Varieties of Shrubs

Compared to trees, shrubs are smaller and they typically have a more rounded form. By pruning some shrubs, you can create hedges and barriers, as well as screens to give you privacy. While many kinds of shrubs are of the evergreen variety, others are deciduous and flowering types. Certain shrubs have multiple good qualities and make fine choices as a landscaping species.


The copperleaf shrub (Acalypha wilkesiana), also called Joseph's coat, is native to South Pacific islands such as Fiji and has managed to become cultivated in parts of Florida. The shrub is a spreading evergreen plant that can attain a height of up to 10 feet. The most attractive feature of copperleaf is the foliage, which is up to 8 inches long and comes in multiple colors according to the cultivar. Copperleaf hybrids, for instance, may have leaves that are copper-green or possess variegated leaves of tan, red and yellow. Copperleaf is an outdoor option only in warm and humid climates since it is tropical in nature. You can keep one in a container indoors in a medium light setting but the Floridata website states the plant shows its best color when exposed to full sun. When copperleaf grows indoors, you should attentively mist the plant to keep it damp. If growing a copperleaf shrub outside, you need to place the plant in moist but well-draining soil and either plant the specimen in full sun or partial shade. In suitable climates, copperleaf is an option for such purposes as hedges and specimen plants.

Sweet Pepperbush

Sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia) is a deciduous variety of shrub that has many attractive assets. You can plant it near a pond or stream on your property where it will spread by developing suckers from the roots, thereby controlling erosion. The sweet-smelling flowers will attract butterflies and sweet pepperbush will still produce its white flowers during the hottest part of summer when other shrubs will not. The shrub will grow between 4 and 8 feet high with 2 to 3 inch long leaves, which will change to yellow in autumn. The sweet pepperbush has a native range from Maine to Florida and as far westward as portions of Texas. The plant grows in sun or in shade and prefers acidic ground. Wet soil is best for this shrub to thrive in, with the wetter the ground, the more offshoots the plant will send out.

Rocky Mountain Juniper

Dozens of cultivars of Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ) exist, with each of these shrubs having different features. For example, one called Blue Heaven grows to 6 feet high and has a cone shape as well as blue-green foliage. Another named Gray Gleam has bluish-gray foliage that seems to turn silvery during the winter months. Rocky Mountain juniper in the wild can grow to 50 feet high as a tree but it usually takes the size and form of a shrub. The evergreen plant will often branch off right above the ground into multiple trunks. The reddish bark will hang in narrow strips and the leaves resemble scales that overlap one another on the twigs. Rocky Mountain juniper produces cones that look much like a berry, with a blue color and whitish tint. Landscaper will use this species to create hedges and screens. Since the plant will grow in acidic or alkaline soil and can withstand dry conditions, it serves as a foundation plant around buildings as well.

Keywords: Rocky Mountain juniper, copperleaf Joseph's coat, sweet pepperbush

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John has written thousands of articles for Demand Studios, Associated Content and The Greyhound Review. A Connecticut native, John has written extensively about sports, fishing, and nature.