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Flowering shrubs are instrumental elements for any garden. Not only do they offer gorgeous-looking and sweet-smelling blossoms, but they also provide a structure and various textures to your garden. Besides this, they provide shade, enhance privacy, improve soil stability and air quality, and create habitats for wildlife.
Whether you need an ornamental shrub (Roses) for enhanced privacy (Weigela) or to attract pollinators (Abelia), there is a shrub for everyone. Shrubs would not only offer sweet-smelling blossoms (Sweetshrub) or tasty berries (Beautyberry) but will also add upbeat accents to your garden.
And you get all of this without having to replant them annually. We have curated many of the best flowering shrubs to help you build a colorful and healthy garden.
Viburnums are large-flowering shrubs with some varieties that can even reach up to 20 feet. These are generally used as flowering hedges or screening. And being evergreen and deciduous, viburnum shrubs are one of the favorites of gardeners as they can be used as an ornamental fixture in the home landscape.
Viburnums typically produce white or pink blooms in early spring. You can consider growing Korean spice viburnum to offer fragrant blossoms while other varieties even develop red or blackberries. They need full sun to part shade and moderately moist and well-drained soil to thrive.
If you have a spot in your garden that does not receive much sunlight during the day, deutzia can help you fill that area. This spring-blooming shrub thrives in part shade, works excellent as ground cover and foundation planting, and can even form stunning arching branches.
Deutzia produces lots of white and pink blooms in spring, which as quite fragrant and bell-shaped. And during the fall season, its foliage turns burgundy in color. These are also extremely easy to grow as they are tolerant to soil conditions and are usually immune to diseases and pests.
If you plan to build a low-maintenance garden that also pleases the eye, you should consider growing spirea. A few varieties would not even need pruning and would maintain their mounded shape effortlessly. Moreover, they are known to attract butterflies and some insect pollinators.
They would rarely require your attention and still offer long-lasting blooms in different colors like red, white, or pink that perfectly complement their deep green, lime green, or gold foliage.
Variegated Japanese Pieris
The creamy-white-edged, evergreen foliage decorated with ivory-colored and urn-shaped blossoms is bound to take your heart away. The Japanese Pieris’ blooms are also a favorite of mason bees, considered an essential pollinizer in various regions.
While it blooms during the spring season, the shrub will offer four-season interests in your garden. Other than this, it is also deer resistant. And although the plant may seem quite sweet and harmless, one should remember that it should not be ingested as it is poisonous to people and pets. It performs best when planted in moist, acidic soil and a sheltered spot.
Sweetshrub produces gorgeous-looking red-maroon flowers that usually have a spicy scent. While some people observe a spicy fragrance, some relate it to a fruity (strawberry or watermelon) scent, and some even believe that the flowers have no scent. And maybe this is the reason it also has so many names – Carolina allspice, spicebush, or strawberry bush.
So, the best way to know about the scent of the shrub is probably by planting it yourself. Sweetshrub is also quite hardy and tolerant to various conditions. It requires watering only during drought but thrives in partial shade and full sun.
Forsythia is yet another low-maintenance shrub that will adorn your garden with vibrant canary-yellow blossoms in early spring. Other than requiring little care, these are fast-growing and have an upright, arching form. Some new varieties have enhanced flower power.
These offer lots of blossoms in a much more compact hedge form. Although the flowers only bloom for a couple of weeks, the sight of these vibrant yellow flowers is worth it all. And you still enjoy the lush green that remains fresh and verdant until late fall. It does not even have any specific requirements regarding growing conditions.
Plant them in loose, well-draining soil and a spot that usually gets at least six hours of direct sun.
This moisture-loving shrub is an excellent pick for decorating your garden pond or any damp area. Buttonbush is a plant that can tolerate water as deep as 3 feet and produces flowers that look like spiky ping-pong balls.
Other than moisture, it also prefers full sunlight as well. Buttonbush is also known to attract butterflies, songbirds, and even hummingbirds. However, they may also attract deer as they like to snack on the shrub’s twigs and leaves, so growing them in your garden is better.
Grown for their intensely fragranced and stunning blooms, lilacs are one of the most sought-after shrubs. The flowers of lilac range from pink to purple, and some varieties also produce white and yellow blossoms during early spring. Other than adding to the aesthetic appeal of your garden, they are also a great source of shade and privacy.
This is the reason why it is planted as a hedgerow. You can get all of this only by providing the plant with soil that drains well and growing it in a spot with plenty of afternoon sun.
Ninebark is one of the shrubs that can offer it all – extraordinary toughness, low maintenance, and year-long interest. All this, along with stunning burgundy foliage topped with creamy white blossoms that bloom during early summer. Its foliage lasts all season and varies in colors.
Other than green, it can be gold, deep purple, or even coppery red. The plant can tolerate heat and even drought and is quite easy to grow. Other than a sunny spot, ninebark prefers moist and well-drained soil.
Abelia is often underestimated. It is not just an ornamental shrub. It can have a myriad of uses that can benefit your garden. While its tubular flowers are fragrant, they also provide a great food source to hummingbirds, butterflies, and insect pollinators.
And since these bloom for months, you can be sure that your garden is frequented by pollinators constantly.
Besides the flowers, abelia’s foliage is also quite attractive and comes in different colors, ranging from burgundy to gold. The shrub is also not very picky when it comes to growing conditions.
Just offer it to full sun, partial shade, and well-draining soil to thrive.
Boasting a beautiful, smooth grey bark flaking away to unveil the glossy brown-colored bark underneath, crape myrtle produces white, red, pink, and even purple flowers in early summer.
These contrasting colors make this deciduous tree or shrub a head-turner.
Since they thrive in hot climates, crape myrtles are one of the favorites of southern gardeners. And while picking a sunny spot is important, you should plant them where the soil is well-drained and not soggy.
Weigela can make for the perfect garden shrub if provided with the right growing conditions. And this can be quite easy since the shrub can work well in different situations.
It usually prefers full sun along with medium moist and well-drained soil. It can also be grown in a mixed border shrub.
Weigela is extremely popular for its red or pink trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom during the spring season and attract hummingbirds. And not just during spring. The flowers tend to bloom again in mid to late summer.
Other than crimson hues, some varieties produce white flowers along with copper or burgundy foliage.
Living up to its name, beauty bush remains covered with pink, bell-shaped blossoms during spring. And to add to its ornamental appeal, it has arching stems and dark green foliage. Capsule-like fruits follow the flowers, while the leaves turn yellow-green during fall.
Beauty bush can be very well used as a hedge as it is also deer resistant. It does not require much attention and can hold up well during drought conditions. All it needs is well-drained and moist soil along with direct sunlight.
Oleander is quite versatile and hardy as a shrub. It is drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and can handle challenges like salt spray, high pH, severe pruning, and even difficult soils. However, there is just one thing that it cannot withstand – harsh winters.
So, if you reside in a region where the temperature usually goes below 6° Celsius, you should consider planting them in a pot and moving them indoors when the temperature drops.
But if you live in a hot region, you can easily enjoy its vibrant flowers ranging from pink, red, orange, yellow, and white.
Just offer it a sunny spot with medium-moist soil. And although oleander may seem to be a gorgeous plant, it must be noted that every part is poisonous. So, be sure it does not come in contact with pets or children.
Roses are known to be quite picky and difficult to care for. However, this is not the case with shrub roses. Shrub roses are a great choice if you wish to glimpse the classic rose blossoms in your garden.
You can choose from a wide range of colors, from white to deep purple, or go with a classic red. Shrub roses do not require much maintenance and are also quite resilient. You can consider growing the newer cultivars.
These have been bred to offer extraordinary disease resistance and a greater number of blooms. Shrub roses thrive in full sun, evenly moist and well-draining. However, they can even do well in light shade.
Conclusion on 15 best flowering shrubs for a colorful garden
These flowering shrubs are bound to bring a pop of color to your garden and enhance its look even more. Whether you use them on borders, groundcovers, along a pathway, or grow them in containers on your patio or deck, we are sure that these shrubs will bring texture, color, and structure to your garden.
Suppose you have a small garden and you want to plant shrubs. I wrote an article on what shrubs are the best for small spaces. You can read it here.
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