31 Flowering Shrubs for Year-Round Color

Help your landscape flow from late winter to fallwithout a lapse in color by choosing a variety of flowering shrubs with different bloom times, including azalea, hydrangea, buckeye, rose and more. Selections are generally organized by bloom time from early spring to late winter.

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Forsythia

Welcome spring with the classic sunny blooms of forsythia. This 'Show Off Starlet' selection comes in an updated, dwarf package. 'Show Off Starlet'’s branches are smothered in bright yellow blossoms. Like all forsythia, this dwarf version is deer resistant, growing 2-3 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Fothergilla

Bottlebrush-like blooms open at branch tips in early spring, before leaves appear. Flowers provide an early-season nectar source for pollinators. Fall color is breathtaking. Landscape use: Tuck into beds with perennials or other shrubs. Makes a natural hedge or thicket because it suckers. Include in native or wildlife gardens. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Azalea

Spring explodes with color when you include azaleas in your yard. Flowers open in a rainbow of hues — you can find any color you want. Shrub size varies from ankle-high to over 20 feet. Landscape use: Plant small varieties as bed edging or to line a walkway. Use larger types for hedges, or in wildlife or woodland gardens. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

See More: Azaleas: A Rainbow of Hues

Mountain Laurel

A native plant, mountain laurel has pink buds in spring that open to white cup-shape flowers. This native typically grows 5 to 8 feet tall and wide. Mountain laurel is a stand-out evergreen shrub because it tolerates shade (although best flowering occurs in light shade). Look for varieties with red, pink or bicolor blooms, double or large flowers, and buds that stay tight, adding an interesting texture to the shrub. Hardy in Zones 4-9.

Learn More: Mountain Laurel Care

Rhododendron

Dress up a shady part of your yard with the spring finery of rhododendrons. These evergreen shrubs open blooms in a variety of hues, with red and pastel tints being the most widely available. 'Handy Man Purple' (shown) has nearly neon pink-purple blooms. Landscape use: Plant as a specimen shrub, hedge or woodland garden. Choose smaller varieties for foundation plantings. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

See More: 10 Varieties of Rhododendrons to Try in Your Yard (+ Growing Tips)

Weigela

You’ll be planting artistry when you add this shrub to your yard. The pink blooms sparkle against dark leaves. Flowers open in late spring and are a hummingbird favorite. Landscape use: Include in perennial beds, wildlife gardens and even containers. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

See More: 18 Flowering Shrubs for Sun

English Lavender

‘Silver Mist’ lavender is a type of English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) with classically fragrant flowers and leaves. The name refers to silvery leaves, which are topped by deep purple blossom spikes in summer. Lavender needs good drainage to grow its best, reaching 16 to 20 inches high and 12 to 16 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

Learn More: Planting Lavender

Lilac

An old-fashioned favorite, lilac opens its flowers in late spring and early summer. Flower timing, fragrance and color depends on the lilac variety. Landscape use: Plant as hedge or specimen shrub. Short varieties work well in small gardens. Miniature tree varieties make a striking focal point in planting beds or containers. Hardy in Zones 2 to 7.

See More: 18 Lilac Varieties

French Hydrangea

This striking beauty boasts large flower heads that appear in early summer and linger well past frost. Bloom color includes pink, blue and white varieties. Landscape use: Tuck into mixed planting beds, woodland gardens or even containers. Blends well with perennials and spring flowering bulbs like daffodils and allium. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

Learn More: How to Plant, Grow and Care for Hydrangeas

Mock Orange

Fill your yard with the sweet perfume of orange blossoms. That’s the fragrance that mock orange flowers release when they open in late spring to early summer. Look for varieties with double or single flowers. Plant mock orange along a walkway or patio where you can savor the fragrance. Prune immediately after flowering. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

See More: 18 Flowering Shrubs for Sun

Roses

There are so many varieties of roses to choose from, so go your own way when it comes to color, but look for selections suited to your region with disease-resistance. If you’re in the market for a fuss-free rose (and who isn't?), check out the multi-colored beauty of 'Coral Cove,' shown here. Three-inch blossoms open to reveal a trio of hues: dark pink outer edges, orange centers and a bright yellow base. Use it as an informal hedge along a walkway or planting bed. Disease-resistant plants grow 3 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.

See More: 16 Perennial Partners for Roses

Virginia Sweetspire

White flowers open in spikes starting in early to midsummer. The blooms have a sweet fragrance and beckon pollinators like butterflies and bees. Plants withstand wet or dry soils and need some level of shade. Landscape use: Good choice for butterfly or rain gardens. Choose dwarf hybrids like ‘Little Henry’ (shown here) for small yards or containers. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

See More: 7 Shrubs for Shade Gardens

Spiraea

'Bridal Wreath' spiraea is an old-fashioned choice with white blooms but there are more color options these days. 'Anthony Waterer' spirea has masses of dark pink to crimson red flowers; some new varieties, such as ‘Gold Mound' have lime-green foliage. Plant in full sun or part shade, in zones 5-9.

See More: Great Summer-Flowering Shrubs

Viburnum

Also known as snowball shrub, viburnum can be mistaken for hydrangea with its white bloom clusters. Strongly horizontal branches give the doublefile viburnum (shown) an eye-catching form in every season. White flowers rest on branches in mid- to late spring in double rows, earning this shrub its name. Leaves turn purple-red to red in autumn. Use this shrub for a hedge or as a foundation planting. Prune immediately after flowering. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.

See More: 18 Flowering Shrubs for Sun

Elderberry

Wild elderberry can be a bit invasive but new hybrids bring the beauty of elderberry in a more tame package. 'Black Lace' is a dark leaf shrub elderberry that provides a strong background color to let other plants shine. Pink flowers open in midsummer and are a pollinator magnet. Flowers fade to berries that birds favor. Landscape use: Pair with plants having gold leaves, like Japanese forest grass for a striking combination. Works well in perennial planting beds. Include in wildlife gardens. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Learn More: Grow Your Own Elderberries

Butterfly Bush

Blue-purple flowers appear all summer — and even open through light frosts. Remove spent blooms to keep flowers coming. Butterflies can’t resist this beauty. Landscape use: Include in perennial beds or butterfly gardens, or use as a specimen shrub. Also works well in mixed shrub plantings. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

Learn More: How to Care for Butterfly Bush

Hibiscus

Hibiscus boasts tropical-looking blooms with bright color, perfect for summer. A newer variety, 'Perfect Storm' (shown) grows to a tidy 3 feet tall and fits neatly into small gardens and perennial borders. White flowers with a bright red eye and pink edged petals open to a whopping 7 to 8 inches across. Hardy in Zones 4-9.

Learn More: Hibiscus Care: Not All Hibiscus Are Created Equal

Rose-of-Sharon

Tropical-looking flowers give this old-fashioned favorite a lot of flair. If you mistook the blooms for hibiscus, no worries — they're closely related. Rose-of-Sharon blooms appear in midsummer, opening in a variety of shades, including white, lavender, red and pink. Landscape use: Include in mixed borders for strong upright element, or plant several to form a hedge. Works well in butterfly gardens. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

Learn More: Rose of Sharon

Abelia

Abelia is a tough plant — deer-resistant and low-maintenance — and prolific bloomer, lasting through summer and into fall. Pastel blooms come in shades of white, yellow and pink. Bi-colored abelia 'Sunny Anniversary' blooms in softer shades of yellow and pinkish-orange from midsummer into early fall. Hardy in Zones 6 to 9.

Learn More: Great Summer-Flowering Shrubs

Summersweet

Versatile and beautiful, summersweet grows in a range of conditions, from full shade to full sun. White or pink bristle-like blooms open on branch tips in mid- to late summer. Flowers are fragrant. Landscape use: Include in shade, butterfly or wildlife gardens. Adapts easily to conditions in rain gardens. Fits neatly into plantings along driveways or sidewalks. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Long white flower spikes appear in summer above the green leaves. Hummingbirds are especially fond of the flowers. Landscape use: Include in butterfly or wildlife gardens. This shrub suckers, which means it creates an informal hedge as it forms a colony or thicket if sprouts aren’t removed. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Pineapple Guava

Pineapple guava has incredibly exotic flowers that are perfectly edible, as is the fruit that ripens in fall. While this plant has a limited range, for those in Zones 8 to 10, it's a great option for color as well as flavor.

Potentilla

Potentilla can withstand a variety of harsh conditions, including drought and salty air, which makes it a go-to beachfront choice. 'Lemon Meringue' potentilla (shown) is a flower powerhouse, unfurling yellow, rose-like blooms all summer long. (The plant is related to roses.) Butterflies can’t resist potentilla, along with other pollinators. Small, round plants are drought tolerant once established and deer resistant. Grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 2-6.

Bluebeard

Lavender-blue blooms appear on this shrub in late summer and early fall. Butterflies flock to plants, adding more color to the scene. Some varieties offer grey-green leaves; others bring gold to the garden. Landscape use: Blends well in perennial plantings, mixed borders or wildlife gardens. Makes a great addition to a butterfly garden. Grows well in large containers. Hardy in Zones 5 to 11.

Oleander

Oleander is a multiple-stemmed shrub for which dwarf forms are available, some with variegated leaves. It thrives on neglect and drought. It can be grown in containers where winters are harsh. Note: All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous if ingested. Plant in full sun, in Zones 8-10.

Learn More: Oleander Is a Dangerous Beauty

Oakleaf Hydrangea

The flower show starts in late spring and early summer and lingers all winter long. Autumn showcases a color change for blossoms as they fade from white to deep pink. Blooms remain on plants through winter or can be cut and brought indoors for drying. Leaves bring bold fall color to any yard. Landscape use: Plant as an informal hedge, or include in mixed shrub borders. Also makes a natural addition to a cutting garden. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

Sansanqua Camellia

Exquisite flowers in shades of pink, red and white complement glossy green leaves. Blooms open from autumn through December and even into winter, depending on the variety and region. Landscape use: Tuck into mixed borders, or use as a focal point or hedge. Small varieties look stunning in containers. Hardy in Zones 7 to 9, with some varieties surviving in Zone 6.

Learn More: Favorite Camellia Varieties Plus Expert Planting and Growing Advice

Pieris

Bring part shade areas of your yard to glowing life with the clustered, dangling blooms of pieris. The bright pink flowers of ‘Valley Valentine’ pieris (shown) open from deep red buds in late winter and early spring. Also known as lily-of-the-valley shrub, pieris is a slow grower, eventually reaching a mature size of 5 to 7 feet tall and wide. Use ‘Valley Valentine’ as part of a foundation planting, shrub border or hedge. Hardy in Zones 6-8.

Japanese Flowering Quince

Deep pink blooms transform branches into wands of color in late winter to early spring. Place this sun-loving shrub where you’ll see the flowers from indoors. Look for varieties that open pale peach, coral or white blossoms. For early color, clip branches for forcing indoors. Prune immediately after flowering. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.

Learn More: How to Grow Flowering Quince

Winter Daphne

Fill late winter and early spring with the sweet fragrance of daphne. Pink flower buds open to reveal white blooms bursting with perfume. Tuck into dappled shade near an entry where you can savor the scent. The yellow-edged leaves of this variegated selection add color all year long. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

Winter Heath

Heath grows in rocky soil and is low maintenance once established. Bright blooms blanket ‘Kramer’s Red’ winter heath (shown) from winter into early spring. Plants have needle-like, evergreen leaves and grow to 12 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Use heath as a groundcover, or pair it with conifers for an eye-catching contrast. Hardy in Zones 6-8.

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