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Top 10 Most Popular Shrub Types

As the seasons change, you may be looking to revamp your landscaping. Whether you want to elevate the look of your garden or need an easy plant to maintain, shrubs can be an excellent addition. 

Shrubs are small to medium-sized wooded plants that have many branches. They are low to the ground, and unlike trees, have several stems. Shrubs are also commonly referred to as bushes.

When it comes to your landscaping, shrubs are a great choice. They can add color and texture with their beautiful flowers and foliage and provide shade without the overwhelming height of trees. 

The Top Ten Shrubs for Your Lawn 

Shrubs are the perfect plant, no matter whether you’re a beginner or a pro gardener. If planted in the right climate conditions, they are extremely reliable and thrive without much care.

Here’s the thing: there are so many different types to choose from. Luckily for you, we’re here today to give you the run-down on our favorite shrubs for you and your climate. 

Hydrangea Flowers
Pink and Blue Hydrangea Flowers in the Garden

Hydrangea

The hydrangea is one of the most popular shrubs, and there’s a reason for it. The beautiful globe-shaped flowers are striking and come in lovely colors such as blue, purple, white, or pink. 

The best time to plant hydrangeas in the United States is in the fall, followed by early spring. These flowering shrubs are a little more demanding than other shrubs due to their large flowers. They must be planted in a spot with bright light and require a heavy water supply. 

There are two different categories of hydrangea bushes. One is the single-flowering hydrangea, which blooms once between Late Spring and Mid – Summer. The other is the repeat-blooming hydrangea, which will produce multiple rounds of fragrant flowers throughout the growing season.

Azaleas
Azaleas

Azalea

Azaleas, like Hydrangeas, are flowering shrubs. They are very popular garden plants in the South and are marked by their vibrant brightly colored flowers. Most azaleas will grow between 4 to 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

To grow your azalea, plant in partial shade or filtered shade. Otherwise, the sun can bleach or burn the leaves. Make sure to water the azaleas on their leaves and near the roots as the foliage will absorb moisture. 

Most azaleas bloom once a year, typically around March or April, beautiful for the spring.

Rhodenderons
Beautiful rhododendrons

Rhododendron

Azaleas and Rhododendron are very similar shrubs, as both belong to the genus Rhododendron. While the leaves of azaleas tend to be small and pointed, the leaves of rhododendrons are larger and more leathery. Rhododendrons are also larger in size.

Rhododendrons prefer mild climates without extreme heat or cold weather, thriving most in Zones 5 to 8. They will do best when planted in the spring or early fall, blooming from March to July.

Vireya rhododendrons, in particular, are great container plants. They are perfect for people living in cooler climates, as they can be grown as indoor plants.

LILAC
Lilacs

Lilac

The lilac is a deciduous shrub, meaning that it will shed its leaves after the growing season. This gorgeous plant is known for its beautiful purple flowers and fragrant scent.

Once their root systems are established, Lilacs are fairly easy to maintain, not needing much watering. This makes them a great choice for beginners. We recommend that you grow your lilac in direct sunlight with at least six hours of sun.  

Lilacs will only bloom in the spring, but the wait is definitely worth it for their beautiful flowers.

Camellia
A Single Camellia

Camellia

Like Azaleas, Camellias are popular shrubs in the Southern United States. They are known for their waxen, elegant flowers and are even the state flower of Alabama.

The Camellia is an evergreen shrub, which means that it will keep its leaves through multiple growing seasons. In addition to this, Camellias have a long bloom season. Their gorgeous flowers will begin to appear in October through May.

They thrive best with exposure to morning sun and afternoon shade, as well as well-drained soil. Camellias are known for being difficult to maintain, so beginners proceed with caution. 

Forsynthias
Forsythia yellow flowers in Spring full bloom

Forsythia

On the other hand, Forsythias are low-care shrubs that grow at a fast pace, making them perfect for beginners. They are known for their brilliant blooms and picturesque yellow flowers. 

Forsythias can grow between two to ten feet tall and two to ten feet wide. To grow to their fullest potential, plant them in full sun or partial shade. Make sure the soil is moist but well-drained. 

By spring, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous blooming flowers.

Rose of Sharon
Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

The Rose of Sharon has beautiful five-petal flowers that are guaranteed to transport you to the tropics. Coming in a variety of colors (pink, purple, red, blue, and white flowers!), your Rose of Sharon shrubs will be sure to elevate your garden.

Rose of Sharons grow well in hardiness zones 5 to 8 in the United States and typically bloom in the summer and fall. They can grow up to eight to twelve feet tall and six to ten feet wide.

Once established, the shrubs won’t need much maintenance. However, to get them started, you must be sure to regularly water them and give them direct sunlight.

Flowering Quince
Flowering Quince

Flowering Quince

Unlike the other shrubs, Flowering Quince will blossom in late winter and early spring, before most of your spring plants. Their thorny stems and pale white, orange, red, or pink flowers are striking and gorgeous. 

Flowering Quince is very easy to grow and care for. These shrubs thrive in a wide range of climates, grow in full or partial sun, and are tolerant of droughts.

However, Flowering Quince must be planted in the winter, which may be difficult for some gardeners.

Weigela
Weigela

Weigela

Weigela is a classic landscaping addition, although it has been less popular in recent years. Blooming typically in the late spring and early summer, their tubular and pale pink, red, and white blooms will welcome in the changing season.

Weigela shrubs are fairly easy to care for. They should be planted in full sun and should get about eight to ten hours of sun per day. Weigela requires deep waterings soon after planting, but once they are established they typically get all of their moisture from rain.

Abelias
Abelias

Abelia

Abelia has waxy dark green leaves and delightfully fragrant bell-shaped flowers. They will begin to bloom at the end of spring, but as they transition into the fall, the leaves turn delightful shades of bronze and red.

Abelia can be found in both deciduous and evergreen varieties. If you live in a cooler climate, we recommend going for a deciduous Abelia.

For the best growth, plant your shrub in either full sun or partial shade and make sure to water regularly.

Conclusion

With easy maintenance and care, shrubs can provide beautiful flowers and foliage for your home yard. Adding these gorgeous plants to your landscaping is almost a no-brainer.

If you are still unsure about which shrub to purchase for your home, consult your local nursery and garden store.

For more information on gardening, visit our blog. And, to learn about our top ten bonsai trees, click here!

Shin Nong Tree and Shrub Food

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