Easy-Care Popular Flowering Shrubs Easy-Care Popular Flowering Shrubs

Flowering shrubs add beauty and interest to any landscape. Whether they are used for decoration, or as part of a mixed border or hedgerow, flowering shrubs are well worth planning. Not only are they beautiful, but also they can attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Read on for a few tips about flowering shrubs, including some of the most popular types that are easy to care for.

Blooming

Flowering shrubs bloom at various times of the season, starting in early spring and, depending on where you live, often right through the winter months. Some shrubs bloom best during the hot months of summer. These plants can be evergreen or deciduous. Evergreen shrubs will remain green all season long, while deciduous shrubs will lose their leaves.

Planting

Before deciding on which flowering shrubs to plant, it’s important that you consider your particular growing region, how often you want to prune your shrubs, and whether you want to attract certain bugs or animals to your garden.

Always be sure to select flowering shrubs that will thrive in your growing region. Add organic mulch or compost around newly planted shrubs to help retain moisture. Do not let the mulch touch the trunk of the bush. And remember, flowering shrubs can draw a large number of bees and may not be a suitable option for patios, deck areas, or other places where people gather.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia Davidii)

Flowers, Height, and Spread

Butterfly bushes produce large, fragrant sprays of conical flowers that are renowned for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Blooms can be purple, pink, white, or red; all usually have an orange or yellow center. They begin to bloom mid-summer and continue into the fall. Most butterfly bushes grow to be about 6-12 feet tall and have a spread anywhere from 4-15 feet. However, some varieties, such as the Adonis Blue, will grow about 4-5 feet tall with a spread of 3-4 feet.

Growing Needs

All Buddleia need full sun exposure but are adaptable to different soil and moisture types. Pruning this bush will not hurt it, and it is almost essential since it is a fast-grower. In fact, blooms tend to be larger and more prolific on its new growth. Butterfly bushes do best in zones 5-9, although some species have been known to grow in zones 3, 4, and 10. For best results, cut the bush back to 6-8 inches each spring and provide a thick layer of organic mulch for moisture retention.

Flowering Almond (Prunus Glandulosa)

Flowers, Height, and Spread

The flowering almond produces small, ruffled pink blooms in the early to mid-spring. In the fall, its foliage turns copper and yellow. It grows to heights and spreads of about 3-5 feet.

Growing Needs

It is a fast-grower that prefers exposures of full-to-partial sun. Although it prefers a well-drained soil, it will adapt to a wide variety of moisture and soil types. It does best in zones 4-8, but it will grow in zone 3 as well.

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles Speciosa)

Flowers, Height, and Spread

Flowering quinces are among the first shrubs to flower in the spring. They produce cup-shaped flowers that are pink, red, or white. They tolerate partial shade to full sun and moderate watering. They can be grown in almost any soil type including sandy, loam, or clay. Flowering quinces have a moderate growth rate; they typically grow about 3-6 feet high but can grow as high as 10 feet. Their spread can be any where from 6-12 feet wide.

Growing Needs

This plant should be thinned and shaped by removing about 1/3 of the wood, including the oldest branches and any weak growth, at ground level after flowering each spring. A few of its flowers will turn into aromatic fruits that can be made into preserves. The flowering quince does best when grown in zones 5-9, but may survive in zones 4 and 10.

Forsythia (Forsythia Sp.)

Flowers and Height

Forsythia is one of the earliest blooming shrubs. It produces an abundance of vibrant yellow flowers that cover its branches in early spring. It is fast-growing and can reach heights of 8-10 feet. However, some species will only grow to heights of about 1-6 feet.

Growing Needs

They thrive in full sun or light shade and are tolerant of almost any growing condition and soil. Pruning should be done immediately after the shrub finishes blooming because forsythia flowers grow on the previous season's growth. Prune about 1/4 of the older stems about 4 inches from the ground. Failing to prune could stop it from blooming.

Tip: Forsythia roots very easily from cuttings.

Fragrant or Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera Fragrantissima)

Flowers, Height, and Spread

This honeysuckle has several names, including "the sweet breath of spring" because of its strong lemony scent. It produces creamy white and pink flowers in the early spring, followed by red berries that mature in the early summer. It grows to heights of about 6-10 feet with an equal spread.

Growing Needs

It is quite adaptable, growing in full sun or shade, and it is willing to grow in almost any soil. It should be pruned to shape after flowering. It grows best in zones 4-9.

Indian Hawthorne

Flowers

This is a beautiful, low-maintenance evergreen shrub that has a dense, showy bush. Dark blueberries are a favorite amongst birds who also love to use the foliage for shelter. The Indian Hawthorne bush blooms in the summer. Prolific white blooms cover the flower and draw both birds and butterflies.

Growing Needs

This shrub is well suited for zones 7-9 and is an excellent foundation-shrub due to its low-mounding habit.

Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris)

Flowers, Height, and Spread

Lilacs aren't always lilac, or light purple. Lilacs also come in other shades of purple, as well as shades of blue, red, white, pink, and even yellow. Regular lilacs grow about 8-10 feet tall with spreads about 10-12 feet wide. Dwarf versions grow about half that high.

Growing Needs

They enjoy full sun to partial shade exposure and will bloom in the early spring. They need soil that drains well. They are fast-growers and should be pruned to maintain their shape just after flowering. Lilacs not only like the cold, but also they seem to prefer it because they do not grow as well in areas that do not have a good wintertime frost. They do best in zones 2-7.

Mock Orange (Philadelphus Virginalis)

Flowers and Height

Mock Orange is a fast-grower that can grow as tall as 10 feet in only a few years. It yields beautiful white flowers that smell like orange blossoms. Flowers usually appear in the late spring or early summer.

Growing Needs

It can grow in exposures of full sun, partial sun, and shade, and is adaptable to almost any soil or moisture level. Pruning should be done after the second year, at which time, old flowered-out wood should be removed right after the plant has finished flowering. Mock oranges grow best in zones 5-9.

Rose of Sharon Hibiscus (Hibiscus Syriacus)

Flowers, Height, and Spread

The rose of Sharon has one of the longest bloom periods — from early summer until the fall. Its blooms can be red, pink, blue, or white. They grow about 8-12 feet tall with spreads about 6-8 feet wide.

Growing Needs

Although it typically benefits from pruning, it does not require it. Plant it in full sun or partial shade. The rose of Sharon will tolerate a variety of soil and moisture levels and is very tolerant of high heat and humidity. It typically does best in zones 5-9.

Variegated Weigela (Weigela Florida)

Flowers, Height, and Spread

The variegated weigela produces 1-inch bell-shaped pink flowers that are a favorite for hummingbirds. Not only does it have a longer blooming period, from the late spring into the fall, but also it has distinctive green leaves edged with cream and yellow. It grows about 4-6 feet high and has a 5-foot spread

Growing Needs

They will tolerate exposures from full sun to partial shade This shrub is hardy and resistant to most pests and diseases. It grows best in zones 4-9.

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