How to Landscape Shrubs & Bushes


Shrubs come in all sizes and shapes to fit your specific landscaping needs. Shrubbery can add interesting elements to your landscape; they add color and texture, create frames and borders for your flowers, and generate blossoms and fruits. For best results, select bushes or shrubs that will thrive in your location.

Step 1

Create a plan for your landscape. Draw a layout of your yard on a piece of paper. Mark the areas for shrubs or bushes. Note the soil texture (such as, sandy or clay), the amount of sunlight (full sun or shady) and the soil moisture level (damp or dry) of the sites. Use this information for selecting the best bushes to grow under these conditions.

Step 2

Decide on the reason you want shrubs or bushes in the various places in your landscape. Shrubs can provide privacy, focal points, fragrance, food for wildlife or a combination of these.

Step 3

Select landscaping bushes according to the height requirements. Consider what the height of shrubs will be when they're full grown. Plant small bushes around flowerbeds and pathways or to hide foundations; choose medium bushes as focal points and borders; use larger varieties for privacy and wind barriers.

Step 4

Consider the appearance of the shrub throughout the year. Choose evergreen landscaping shrubs, such as a holly, to add a touch of green to your landscaping all year 'round or select deciduous bushes for an ever-changing look.

Step 5

Pick bushes that generate fruits to attract wildlife to your yard and garden, or shrubs with abundant blossoms to fill the area with color and scent. Select flowering shrubs with different bloom times or varieties that change color during the year to alter the look of your landscape.

Step 6

Prepare the soil ahead of planting landscape bushes to ensure healthy growing conditions. Work compost and organic matter into the area to enrich the soil, since shrubs can thrive for years in one location.

Step 7

Water, weed and maintain the shrubs and bushes, once they're placed in your landscape. Supply plenty of water during the first year and during growing seasons after that. Add mulch to the soil, and prune the bushes as needed.


  • Colorado State University Extension: Deciduous Shrubs
  • University of Illinois Extension: Search Shrubs
  • Plant Care: Landscaping Shrubs

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Selecting Shrubs for Your Home
  • University of Missouri Extension: Selecting Landscape Plants: Deciduous Shrubs
  • Plant Care: Pruning Shrubs and Bushes
Keywords: planting landscape bushes, choosing bushes, bushes and shrubs, flowering shrubs

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.