The 15 most beautiful shrubs to plant in your yard

The butterfly in the picture is papilio xuthus, or commonly called the Asian swallowtail, which can be found in East Asia and other parts of Asia, the flower is Abelia.  grandiflora, a cross between chinensis and uniflora, is a rounded, spreading, multi-stemmed shrub in the honeysuckle family. The plant features clusters of white to pink, bell-shaped flowers that appear in the axils of the upper leaves and stem ends over a long period from late spring to fall.

The most beautiful shrubs to plant in your gardenmagicflute002 – Getty Images

Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on certain items through these links.

Shrubs are all-stars in your garden because they do it all: attract pollinators, create screening and privacy, and offer gorgeous splashes of color. Best of all, most shrubs thrive for years with a little help from you! To give a new shrub a good start, make sure it’s suitable for your climate (check the USDA hardiness zone here). Then pay attention to where you plant it: Does it need full sun (6 or more hours of direct sun per day) or does it prefer partial shade (about 3 to 4 hours)? Don’t forget to water after planting and regularly for the first two seasons to help them establish themselves.

Here are some of our favorite show stoppers for every spot in the garden:

If you haven’t planted flowering shrubs in your backyard, you’re missing out! While annuals and perennials are essential in your garden, shrubs add another layer of beauty to your outdoor space. Flowering shrubs also attract pollinators, provide screening, and brighten up the garden with colorful summer blooms. Best of all, they will live for years, so they are a long-term investment in your garden.

Many new types of flowering shrubs have been bred to be smaller, so you can enjoy their colorful blooms even if you don’t have a huge yard. The most important thing to remember is that you must choose a shrub suitable for surviving the winter in the USDA Hardiness Zone (check this with your USDA guide). Also read the plant tag so you know what kind of light it needs. Six or more hours of direct sunlight per day is considered full sun, while half sun is about half that.

When planting, be sure to dig a hole that is twice the size of the pot, and place your tree in the hole at the same depth it was in the pot. Backfill the soil, tamping it well to remove air pockets, and water it well. Keep the shrub watered — but not wet — for the first season because you want it to take root well. Soak it thoroughly every few days (instead of a small amount of water each day) to help it take deep roots.

Ahead, find a few of our favorite flowering shrubs that work beautifully in any garden.


The tubular flowers of this spring-blooming shrub are much loved by hummingbirds. The graceful arc shape looks great if you give it plenty of room to spread. The thuja species will bloom again sporadically throughout the summer.

USDA Gravity Zones: 4 to 8

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs are weigela

Federica Grassi – Getty Images


The gorgeous camellias almost don’t look real! This evergreen shrub blooms from late winter to summer, depending on the variety. Read the plant tag or description so you know what you are buying.

USDA Gravity Zones: From 7 to 10

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs camellia

Elizabeth Fernandez – Getty Images


Just when you’ve had enough of winter, the bright yellow forsythia flowers appear even before the foliage. This easy-care shrub makes a great (and inexpensive) privacy screen, too. Look for a smaller size if you have a smaller garden.

USDA hardiness zones: 4 through 8

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs forsythia

Khanh Ngo Photography – Getty Images

Bush butterfly

As you might guess, this fast-growing shrub attracts tons of butterflies and other pollinators. Newer species are not invasive and are more compact, ranging from a foot to four or five feet in height.

USDA Gravity Zones: From 5 to 9

Shop now

Best flowering butterfly bush

Jackie Parker Photography – Getty Images

rose bush

Roses are not as difficult as you might think. Shrub roses are among the easiest to grow, and many of the new varieties are more cold-hardy and disease-resistant, too.

USDA Gravity Zones: From 5 to 11

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs are shrub roses

Yulia Chehodinova – Getty Images


Ranging from pale pink to deep purple, the coneflowers of this old-fashioned spring bloomer are intoxicatingly fragrant. Lilacs make a great hedge or accent and also attract butterflies. The new types are more compact and bushier all season, so they’re great for smaller gardens.

USDA Gravity Zones: 3 to 7

Shop now

The best lilac flowering shrubs

vav63 – Getty Images


Abelia has pretty pink, purple, or peach bell-shaped blooms in late spring. The new species is more cold hardy. Plant them in mixed borders alongside perennials.

USDA Gravity Zones: 6 to 9

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs are abelia

Humbrodlove – Getty Images


Showy spring flowers in mauve, pink, yellow, and white pop against the glossy green foliage of this shrub. New varieties of rhododendron are more cold tolerant, but make sure they get dappled shade.

USDA Gravity Zones: From 5 to 9

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs are rhododendrons

David H Carrier – Getty Images

Rose Sharon

In late summer when many other flowering shrubs have lost their steam, this plant is in its full glory with pink, white, lavender, or even blue flowers that bloom well into fall. The new species grows in a column (column) shape, proportional to the size of small gardens.

USDA Gravity Zones: From 5 to 9

Shop now

The best flowering plant is the Rose of Sharon

undefined undefined – Getty Images


This spring-blooming shrub has a mound shape with gracefully arching branches. Some types are low growing and work well as a pretty ground cover, too.

USDA Gravity Zones: From 5 to 8

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs deutzia

Lamontagne Photos – Getty Images

Nine Park

This native plant has elegant arching branches that punctuate clusters of creamy white or pink flowers in late spring. It is fast growing and can get quite large, so give it plenty of room or look for dwarf varieties if you have a tight space. Some species have beautiful wine-orange or golden-orange foliage.

USDA Gravity Zones: 3 to 7

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs Ninebark

Makovalevskaya – Getty Images

crepe myrtle

Some like it hot! These pretty shrubs shrug off the heat and bloom all summer long with bright, vibrant blooms in shades of white, purple, scarlet, or pink. Some species become small trees; Others are dwarf varieties that remain three to four feet tall and wide.

USDA Gravity Zones: From 7 to 9

Shop now

The best flowering shrubs crapemyrtle

magicflute002 – Getty Images


While the rest of your garden winds down, this little beauty spreads out. This sun-lover, also called blue-bearded, has charming blue blooms from late summer into fall. Plus, bees and butterflies love them! Plant in clumps for maximum border effect.

USDA Gravity Zones: From 5 to 9


The best flowering trees are caryopteris



This trusty pant rarely needs your attention. The new species maintains its mounded shape without pruning. Long-lasting clusters of red, white, or pink flowers offer a beautiful contrast to green, green, or gold foliage. It is equally at home in group plantings, as a low hedge, or alongside perennials.

USDA Gravity Zones: 3 to 8

Shop now

The best flowering spirea shrubs

Abujash – Getty Images


This stunning shrub is one of the few plants that can be grown in almost every climate. You’ll get three seasons for display: bright flowers in summer, fading colors in fall, and dried, papery flowers that remain on the plant through winter. These shrubs are categorized into species (grapes, smooth, oak, bigleaf, and mountain) that have different needs, so read the plant description before buying.

USDA Gravity Zones: 3 to 10

Shop now

The best flowering hydrangea shrubs

Gratisana – Getty Images

You may also like

Leave a comment