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Friday, May 14, 2021

The 10 Most Beautiful Flowering Shrubs to Plant in Your Garden

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the butterfly in the photo is papilio xuthus, or commonly called asian swallowtail, which can be found in east asia and other parts of asiathe flower is abelia × grandiflora, which is a cross between a chinensis and a uniflora it is a rounded, spreading, multi stemmed shrub in the honeysuckle family the plant features clusters of white to pink, bell shaped flowers which appear in the upper leaf axils and stem ends over a long period from late spring to autumn flowers are fragrant

If your garden doesn’t have flowering shrubs, you’re missing out! Annuals and perennials are important, but shrubs have a big job to do! They attract pollinators, provide screening and privacy, and brighten up the garden with colorful blooms throughout the season. Most shrubs thrive for years without too much work on your part. And with today’s smaller yards and gardens, many shrubs have been developed that are dwarf varieties of old favorites so they won’t overwhelm your space and require loads of maintenance. To give your shrub a good start, choose the right plant for the right place. First, make sure it’s suited for your USDA hardiness zone (check yours here). Then pay attention to where you plant it. Read the plant tag or description to learn what it requires. Full sun is considered 6 or more hours of direct sun per day, while or part shade is about half that. Don’t forget to water after planting—and regularly for the first two seasons— to help it get established. And remember that autumn, when rainfall usually is ample and the temperatures are cooler, is a great time to plant shrubs.

Here are a few of our favorite showstoppers for every type of garden.

1Abelia
close up image of the flowers of an abelia shrub

Best for: Gorgeous bell-shaped flowers

Abelia has beautiful pink, purple, or peachy flowers in late spring. New types are more cold hardy. Plant it in a border alongside perennials.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 9

Varieties to try: Sweet Emotion, Pinky Bells

2Lilac
blossoming lilac

Best for: Fragrance

Ranging from pale pink to deep purple, the spikey blooms of this old-fashioned spring-bloomer are sweetly fragrant. Lilacs make a great hedge or accent and also attract butterflies. New types are more compact and rebloom throughout the season.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7

Varieties to try: Miss Kim, Bloomerang Dark Purple Reblooming

3Rhododendron
bright red magenta rhododendron flowers against a green background along the columbia river highway

Best for: Partial Sunlight

Showy spring flowers in purples, pinks, yellow, and white pop against glossy green foliage on this shrub. New varieties of rhododendron are more cold-tolerant, but make sure it gets dappled shade.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Varieties to try: Raise the Roof Huskymania, Amy Cotta

 

4Rose of Sharon
rose of sharon  korean national flower  one day flower

Best for: Full Sun

In late summer when many other flowering shrubs have lost steam, this plant is in its glory with pink, white, lavender, or even blue flowers that bloom well into fall. New types grow in a column (pillar) shape that’s sized right for small gardens.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Varieties to try: White Pillar, Blue Chiffon

5Deutzia
deutzia shrub

Best for: Part Shade

This spring-blooming shrub has mounded form with gracefully-arching branches. Some types are low-growing and work well as a beautiful groundcover.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8

Varieties to try: Yuki Cherry Blossom, Nikko Blush

6Ninebark
ninebark physocarpus opulifolius tiny wine planted in summer garden dwarf shrub with deep red foliage for landscape gardening

Best for: Cold Climates

This native plant has elegant arching branches dotted with clusters of creamy white flowers in late spring. It’s fast-growing and can become quite large, so give it plenty of room, or look for dwarf varieties if you’re tight on space. Some types have eye-catching wine-colored foliage.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7

Varieties to try: Summer Wine, Tiny Wine

7Crape Myrtle
crape myrtle is a deciduous tree or shrub, with especially handsome bark the smooth gray outer bark flaking away to reveal glossy cinnamon brown bark beneath small white, red, pink or purple flowers are borne in clusters in early summer, often blooming again in late summer

Best for: Hot Climates

These lovely shrubs ignore the heat and bloom all summer long with frilly, vibrant flowers in shades of white, purple, crimson, or pink. Some types become small trees; others are dwarf varieties that remain three to four feet tall and wide.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9

Varieties to try: Berry Dazzle Dwarf, Midnight Magic

8Caryopteris
closeup of Caryopteris, heavenly blue clandonensis, perennial flowery plants

Best for: Late Blooms

As the rest of your garden is winding down, this little beauty is taking off. This sun-lover, also called bluebeard, has charming blue blooms from late summer to fall. Plus, bees and butterflies love it! Plant in masses for maximum impact in borders.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9

Varieties to try: Beyond Midnight, Blue Balloon

9Spirea
corymbs of white flowers in the leafage of spiraea vanhouttei in spring

Best for: Low Maintenance

This reliable bloomer rarely needs your attention. New types maintain their mounded shape without pruning. Long-lasting clusters of red, white, or pink flowers offer beautiful contrast against lime green, deep green or gold foliage. It’s equally at home in mass plantings, as a low hedge, or alongside perennials.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8

Varieties to try: Double Play Candy Corn, Neon Flash

10Hydrangea
hydrangea paniculata 'little lime'

Best for: Three-Season Interest

This stunning shrub is one of the few plants that can be grown in almost every climate. You’ll get three seasons of display: Bright flowers in summer, faded tones in fall, and papery dried blooms that linger on the plant over the winter. These shrubs are categorized into types (panicle, smooth, oakleaf, bigleaf, and mountain) which have different needs, so read the plant description before buying.

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 10

Varieties to try: Little Lime, Incrediball, Ruby Slippers, Cherry Explosion, Tiny Tuff Stuff

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