There is a flowering shrub suitable for every growing zone, soil type, landscape, and season. Flowering shrubs also provide color, and texture, and can be used as groundcovers, hedges, or as a focal point in the landscape. You can grow ornamental shrubs that bloom from early spring through late fall and even into winter. Many flowering shrubs are fragrant, plus they will provide food and shelter for pollinators.
Types Of Flowering Shrubs
- Dwarf flowering shrubs produce the same blooms and have the same characteristics as the full sized version, just on a smaller plant. Dwarf shrubs are ideal for growing in containers or small outdoor areas.
- Evergreen shrubs retain their green leaves year-round and provide interest and color in every season. Evergreens provide shelter and many produce berries that are food for small animals and birds during the winter months.
- Deciduous flowering shrubs shed their leaves in the fall. Some of them develop brilliant colored fall foliage and many have interesting bark that will add beauty to the winter landscape.
Flowering Shrubs For Full Sun vs. Shade
Some flowering shrubs need to be planted in a location that is in the direct sun for most of the day. If they don’t receive enough sunlight they will become leggy instead of full and bushy. The shrubs won’t produce many blooms either.
If you don’t have a sunny location, don’t worry, many flowering shrubs thrive in a shady location. These shrubs can’t tolerate the heat that a full sun location would generate. Some of the most popular flowering shrubs for shade or partial shade are hydrangea, mountain laurel, camellia, serviceberry, and azaleas.
Flowering Shrub Zones
The United States Department of Agriculture divided the United States into 13 different growing zones. These zones are demarcated with each 10 degrees F change across the United States. The coldest location, USDA growing zone 1 is near the uppermost Canadian border and the warmest is (13) is located at the farthest tip of the state of Florida.
The plants that thrive in the cold climate of zone 1 can’t survive in the humid heat of zone 13 in Florida. These growing zones help gardeners know which plant will grow best in which climate.
- Zone 1. Plant cold-hardy False Spirea which is a sprawling, deciduous flowering shrub.
- Zone 2. Try Bog Rosemary which makes a low-growing attractive shrub.
- Zone 3 is the ideal place to grow the ever popular Hydrangea. This flowering shrub comes in all bloom colors and different sizes.
- Zone 4 is a great location to grow Clematis. This plant is somewhere between a shrub and a vine and produces an abundance of large, fragrant blooms.
- Zone 5 provides the perfect environment to grow Japanese Spirea and Japanese Quince.
- Zone 6 is great for growing Rose Of Sharon.
- Zone 7 is ideal for azaleas and Chinese Snowball.
- Zone 8 provides the right temperatures for growing Camellia and American Beautyberry.
- Zone 9 is perfect for growing the show-stopping Angel Trumpet.
- Zone 10 is warm enough to grow Star Jasmine and Orange Jasmine.
- Zone 11 provides the tropical environment Gardenias need to grow.
- Zone 12 is ideal for heat-loving shrubs like Viburnum and Butterfly Bush.
- Zone 13 is where Hibiscus and all other tropical shrubs will thrive.
Flowering shrubs will thrive in a growing zone that is 2 numbers away in either direction. For example, if the shrub is recommended for USDA growing zone 7, it should also grow well in growing zone 5 or 9.
Large Flowering Shrubs vs. Small Flowering Shrubs
Both large and small flowering shrubs have their place in the landscape. Large shrubs are great to use as a specimen plant, to create a living privacy fence, or to designate a boundary.
Small flowering shrubs make ideal foundation plants and accent plants. A grouping of small shrubs makes a big statement in the landscape.
Spring Flowering Shrubs vs. Summer Flowering Shrubs
Spring flowering shrubs typically have a shorter bloom time than summer flowering shrubs simply because the season is shorter.
To keep the most color going in your landscape, plant both types. Spring and summer bloomers will also attract the most pollinators to your landscape.
Flowering Shrubs For Containers
Any variety of dwarf shrubs are ideal for growing in a container. The shrub will remain small and compact while producing colorful blooms. Check the growing zone of the plant and whether it grows best in full sun or shade.
Some good flowering shrubs for containers include Bouganvillea, Anisodontea, Dwarf Spirea, and Dwarf Weigela.
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