Of all the landscaping plants used by gardeners and landscapers, the flowering shrubs are probably the most popular and least credited. Flowering shrubs are popular the world over for their beauty, ease of care, and versatility. Flowering shrubs are often planted as borders, mixed in with other flowers, their added scent, and even to improve privacy or act as a noise barrier. Evergreen and similar large shrubberies are often sprinkled with flowering shrubs to add variety and beauty to a natural fence or border, making the practical look beautiful.
6 Popular Flowering Shrubs
Of the hundreds of varieties of flowering shrubs available, there are a few that really stand out in popularity. Some have only recently become recognized while others are long standing favorites.
Forsythia shrubs are the most popular of the deciduous flowering shrubs in the large size varieties. They grow to 8-12 feet in height and have both upright and arching branches, creating a sort of bushy effect. Their bright yellow flowers in early spring are favored and the shrubs themselves are very easy to grow and care for.
Hibiscus shrubs include about 200 species of shrubs which flower in various colors. The most common is the Rose of Sharon, which flowers in shades of red, but there are varieties with white, yellow, blue, and even purple flowers as well. These are a popular mixed border shrub with five petaled flowers. The shrubs grow to midsize about three to four feet on average.
Hydrangea shrubs are probably the most popular shrubs grown in the West. Often mistaken for trees because of the popular trimming method used to stand them upright, there are also hydrangea vines. Some species can have their flower colors changed by changing the pH balance of the soil beneath the plant, which alters how well iron is taken into the plant. These range in size from small two or three foot plants to tall six or eight foot shrubs or trees. Their distinctive balls of flowers give away the species.
Lilac shrubs are another favorite because of their hardiness and penchant for attracting bees and butterflies. Not to mention their beautiful fragrance. Colors range from white to pink, red, blue or, of course, lilac. The flower’s long, bee hive like shape made up of small, four petaled flowers gives them away.
Weigela shrubs are prodigious flower growers with colors ranging from bright white to a deep, ruby red. Their leaves also vary in color dramatically, even on the same plant. Colors can include dark green, purple, and bright yellow. Butterflies love these shrubs, which is another attraction for gardeners.
Viburnum shrubs finish out our list as one of the latest to become popular. These comprise about 150 species, they’ve found their way from botanical gardens to the homes of many satisfied gardeners. They are easy to grow and care for and are very hardy and resistant. They are often mistaken as hydrangeas due to their balled flower clusters, but can be distinguished by their oak leaf style leaves and the clusters of berries (seed pods) that center their flowers.
Want to learn more about flowering shrubs?
For more information check out these helpful websites:
4 – 8 Foot Shrubs for North Carolina Landscapes by NC State University
Creating a Butterfly Garden with Flowering Shrubs from Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries