Written by Susie's Yard Care
Hydrangeas conjure up memories of Grandma's garden. These showy shrubs have long been a favorite of gardeners looking for an easy-care plant that flowers even in partial shade.
- Common Names: Hydrangea.
- Botanical Name: Hydrangea.
- Hardiness: Zones 4 to 9, varies slightly by species.
- Bloom Time: Summer.
- Size: 6 to 22 feet high, 8 feet wide.
- Flower: Shades of pink white and blue flowers, either large pompons or flattened clusters of blooms.
- Light Needs: Partial shade.
- Growing Advice: Place in a hole the same depth as the rootball, but wider. New plantings plenty of water to get established.
- Prize Picks: Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) are perfect for mild climates, but usually won't flower in regions with cold winters. In these areas try cultivars of smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), which produce huge spheres of densely packed white blooms.
As spring gets into full swing, if you detect a sweet fragrance floating on the breeze, chances are it's a lilac.
This beauty originally comes from southeastern Europe and eastern Asia. Its distinctive scent and lovely blooms helped it become one of the most popular flowering shrubs in North America.
With an array of sizes to choose from, it's easy to bring the delightful fragrance home. But it does require a little patience - lilacs take 4 to 5 years to produce their first flowers. Once established, however, careful pruning of spent blooms and stray branches right after flowering will keep the scent-sational show going for years to come.
- Common Names: Lilac.
- Botanical Name: Syringa vulgaris.
- Hardiness: Zones 3 to 8.
- Bloom Time: Late spring to midsummer.
- Size: 4 to 30 feet high, 5 to 22 feet wide.
- Flowers: Small tubular blooms arranged in clusters. Lavender is the most common color, but white, pink, magenta and blue and available, as well as bicolors.
- Light needs: Full sun.
- Growing Advice: Dig a hold the same depth as the root ball, but wider. Loosen roots of pot-bound shrubs before planting.
- Prize Picks: Ludwig Spaeth blooms a bit later, with magnificent purple flowers, a heady scent, and handsome, dark-green foliage. Syringa patula Miss Kim is slightly larger with lilac-blue blooms. Both are hardy and resistant to disease.
Its showy blooms, available in a wide range of colors, have made this flowering shrub one of the most popular in the country. A natural fit in many settings, it looks great in informal woodland gardens or as a specimen planting in smaller urban landscapes.
- Common Names: Rhododendron.
- Botanical Name: Rhododendron.
- Hardiness: Zones 4 to 9.
- Bloom Time: Late spring.
- Size: 8 to 10 feet high and wide.
- Flower color: White, cream, yellow, apricot, pink, rose, deep red and lavender.
- Light Needs: Partial to light dappled shade.
- Growing Advice: Plant in a lightly shaded area with protection from hot sun and strong winds. Acidic soil that drains well will help your rhododendron do its best.
- Prize Picks: The Catawba rhododendron is a beautiful evergreen with purple flower clusters that survives the cold better than most varieties. The Boule de Neige rhododendron tolerates heat and sun well and is one of the best white-flowering types.
Rose of Sharon
It may be a late bloomer, but as many gardeners know, rose of Sharon is well worth the wait. A member of the hibiscus family, this deciduous shrub's beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers make their appearance from late summer through mid-autumn, long after many other flowering plants and shrubs have already finished blooming.
- Common Name: Rose of Sharon.
- Botanical Name: Hibiscus syriacus.
- Hardiness: Zones 5 to 8 or 9.
- Bloom Time: Late summer to mid-autumn.
- Size: 10 to 12 feet high, 6 to 8 feet wide.
- Flowers: Mainly pink, purple and white.
- Light needs: Full to partial sun.
- Growing Advice: In northern areas, plant in spring. Thrives in moist soil that drains well.
- Prize Picks: Red Heart is a single-petal white bloom with a crimson center. Minerva has larger, pretty pink-tinged lavender flowers with ruby-red centers.
Among the most popular of ornamental shrubs and small trees, the viburnum is sought after for three reasons - it's beautiful, it's versatile, and it's easy to grow. What's more, thre are three prime features that contribute to the year-long beauty of the viburnum - the flowers, the leaves, and the colorful fruits it produces. If you don't already grow this showpiece, now's the time to start - it'll triple your pleasure outdoors.
- Common Name: Virburnum.
- Botanical Name: Viburnum.
- Hardiness: Zones 3 to 9.
- Bloom Time: Late spring to early summer.
- Size: 4 to 30 feet high.
- Foliage: Varies from shiny to leathery textures of green - turning yellowish-orange or reddish purple in fall.
- Light needs: Full sun to partial shade.
- Growing Advice: Ample and consistent moisture is the only continuing requirement for a healthy viburnum.
That means about an inch of water a week during the growing season.
- Prize Picks: Doublefile (Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum), considered by some to be the world's most beautiful flowering shrub, boasts horizontally tiered branches, which blooms with white flower clusters resembling lace caps. The snowball viburnum is Viburnum x carlcephalum; its big, ball-like flowers are deliciously scented. Viburnum dentatum Blue Muffin is a smaller, more compact plant (to 5 feet tall) with flattened flowerheads.
There you have it, the top 10 Flowering Shrubs! Contact us to get your shrubs trimmed up and looking gorgeous.