50 Different Types Of Shrubs And Bushes With Pictures & Care Guide

Birds chirp among the foliage, butterflies and bees buzz around their branches and hedgehogs crawl in their shade: shrubs and bushes are the “missing link” in many gardens.

Underrated and under-appreciated, shrubs can turn a lawn with flower beds and trees into a full, organic gardening habitat.

And if you want your garden to be complete, both aesthetically and as an ecosystem, you can’t do without them!

There are many types of shrubs, some come from hot regions, some from cold ones, for example. But for practical gardening reasons here they are divided into: flowering shrubs, evergreen shrubs, Foliage (and branch) shrubs, berry bearing shrubs, winter interest shrubs according to their main gardening interest.

To understand the importance of shrubs in your garden (but also on your terrace or patio), and to choose a shrub species from these categories that suits your needs, here are some 51 the best shrubs you can choose from, with visuals, a clear description and tips on how to grow them well and make the best of them.

The Importance of Shrubs

The Importance of Shrubs

I have come to appreciate the real, huge value of these plants in two ways: one is learning about landscape gardening and the other with permaculture and organic gardening. Why? Shrubs play a vital role in two ways when it comes to gardening, one aesthetic and the other ecological.

Parks and gardens often lack that sense of unity, of being a “whole”. You see a well manicured lawn, with flower beds on one side and then trees at the back. But something is missing…

What is it? It is that middle layer that softens the lines of your garden and brings the ground level in contact with the canopy of trees. It is that natural looking corridor of green that divides the garden into “rooms” and yet gives you a sense of continuity. It is that green growth that softens the look of walls and fences. A garden that lacks shrubs will never look natural.

But shrubs do much more for gardens and they even have an impact beyond the fence of your plot of land… They provide the habitat for that “middle layer” of the ecosystem that, when it misses, makes the whole habitat collapse.

They sustain the life of small mammals, birds, as well as insects. They provide shelter and corridors for little animals, from frogs to rabbits. They even withhold lots of water in the ground and they fertilize the soil with their rich production of leaves and organic matter. Shrubs are in fact essential even to regenerative agriculture…

51 Different Types Landscaping Shrubs To Grow (With Pictures and Names)

I think I have convinced you of the beauty and necessity of shrubs for a beautiful and healthy garden. So, without further ado, let’s meet 51 beautiful shrubs, and I am confident that the one you will fall in love with is among them…

Flowering Shrubs For Your Yard

Here are our favorite flowering shrubs to add to your garden this year.

FLOWERING SHRUBS

1. Old Red Damask Rose (Rosa gallica var. officinalis)

Old Red Damask Rose (2)

How better to start our journey among shrubs than with a beautiful rose? And what’s better than a real classic, old red Damask rose, a.k.a. Provence rose, a.k.a. apothecary’s rose, a.k.a. official rose?

Winner if the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society, this short, but string and robust shrub will bloom with fragrant semi-double deep rose flowers of a very warm and welcoming hue.

The flowers will be cupped as they start to blossom, but as they open, they will become almost flat, like “helipads” for bees and pollinators who, like the visitors to your garden, won’t resist the fragrant scent of this stunning flower.

Unlike most other roses, this is quite a tough shrub, which will grow well even where other roses will suffer, so, it is a safe choice if you want the “mother of all flowers” in your garden even if you have poor soil and you cannot offer a sunny spot to her.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: old red Damask rose is quite cold hardy, and it will do well in USDA zones 3 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 3 to 5 feet in height (90 to 150 cm) and 3 to 4 feet in spread (90 to 120 cm).
  • Soil requirements: this rose wants well drained soil, which you should keep moist, but it is not fussy about the soil composition: it will grow well in most soils, chalk, loam, sand or clay and with a varying pH from acidic to alkaline. It can also survive in poor soil

2. Mountain Witch Alder (Fothergilla major)

Mountain Witch Alder

Does your garden need a bit of lightness during the spring and depth of feeling in the fall? Then Mountain witch alder may solve your problem! This large woody shrub has rounded leathery and ribbed leaves of a peat green shade during most of the year, but…

In spring, at the tips of the branches it will grow flowers that look a bit like plumes, or bottle brushes, and they will be nicely scented and white, adding that touch of light and movement you are looking for.

But in the fall, the leaves will turn yellow, orange and purplish red, giving you that spectacle of colors you see in Canada during this season.

Imagine it in your hedge or as a windscreen, with its very “temperate wood” appearance, which will look at ease in any informal and traditional garden.

This shrub too has won the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society as well as of the Cary Award.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: mountain witch alder is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: between 6 and 10 feet in height (1.8 to 3 meters) and 5 to 9 feet in spread (1.5 to 2.7 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it requires moist and well drained acidic soil. It can be clay, loam or sand.

3. Smooth Hydrangea Annabelle (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’)

Smooth Hydrangea Annabelle

I am thinking about a white garden, but I am also thinking about a large border in dappled shade, or, with smooth hydrangea, even a large round shrub that plays with different shades of pale green and white.

An all-time favorite in parks and stately gardens, hydrangea will has many varieties, but this has something special; the leaves are pale green and the large inflorescences (a foot wide, or 30 cm!) start off as lime green, then they become pure bright in the middle of the bloom, but later on, they turn back pale green again.

No wonder this shrub too has won the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society!

Tips:

  • Hardiness: smooth hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 3 to 5 feet tall (90 to 150 cm) and 4 to 6 feet in spread (120 to 180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it needs well drained soil, moist and of a pH between acidic and neutral, it will stand rock soil, dry soil or wet soil and even heavy clay. It can grow in loam, clay or sand.

4. Sweet Pepper Bush (Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’)

Sweet Pepper Bush

Also known as summersweet, this beautiful thick shrub has green tender leaves topped by sweet scented spikes of vibrant pink flowers that will stay in bloom for a whopping 6 weeks in summer!

A perfect shrub for borders and cottage gardens, it also looks great in wild meadows and in coastal gardens, or near waters and ponds, this beautiful plant has won both the Cary Award and the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: sweet pepper bush (summersweet) is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun, partial shade or even full shade.
  • Size: 4 to 6 feet tall (120 to 180 cm) and 3 to 5 feet in spread (90 to 150 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it wants moist and well drained acidic soil, either loam, clay or sand.

5. Ave Maria Camellia (Camellia japonica ‘Ave Maria’)

Ave Maria Camellia (1)

Turn your border, hedge or patio into a romantic paradise with a classic shrub, and another winner of the Award if Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society, camellia ‘Ave Maria’. This variety has fairly small flowers for a camellia (2 to 4 inches), but wonderfully shaped, with soft and round lines and one the of the most delicate hue of pink you can imagine.

Find it a place in the dappled shade of a tree, and even as a standalone shrub, camellia ‘Ave Maria’, a very well shaped, rounded plant, with a neat appearance, large glossy leaves, will bloom for months on end with its rosy flowers, in winter!

Tips:

  • Hardiness: camellia ‘Ave Maria’ is hardy to USDA zones 7 to 9.
  • Light exposure: partial shade.
  • Size: between 6 and 12 feet tall (1.8 to 3.6 meters) and between 6 and 10 feet in spread (1.8 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: camellias are acidophilic plants, which means that they prefer acidic soil. They will manage in neutral soil, but give them a cup of tea every now and then, and make sure the soil is well aerated, loose and that you keep it moist. Loam and sandy loam are best.

6. Japanese Andromeda (Peris ‘Brouwser’s Beauty’)

Japanese Andromeda

This winner of the Cary Award is an evergreen shrub with very rich foliage which will keep your garden green even in winter, when it adds to its beauty many beautiful red to purple flower buds.

Then spring comes and this shrub will fill with beautiful pendulous bell shaped flowers, white in color and hanging in hanging spikes at the tips of the branches.

It is a very elegant plant you can have just outside your main door, shape into a small tree, or train it to cover walls and fences. Alternatively, it can bring your hedges and borers to life in winter and spring.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: Japanese andromeda is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 5 to 7 feet in height (1.5 to 2.1 meters) and 5 to 8 feet in spread (1.5 to 2.4 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it needs acidic soil, either loam or sand based and humid but well drained.

7. Sweetest Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)

Sweetest Honeysuckle (2)

If you want your garden to be a “smellscape” as well as “landscape”, sweetest honeysuckle will fill it with the most fragrant scent from late winter to early spring, thanks to myriad delicate white flowers that grow on the slender branches with regularly spaced and well shaped oval leaves, which will stay in mild winters.

With an elegant and lace like appearance, this shrub looks great in hedges and borders, especially if you want the delicate but natural look.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: sweetest honeysuckle is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 6 to 10 feet in height and spread (1.8 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it is not a fussy plant; as long as the soil is well drained and watered regularly, it will do well in loam, clay or sandy soil, with pH from alkaline to acidic.

8. Lilac ‘Sensation’ (Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’)

_Lilac Sensation (2)

Another classic shrub, lilac has enchanted generations of gardeners and garden goers with its rich panicles of sweet scented flowers, which have made it the symbol of love in flower language.

While any lilac will bring a corner of heaven to you garden, ‘Sensation’ is special because the flowers are reddish purple with white edges on the four pretty tepals, and it has won the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

It will be a very soothing presence in your hedges, borders or screens.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: Lilac ‘Sensation’ is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 7.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Size: 8 to 10 feet in height and spread (2.4 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: as long as the soil is well drained and moist and not acidic, it well do well in chalk, clay, loam or sandy soil.

9. Seven Son Flower (Heptacodium miconioides)

Seven Son Flower

Sometimes it’s hard to keep your borders and hedges in bloom till late in the season, but with seven son flower you will have beautiful clusters of fragrant white flowers that adorn a shrub with a cascade of green heart shaped leaves in late summer and in the fall.

This large shrub will make sure that your garden will keep attracting pollinators and butterflies for long, and even when the leaves fall, the dark branches will offer beauty and interesting shapes even during the winter.

It has won the Award of Garden Merit, the Cary Award and the Great Plants Awards by the Nebraska State Arboretum.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: seven son flower is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 15 to 20 feet tall (4.5 to 6 meters) and 8 to 10 feet in spread (2.4 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it is not fussy as long as the soil is well drained and you keep it moist; clay, loam, chalk or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to acidic.

10. Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘Nicoline’)

Japanese Quince (1)

Japanese quince has beautiful, round bright scarlet flowers that will bloom in early spring on the still almost barren thorny branches (the leaves are tiny and soft at that stage). Berries that you can eat or turn into preserves will follow then in early fall.

A winner of the Award of Garden Merit, this shrub is quite showy when in bloom and it is indicated for banks, slopes and river banks, apart as a vibrant member of hedges and borders.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: Japanese quince is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9,
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 3 to 4 feet tall (90 to 120 cm) and 5 to 6 feet in spread (150 to180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: this is a very unfussy shrub that will also stand drought and heavy clay; it needs well drained soil though. Loam, clay, chalk or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to acidic is fine.

11. Camellia ‘Jean Mary’ (Cammelia sasanqua ‘Jean Mary’)

Camellia Jean Mary

With a bushy, upright habit, light pink semi-double flowers, camellia ‘Jean Mary’ can transform even that shady spot in your garden you don’t know how to valorize into a corner of peace and romance.

Winner of the Award of Garden Merit of the RHS, it has large, showy flowers that can reach 5 inches wide (12 cm) and, of course, the glossy, deep green leaves you’d expect from a camellia.

Tips:

  • Hardiness: camellia ‘Jean Mary’ is hardy to USDA zones 7 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun, partial shade or full shade.
  • Size: 6 to 10 feet tall and in spread (1.8 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, clay or sand, better if kept moist and with pH ranging from acidic to alkaline.

12. Mock Orange (Philadelphius ‘Avalanche’)

Mock Orange

This ancient cultivar of mock orange bushes has an abundance of white flowers from spring to early summer, beautiful oval shaped leaves of a deep green shade.

Adaptable to coastal gardens, this elegant shrub would look great also in urban and courtyard gardens.

  • Hardiness: mock orange ‘Avalanche’ is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 4 to 5 feet tall (120 to 150 cm) and 5 to 10 feet in spread (150 to 300 cm).
  • Soil requirements: resistant to clay and drought, this is a plant that wants well drained soil but it is unfussy about the rest, loam, clay, chalk or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to acidic.

13. Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa)

Japanese rose

An extremely hardy rose, Rosa rugosa, or Japanese rose, will fill with many small but beautiful, punk and fragrant flowers from early summer and keep blooming till fall. The leaves too are attractive, as they are well shaped and have deep veins.

After the blooming season, you can collect the hips (fruits of the rose) and eat them as well, this turning your flower bed, hedge, border or even river bank into a “fruit garden”.

  • Hardiness: Japanese rose is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 7.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 4 to 6 feet tall and in spread (120 to 180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: resistant to clay, drought and even salt, this is one of the few roses you can grow on coastal areas, in loam, clay chalk or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to acidic.

14. Koreanspice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii)

Koreanspice viburnum

A shrub that will fill with pinkish white snowball clusters of flowers in spring and follow them with bright red berries, set against elegant green foliage is Koreanspice viburnum. Late in the season, though, the leaves too will turn wine red, giving you a bush of flaming leaves to add to your beds or borders.

  • Hardiness: Koreanspice viburnum is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 7.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 4 to 8 feet in height and spread (1.2 to 2.4 meters).
  • Soil requirements: moist and well drained loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil, with pH from alkaline to acidic.

15. Daphne (Daphne x burkoodii ‘Carol Mackie’)

Daphne

A beautiful shrub that should have a gardening comeback is Daphne ‘Carol Mackie’, long appreciated for its beautiful round inflorescences of white-pink flowers with a lovely scent in late spring and oblong oval leaves that are green in the middle and with white edges, and that will stay on your shrub well into the winter, keeping your hedge fresh and decorative.

  • Hardiness: Daphne ‘Carol Mackie’ is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 8.
  • Light exposure: partial shade.
  • Size: 2 to 3 feet tall (60 to 90 cm) and 3 to 4 in spread (90 to 120 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained soil with neutral pH, whether loam, clay, chalk or sandy it is indifferent.

16. Japanese Kerria (Kerria japonica ‘Plentiflora’)

Japanese Kerria (1)

While Japanese kerria has beautiful, dark and bright yellow flowers growing straight on its stems, pom-pom shaped in spring, beautiful green leaves that turn yellow in fall, it is also prized by gardeners for its beautiful leafless and arching stems that stay green all through the winter, giving you an architecturally interesting shrub to grow in birders or hedges.

This shrub too has won the Award of Garden Merit of the RHS.

  • Hardiness: Japanese kerria is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun, partial shade or even full shade.
  • Size: 8 to 10 feet in height and spread (2.4 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: resistant to dry soil, it wants it well drained, but will adapt to loam, clay, chalk or sandy soil and to a pH from alkaline to acidic.

17. Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas)

Cornelian Cherry (1)

Another shrub (that you can train into a tree) to give your winter garden that splash of color it so desperately needs is Cornelian cherry, which will fill with a plentitude of bright yellow flowers from late winter to early spring.

And then… enjoy the red fruits (like cherries, indeed) that will follow, and which you can also eat!

  • Hardiness: Cornelian cherry is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 15 to 25 feet tall (4.5 to 7.5 meters) and 12 to 20 feet in spread (3.6 to 6 meters).
  • Soil requirements: moist and well drained loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil, resistant to heavy clay with pH from alkaline to acidic.

18. Oleander ‘Petite Salmon’ (Nerium oleander ‘Petite Salmon’)

Oleander Petite Salmon

There are many varieties of oleander that will fill your garden with their long lasting, beautiful blooms with that distinct vanilla fragrance that these shrubs have.

But ‘Petite Salmon’ will also have the most beautiful shade of rose pink (not actually salmon) with tips and edges that turn purple.

Maybe one of the most classical Mediterranean bushes, oleander can bloom all year round (!!!) in the right climate and I am sure you can see how this shrub can contribute to your garden, in virtually any place, from containers to hedges, and in most styles of gardens from cottage to costal, city and courtyard.

  • Hardiness: oleander ‘Petite Salmon’ is hardy to USDA zones 9 to 12.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Size: between 3 and 6 feet in height and spread (90 to 180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: drought and salt tolerant, it will grow in most types of soil, loam, clay, chalk or sand, with pH ranging from acidic to alkaline.

19. Rhododendron ‘Olga Mezitt’ (Rhododendron ‘Olga Mezitt’)

Rhododendron ‘Olga Mezitt’

Another shrub that will not miss in large gardens, rhododendron has made the history of gardening like few other plants.

Once discovered, it became such a massive favorite with gardeners that expeditions were made to Asia to find new species, looking for them even on the Himalayas..,

Rhododendron ‘Olga Mezitt’ will grace your flower beds, borders, hedges and even slopes and banks with its clusters of stunning rich pink, almost light magenta flowers, every spring, and also add a delicate scent to your garden.

No wonder it has won the Cary Award and the Rhododendron of the Year Award!

  • Hardiness: rhododendron ‘Olga Mezitt’ is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 4 to 5 feet tall (120 to 150 cm) and 3 to 4 in spread (90 to 120 cm).
  • Soil requirements: the bad news is that it’s very picky with the soil; it has to be acidic and either loam or sandy loam, as well as well drained.

20. Adam’s Needle (Yucca filamentosa)

Adam’s Needle (1)

Not many shrubs can be called “sculptural” but Adam’s needle, a yucca, certainly can.

With the world famous pointed and blade shaped leaves, arranged in a rosette, which form a hemisphere above the ground and a long stem with many white and bell shaped flowers that will keep coming for months, Adam’s needle may well be the centerpiece of your garden.

Perfect for gravel gardens, courtyard gardens, pots, containers and patios, this plant too has won the Cary Award. Though exotic, it will grow well even in fairly cold areas too!

  • Hardiness: Adam’s needle is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Size: 3 to 8 feet tall (90 to 240 cm) and 2 to 3 feet in spread (60 to 90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: the soil needs to be very well drained, loam, chalk or sand, with a pH ranging from alkaline to acidic (with a preference for slightly acidic). It is resistant to drought, rocky soil and even salt.

21. Carolina Allspice (Calycanthus floridus ‘Michael Lindsey’)

Carolina Allspice

This winner of the Golden Medal Award of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has that original touch that can turn beds and borders into uniquely interesting compositions, and it grows well next to ponds and rivers too.

It has a compact and round habit, with thick light green foliage and well shaped branches that bear unusual brown flowers with an amazingly strong fruity scent, which then give way to fruits shaped like urns that will stay on into the winter.

It can be naturalized in wild areas too.

  • Hardiness: Carolina allspice is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 6 to 10 feet in height and spread (1.8 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: moist and well drained clay or loam, with pH neutral or acidic, it is resistant to heavy clay and wet soil.

22. Lead Plant (Amphora candescens)

Lead Plant

A stunning yet little known cold hardy shrub is lead plant, or “burning amphora”, which will bloom for about three weeks with long and pointed spikes of blue flowers on late spring to summer.

The leaves are really elegant and decorative, pinnate and giving that very refined and slightly geometric texture to your hedges and borders thanks to their regular arrangement, and they are of a gay-green color with thick but delicate hairs on them.

  • Hardiness: lead plant is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Size: 2 to 3 feet in height and spread (60 to 90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained alkaline or neutral loam or sandy soil.

23. Torch Aloe (Aloe arborescens)

23.	Torch Aloe (Aloe arborescens)

My favorite of all aloe varieties, torch aloe has all the architectural qualities of an exotic succulent and growing habit of a balanced shrub, forming a round green mass of foliage which turns orange, then red, then even browinsh purple in the Sun.

And the flowers? They will look like bright torches of red energy on sticking on top of the foliage!

  • Hardiness: torch aloe is hardy to USDA zones 9 to 11.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Size: 6 to 10 feet in height and spread (1.8 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it needs very well drained soil, either loam or sand based (loamy sand is excellent) and with a pH from alkaline to acidic. It is drought and salt resistant.

24. Forsythia ‘Happy Centennial’ (Forsythia ‘Happy Centennial’)

Forsythia ‘Happy Centennial’

A classic shrub all hardeners know because “you prune roses when forsythia is in bloom”, and you can’t miss its spring blossom as it is a sea of bright pink flowers that cover the whole plant…

It has a wild habit, looking quite untamed especially if you try to tame it… So, whether you want it for a hedge or border, to grow on a slope or as windscreen, I would suggest you find it a spacious spot and let it choose how to grow.

  • Hardiness: forsythia ‘Happy Centennial’ is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 5 to 6 feet tall and in spread (150 to 180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it is very unfussy as long as the soil is well drained; drought and clay tolerant, it will grow in loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to acidic.

25. English Rose (Rosa ‘A Shropshire Lad’)

English Rose

How better to close this list of flowering shrubs with a very classical-looking rose? ‘Shropshire Lad’ must be the most romantic flower on Earth, with its cupped flowers filled with many petals of the most delicate rose color, often shading towards white towards the outside.

This winner of the Award of Garden Merit of the RHS will bloom repeatedly from late spring up to the first frost in your garden, where you can easily have it as a standalone shrub, in hedges and borders, or you can even train it to climb on pergolas and fences to frame your romantic moments.

  • Hardiness: English rose ‘Shropshire Lad’ is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 5 to 8 feet tall (150 to 240 cm) and 4 to 5 feet in spread (120 to 150 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it needs moist and well drained chalk, loam, clay or sandy soil with pH from acidic to alkaline.

Types Of Evergreen Bushes

Evergreens shrubs will solve many gardening problems, like keeping foliage during the cold season. They are very useful in foundation planting, as they provide continuity through the year.

These are some of the most beautiful evergreen shrubs you can use to make sure your garden looks alive no matter the time of year!

•_Evergreen shrubs

26. Blue Star Flaky Juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’)

Blue Star Flaky Juniper

This small conifer with blue needles and a crawling and slightly trailing appearance will keep your garden alive even in winter, as it is evergreen (or ever blue) and frost resistant.

It will look great next to a path, or growing on the steps that lead to your front door, or coasting a flowerbed with its strikingly colored foliage. You can also use it as a carpeting shrub, as it will spread wide on the ground.

In a rock garden, with its branches draping stones and merging the different levels with its blue branches this little shrub is just amazing!

It is easy to grow and low maintenance and a winner of the Award of garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

  • Hardiness: blue star flaky juniper is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: it will grow only to a 16 inches maximum in height (40 cm) but with a spread of about 3 feet (90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: as long as the soil is well drained, it will do well. It is drought resistant and it can even grow in rocky soil. It can glow in loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil with pH that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline.

27. Emerald Gaiety Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’)

Emerald Gaiety Wintercreeper (1)

Yet another winner of the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society, this evergreen, as the name suggests, is an excellent shrub to train along walls, as it will climb against them and turn a boring, maybe grey wall into a wonder of rich foliage and color.

Yes, because its leaves are very glossy and rich green in the middle but with large white (cream) margins, or better irregular patches at the edges of the leaves.

Excellent also for hedges and borders if you want beautiful strikingly different but harmonic colors in your garden all year round, even in cold regions!

  • Hardiness: emerald gayety witercreeper is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun to partial shade.
  • Size: 4 to 5 feet in both height and spread (120 to 150 cm).
  • Soil requirements: yet another unfussy shrub, emerald green wintercreeper will grow in any well drained soil, possibly kept moist: loam, clay, chalk or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to acidic via neutral.

28. Spotted Laurel (Aucuba japonica ‘Pictirata’)

Spotted Laurel (1)

Laurel is a classic garden shrub, used in medicine, cooking and even as a cultural symbol, bit this variety is special: the leaves are deep bright yellow in the middle and dark green around the edges, with little dots or “shards” of yellow thrown in.

When pollinators come, they will turn the little purple flowers into bright red berries, which, framed by yellow and green, will stand out like sweet bright candies dotted in your hedge, border or even hanging on the leaves of this bush on your terrace or patio, as it adapts well to growing in pots and containers.

  • Hardiness: spotted laurel is hardy to USDA zones 7 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun to partial shade.
  • Size: 4 to 6 feet in both height and spread (120 to 180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will grow well in chalk, loam or sandy soil, and it is tolerant to clay soil, with a pH from acidic to alkaline.

29. Golden English Yew (Taxus baccata ‘Repens Aurea’)

Golden English Yew

Yew and especially English yew have been filling gardens with the rich and spiky texture of their foliage for centuries, but I am proposing this variety to you for one special reason: the color of its leaves, which surely has helped it win the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

In fact, the leaves of golden English yew are very glossy and green but with bright yellow edges, which turn to a cream shade as the season progresses.

Knowing how fine the texture of yew foliage is, you will understand how delicate the effect can be.

Then, if you get a female, it will also produce beautiful red cones for your beds, borders, hedges or, if you wish, for that patch of land you did not know what to do with, as this shrub is also good as ground cover!

  • Hardiness: golden English yew is hardy to USDA zones 6 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun, partial shade or even full shade.
  • Size: 2 to 4 feet tall (60 to 120 cm) and with a spread of 6 to 15 feet (1.8 to 4.5 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it can grow in well drained loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil. The pH can be neutral, acidic or alkaline.

30. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Mountain Laurel (1)

This evergreen shrub will fill with the most beautiful and sweet rosy pink flowers from late spring to early summer.

They come in large clusters, bell shaped and with pentagonal mouths, filling your borders or with romance, butterflies and even hummingbirds.

Perfect for a traditional and informal garden, or a naturalized area, this shrub has won the Cary Award and it is the national flower of Connecticut.

  • Hardiness: mountain laurel is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9.
  • Light exposure: partial shade.
  • Size: 5 to 15 feet in height and spread (1.5 to 4.5 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it wants well drained and moist soil, acidic or neutral and based on loam, clay or sand

31. Tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima)

Tamarisk

What about a very showy shrub with reddish branches, an open and airy habit and long, feathery plumes of deep rosy flowers that are both showy and elegant?

Tamarisk will blossom for weeks on end hiding it greenish blue leaves under a sea of pink.

If you have salty soil, your choice of plants is very limited, but tamarisk seems designed for coastal gardens, where it will turn your hedges, borders, banks and slopes into pink wonders.

  • Hardiness: tamarisk is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 8. It will also grow in warmer regions, but it risks becoming an infesting weed there.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Size: 10 to 15 feet tall (3 to 4.5 meters) and 8 to 13 feet in spread (2.4 to 4 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it is salt and drought resistant, though it likes well drained loam, clay or sandy soil with a pH which is either neutral or acidic.

32. English Boxwood ‘Suffruticosa’ (Buxus sempervivens ‘Suffruticosa’)

English Boxwood ‘Suffruticosa’

Boxwood is a classic and traditional evergreen shrub often used in topiaries, foundation planting and in hedges, thanks to its tolerance to different soils, drought, slow growth and low maintenance needs.

This dwarf variety adapts well to small spaces and containers you can keep on your terrace or patio.

  • Hardiness: English boxwood ‘Suffruticosa’ is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun, partial shade or full shade.
  • Size: 2 to 3 feet tall (60 to 90 cm) and 2 to 4 feet in spread (60 to 120 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam, chalk, clay and sandy soil, ranging from alkaline to acidic. Resistant to drought.

33. Portugal Laurel (Prunus lusticana)

portugal Laurel

Another shrub that will suit formal gardens, as you can train it into an upright small tree and prune into many shapes, this evergreen shrub has won the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS and it will fill with nicely scented white flowers from spring to summer.

It is suitable also to windy spaces and strong sunlight.

  • Hardiness: Portugal laurel is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 20 to 60 feet (6 to 9 meters) tall and 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) in spread.
  • Soil requirements: resistant to drought, it wants well drained loam, chalk, clay or sandy soil with pH varying from alkaline to acidic.

34. Hardy Orange (Poncirus Trifoliata)

Hardy Orange

A shrub that can bring a touch of Mediterranean beauty to your borders and hedges is hardy orange, a close relative of lemons and oranges with similar foliage but softer in texture, white flowers and citrus fruits that you can actually eat, though they are very acidic, so, maybe squeeze them into a refreshing drink.

  • Hardiness: hardy orange is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Size: 8 to 20 feet tall (2.4 to 6 meters) and 6 to 15 in spread (1.8 to 4.5 meters).
  • Soil requirements: drought resistant, it wants well drained chalk, loam or sandy soil, with pH from alkaline to acidic.

35. Sawara Cypress (Chamaecyoaris pisifera ‘Filifera Aurea’)

Sawara Cypress

A garden classic, Sawara Cypress has beautiful thick and scented foliage that tends to be gold when young, then turn dark green, giving you a nice, scented shrub with a harmonic habit and arching, or even weeping branches to fill with beautiful foliage your hedges or screens all year round.

It has won the Award of Garden Merit of the RHS and the Cary Award, and it is suited for many styles and types of gardens, traditional, informal, prairies, cottage and gravel gardens and even for courtyard gardens.

  • Hardiness: Sawara Cypress is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 6 to 20 feet tall (1.8 to 6 meters) and 3 to 7 feet in spread (90 to 210 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it wants humid and well drained soil based on loam, clay, chalk or sand and a neutral or acidic pH.

Types Of Shrubs With Colorful Foliage

Some shrubs have become famous for the beauty of their foliage, some of these may flower too, but their leaves and branches will be enough to turn your garden into a green paradise!

36. Purple Smokebush (Cotinus coggyria)

Purple Smokebush (2)

Passion, heat and strong emotions will fill your garden if you plant purple smokebush, a woody shrub with of the deepest maroon purple ever.

The leaves are rounded and large, and very orderly on the long, slender and straight branches, which adds texture to any hedge or border where you will grow it, as well as the most striking color.

This bush can be shaped into a small tree with a low trunk and long decorative branches if you wish, or you can let it grow into a quite orderly, but passion inflaming shrub that can bring warmth and intensity of your garden like very few plants can do.

  • Hardiness: purple smokebush is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 7.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 10 to 15 feet in both height and spread (3 to 4.5 meters).
  • Soil requirements: well drained clay, chalk, loam or sand. It is resistant to heavy clay and not fussy about the pH, which can be neutral, alkaline or acidic.

37. Redvein Enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus)

Redvein Enkianthus

Redvein enkianthus is a shrub that changes from sweet and lovely to dramatic as the season progresses.

In spring, in fact, you will have beautiful bluish green leaves with clusters of bell shaped flowers hanging under them, showing off their cream color with red tips.

As fall comes, it will turn fiery red instead, giving you a bush of fire the dazzle in your borders or even as a focal point of your patio in a decorative container.

Redvein enkianthus too has won the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

  • Hardiness: redvein enkianthus is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 6 to 10 feet tall (1.8 to 3 meters) and 4 to 6 feet in spread (1.2 to 1.8 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it requires neutral or acidic soil, moist but well drained, and either loam, clay or sandy soil.

38. Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Red Osier Dogwood

A spectacle of colors, red osier dogwood grows fast and it will fill banks, borders, river beds and slopes with vibrant red branches that will stand out even in winter, beautiful white berries with purple petioles and leaves that can be green or even variegated.

The flowers will appear in spring, and they are cram in color, scented and showy, about 2 inches in diameter (5 cm).

  • Hardiness: red osier dogwood is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 6 to 9 feet tall (1.8 to 2.7 meters) and 8 to 12 in spread (2.4 to 3.6 meters).
  • Soil requirements: this shrub too is unfussy; well drained chalk, clay, loam or sandy soil with a pH from alkaline to acidic.

39. Japanese Barberry (Barberis thunbergii ‘Atropurpurea Nana’)

Japanese Barberry

Does your garden need a bit of color during the winter? Japanese barberry is a small shrub with amazingly beautiful ovate carnelian to auburn red leaves and bright candy apple red berries that hang from its little branches from fall into the winter, where they remain after the foliage has fallen and the spines hardly keep birds away.

This shrub, winner of the Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society, also adds a touch of pink in spring, when it blooms, so, you can have a range of warm, passionate colors all year round in your beds and borders.

  • Hardiness: Japanese barberry is hardy to USDA zones
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall (30 to 60 cm) and about 2 to 3 feet in spread (60 to 90 cm).
  • Soil requirements: this is a totally non fussy shrub that will resist even drought and heavy clay as long as the soil is well drained; apart from this, it can be loam, clay, chalk or sandy and with pH from alkaline to acidic.

40. Coastal Dog Hobble (Leucothoe axillaris ‘Curly Red’)

Coastal Dog Hobble

A lesser known but charming shrub is coastal dog hobble, which fills with beautiful curly and tender looking leaves that start off with a very bright green color then turn purple red.

Coastal dog hobble blooms in spring with small and perfumed white flowers which turn into berries in summer.

It is ideal for an informal or cottage garden, for borders or slopes and edging, and adaptable to shady gardens.

  • Hardiness: coastal dog hobble is hardy to USDA zones 6 to 9.
  • Light exposure: partial shade or full shade.
  • Size: 4 to 5 feet tall (120 to 150 cm) and 5 to 6 in spread (150 to 180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it can stand poorly drained soil but it needs to be acidic and clay, loam or sandy soil.

41. Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina Domestica)

Heavenly Bamboo

This shrub has beautiful multicolored foliage that starts off green and turns purple red, topped at the end with clusters of crimson red berries, which follow a short bloom of white flowers.

Do not eat them, though, as both the leaves and the berries of heavenly bamboo are toxic.

  • Hardiness: heavenly bamboo is hardy to USDA zones 6 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 4 to 8 feet tall (120 to 240 cm) and 2 to 4 feet in spread (60 to 120 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it likes moist but well drained soil, but it is resistant to drought. Loam, clay, chalk or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to acidic will be fine.

42. Tartarian Dogwood (Cornus alba)

Tartarian Dogwood (1)

With beautiful, wide and multicolored foliage, leaves of a silver green shade with cream edges, white and purple berries in clusters and branches that appear leafless but bright red in winter, this is the shrub you want of you want a landscape that is rich in interest and color even in the cold season.

  • Hardiness: Tartarian dogwood is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 7.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 8 to 10 feet in height and spread (2.4 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: resistant to both dry and wet soil, it grows in loam, chalk, clay or sand with pH ranging from acidic to alkaline.

Types Of Berry Bearing Bushes

Many shrubs also bear berries, and these can be so beautiful, plentiful and colorful that some may become of an even better gardening interest and effect than their flowers and leaves…

So, if you want some shrubs that fill with pearls of color and light to give your garden that “temperate or cold wild forest look”, here are some astoundingly beautiful ones!

43. Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinum angustifolium)

Lowbush Blueberry

Imagine a stroll in a temperate forest, with short bushes of rich green lanceolate leaves, light pink bell shaped flowers and then an abundance of purple blue berries as the season goes on.

Now, take that picture and bring it into your garden with lowbush blueberry, a small American shrub which will add to all this leaves that turn bronze in autumn.

This Cary Award winner, which you can use as groundcover, will attract brides and butterflies to your beds and borders and grow well in dappled shade and it will grow well even in cold regions.

  • Hardiness: lowbush blueberry is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall and in spread (30 to 60 cm).
  • Soil requirements: moist and well drained loam or sandy soil with acidic pH.

44. Purple Beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma)

Purple Beautyberry

Fill the middle to low levels of your borders, flower beds and hedges with dark brown arching stems that have a curtain of light pea green acuminate leaves hanging from them and amazing clusters of bright purple berries growing along them.

When the gold medal of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Great Plants Award of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum were awarded to this shrub, the effect of the shiny purple berries of this plant, that would also enrich wild meadows and make containers looks stunning, cannot have gone amiss.

  • Hardiness: purple beautyberry is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 3 to 4 feet tall (90 to 120 cm) and 3 to 5 feet in spread (90 to 159 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it will grow in acidic or neutral, well drained clay, loam or sandy soil.

45. American Cranberrybush (Viburnium trilobum ‘Redwing’)

American Cranberrybush (1)

A shrub with rich green foliage and round inflorescences of white flowers early in the season, it then fills with bright red berries as the leaves slowly turn yellow and red too later in the season.

American cranberrybush is a winner of the Great Plants Award by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum that can solve many problems with hedges and screens that need a lift.

  • Hardiness: American cranberrybush is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 7.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 6 to 10 feet tall (1.8 to 3 meters) and 6 to 8 in spread (1.8 to 2.4 meters).
  • Soil requirements: well drained loam or clay soil, resistant to heavy clay and drought, with pH between alkaline and acidic.

46. Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Bearberry (1)

A low, carpeting shrub with beautiful glossy leaves, similar to laurel leaves that end in rosettes and have clusters of three, bell shaped flowers white in color with pink edges, beardberry is perfect for slopes beds and borders, groundcover and even rock gardens, and it will grow well even in cold climates.

  • Hardiness: beardberry is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 6.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 6 inches to 1 foot tall (15 to 30 cm) and 3 to 6 feet wide (90 to 180 cm).
  • Soil requirements: it is a bit picky as it wants well drained loam or sandy soil with acidic pH. On the other hand it is resistant to drought, rocky soil and salt.

Types Of Winter Interest Shrubs

Winter is a difficult season for gardening; few plants can create a “winter garden” with their flowers, branches, leaves or berries, and few add color and vibrancy.

But there are some shrubs that will sort out your problems if your garden or terrace looks a bit barren in the cold season.

47. Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Red Sprite’)

Winterberry (1)

Hold your breath because winterberry us a deciduous holly that fills with showy, bright red berries while the deep green lanceolate leaves are still on, but the spectacle only gets better when they drop! You will have decorative branches filled with “red pearls”, like a natural Christmas decoration, which looks stunning if it snows.

The flowers are of a light shade of whitish green, and they will come in late spring, and they will soon be followed by the crimson berries which will stay on in summer, fall and winter!

Winner of the Cary Award, this shrub can make any border, hedge or flower bed interesting all year round, and it grows well next to ponds and river banks.

  • Hardiness: winterberry is hardy to USDA zones 3 to 9.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade.
  • Size: 3 to 5 feet in height and spread (90 to 159 cm).
  • Soil requirements: well drained and moist soil, though it will stand dry soil, clay or loam and acidic or neutral.

48. Snowberry (Synphoricarpos x chenatulii ‘Hancock’)

Snowberry

An excellent low bush for ground cover, snowberry has rich foliage if well distributed elliptic leaves on arching branches. The summer flowers are small, and pink bells, but they attract lots of pollinators and butterflies. Then it will fill with white and oink berries that will keep you company into the winter.

  • Hardiness: snowberry is hardy to USDA zones 5 to 7.
  • Light exposure: full Sun or partial shade, but it tolerates full shade.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall (30 to 60 cm) and 5 to 10 feet wide (1.5 to 3 meters).
  • Soil requirements: it tolerates poorly drained soil, clay, drought and poor soil. It is not fussy at all: loam, clay, chalk or sandy soil with pH ranging from alkaline to acidic.

49. Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)

Nannyberry (1)

Nannyberry is a large shrub, best suited to wide spaces and gardens and with a very natural, even wild look.

It will attract wildlife and birds with its sweet black berries on red stalks that will stay on the branches into the winter, while in spring, its cream white flowers will attract butterflies.

This is an excellent shrub for coastal gardens.

  • Hardiness: nannyberry is hardy to USDA zones 2 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun to partial shade.
  • Size: 10 to 20 feet tall (3 to 6 meters) and 6 to 12 feet in spread (1.8 to 3.6 meters).
  • Soil requirements: moist and well drained loam, clay or sandy soil with pH from alkaline to acidic.

50. Winter Heath Heather (Erica x darleyensis ‘Darley Dale’)

Winter Heath Heather

A classically looking heather which will bloom from fall to spring with purple flowers, winter heath heather can bring the Scottish Highlands to your garden, as ground cover, or in rock gardens, borders and it will look great on slopes and banks.

  • Hardiness: winter heath heather is hardy to USDA zones 6 to 8.
  • Light exposure: full Sun.
  • Size: 1 to 2 feet tall (30 to 60 cm) and 2 to 3 feet in spread (60 to cm).
  • Soil requirements: moist and well drained loam, clay or sandy soil with pH either acidic or neutral.

Shrubs and the Secret of Gardening

There are so many different and beautiful shrubs that it was really difficult to choose only 50… Still, shrubs are the key to a healthy ecosystem and to a natural looking and harmonic garden, so, never underestimate them…

You have met flowering shrubs, perennial shrubs, shrubs that look great for the color and shape of their leaves, shrubs with amazing berries and shrubs for winter.

Then again, when you discover this secret of gardening, shrubs will offer you too a shady, sheltered and maybe romantic corner where you can keep your secrets!

Updated on by Amber Noyes

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