Growing Shrubs

Shrubs, or bushes, are large woody plants that consist of multiple permanent stems which grow either from the ground or from very close to the ground. Shrubs can be differentiated from trees by the characteristic of these main stems, as well as by height and size. Most shrubs grow to be anywhere under twenty feet tall. Smaller shrub plants, like periwinkle, lavender, thyme, and certain varieties of rose bushes can be referred to as dwarf shrubs or subshrubs.

Shrubs can be used in different ways to add structure and density to the landscaping of not only homes, but public areas like parks and sidewalks. A wise selection of bushes can create a strong foundation for any garden. They can be cultivated to form shrubberies or hedgerows, which usually border a road or a property's perimeter. In addition to their aesthetic purpose, shrubs can also serve as shelter and food for small wildlife, or attract welcome garden visitors like butterflies and hummingbirds.

All Shrubs

Burning bush
Butterfly bush
Cabbage palm
Coffee plant
Crimson pygmy
False Cypress
Flowering almond
Flowering Quince
Girard's crimson
Girard's fuschia
Gold ring
Golden Lights
Golden mirror plan
Golden nugget
Groundsel Bush
Japanese cedar
Mandarin lights
Natal plum
Northern hi-lights
Orchid lights
Peacock Flower
Rose of Sharon
Rosy glow
Rosy lights
Scotch Broom
Scotch Heather
Sweet Broom
Sweet Fern
Weston's lollipop
Yaku princess

Though shrubs are usually thought of as green broadleaved plants like boxwood or conifers, the variety of available bushes is actually incredibly diverse. Shrubs often play more of a supporting role in the garden, but they can also be the stars of the show. Many varieties come in showy colors or feature gorgeous blooms. Forsythia and king's gold are both striking in shades of yellow, while burning bush and crimson pygmy display brilliant red leaves. Some types like holly and juniper bushes even sport vibrant berries.

These plants can be either deciduous (meaning they lose and regain their foliage with seasonal changes), or evergreen, with fullness and color year-round. Though not all shrubs require maintenance, many respond well to occasional pruning. If you're willing to go the extra mile, shrubs can be shaped into topiaries for a sculptural and manicured look. Maintaining topiaries, however, obviously requires lots of attention, time, and dedication.

No matter how you wish to incorporate them into your landscape, shrubs can turn any area into a showcase of beauty and design. As is the case for all plants, successful growth of shrubs relies heavily on its surroundings. No matter how much maintenance and care are put into it, any plant will fail to thrive without the proper environmental conditions. So, browse our selection of all recommended shrub plants below to learn more about them, or choose your state in the bottom menu to find which shrubs are best suited for your region's climate.