Common Landscape Shrubs

Common landscaping shrubs help to transform areas like backyards and front entrances into inviting and attractive spaces. Many landscape shrubs are evergreen and keep their green foliage year-round to create color throughout the garden. Many are oftentimes drought-tolerant making for a low-maintenance and unfussy shrub. They grow in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, colors and textures and when nestled along a front flowerbed, landscape shrubs become a staple to the garden.

Carissa Holly

Carissa holly (Ilex cornuta "Carissa") is a common landscape shrub that grows in USDA zones 7 to 9. As an evergreen shrub variety, it retains its colorful foliage year-round for a constant source of color. Carissa holly grows up to 4 feet tall and has a spread of 4 to 6 feet wide. It has a compact rounded form that is dense. Carissa holly is both heat- and drought-tolerant and makes for an unfussy landscape shrub. The dark-green leatherlike foliage is 2 to 3 inches long and comes to a point or terminal spine. They grow best in full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Carissa holly grows in a wide range of soil types.

Green Gem Boxwood

Green gem boxwood (Buxus "Green Gem") is a slow-growing evergreen landscape shrub. It has a rounded, dense and mounding form, making it a popular landscape shrub to grow in rows along a garden. Green gem boxwood grows up to 4 feet tall and has a width of 3 to 4 feet wide and is suitable in USDA zones 7 to 9. Green gem boxwood seldom requires pruning, creating a low-maintenance landscape shrub variety. It has shiny dark-green leaves and contrasting creamy spring-blooming flowers. Green gem requires full sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil to thrive.

Crimson Pygmy Japanese Barberry

Crimson pygmy Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii "Crimson Pygmy") is a deciduous landscape shrub that has a compact, rounded form. Its spreading branches hold the deep crimson foliage that grows just under 1 inch long. In spring, crimson pygmy have small waxylike flowers that are red, orange and pale yellow. To follow are the oval red berries that emerge in summer to last into winter. Crimson pygmy barberry reaches a maximum height of 3 feet and a spread of 3 to 4 feet wide. It requires full sun to part shade and grows in a wide range of soil types excluding overly wet sites. Crimson pygmy Japanese barberry grows in USDA zones 6 to 8.

Keywords: common landscape shrubs, Carissa holly, green gem boxwood, crimson Japanese barberry

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer, designer and photographer in North Carolina. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate your indoor and outdoor living environment. Her articles have appeared in and and her photography has been featured in "Automotive News" magazine and