblooming cultivars bloom twice, first in the spring and once in the summer and fall.

Zone: 2-8

Flower color: Pink, purple, white

Varieties: Angel White, Scentara Double Blue

Propagation: Cuttings

Soil: well-drained loamy soil

Lilac shrub for garden
Photo by Justin DoCanto on Unsplash

6. Pearl bush (Scientific name: Exochorda serratifolia, Family: Rosaceae)

In the spring, this perennial favorite blooms profusely with white flowers. It can be used as a border or a hedge. Newer types are more compact, allowing them to fit into tighter spaces. This lovely white-flowering shrub has a beautiful name, we must say.

Zone: 4-8

Flower color: white

Varieties: Snow Day Surprise, Snow Day Blizzard

Propagation: Softwood cuttings

Soil: well-drained sandy loam soil

Photo by Christian Widell on Unsplash

7. Rhododendron (Scientific name: Rhododendron ferrugenium, Family: Ericaceae)

Many types are evergreen and maybe enjoyed year-round, and are prized for their magnificent spring blossoms. From low-growing groundcovers to large shrubs, their size and shape vary.

Zones: 4-9

Flower color: Pink, white, purple, crimson, yellow

Varieties: Amy Cotta, Raise the Roof Huskymania

Propagation: Seeds and Layering

Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

red Rhododendron
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

8. Viburnums (Scientific name: Viburnum trilobum, Family: Adoxaceae)

The vivid red berries of Viburnum trilobum ripen before the foliage becomes a beautiful dark red in the fall. It’s a flexible shrub that grows between 8 and 15 feet tall and can be used as a hedge or an accent.

Zone: 4-8

Flower color: White, pink

Varieties: Spice Girl, Spice Baby

Propagation: Seeds and cuttings

Soil: Organically rich well-drained moist soil with pH – 5.6-6.6

Viburnums in bloom,
Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

9. Weigela (Scientific name: Weigela florida, Family: Caprifoleaceae )

Gardeners adore this popular shrub for its unflappable attitude and consistent performance, as well as its abundance of white or pink flowers on arching branches. Bees and hummingbirds love the trumpet-shaped flowers, which bloom in a sporadic pattern from mid-summer to late summer.

Zone: 4-8

Flower color: Red, pink, white, yellow

Varieties: My monet, midnight wine

Propagation: Cuttings

Soil: well-drained moist slightly alkaline soil

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