What Are Some Good Shrubs for Landscaping?

There are many types of shrubs to plant around the home and garden. Hardy, evergreen shrubs like arborvitae provide color all season long. Perennial shrubs, a garden favorite, are ideal to use around the yard because they have the ability to come back each year fuller and taller. When planting shrubs around the landscape, remember to create a cohesive balance using color, height and texture. This helps to keep the landscape interesting all season long.

Japanese Barberry

Barberry is an ideal landscaping shrub that is drought tolerant and easy to transplant. This deciduous shrub has a dense, rounded shape that looks striking planted along a backyard patio as a barrier to the yard. The barberry grows up to 6 feet high and 7 feet wide. During the spring, the pale yellow flowers emerge against the bright green, long leaves. The Japanese barberry requires full sun to partial shade to thrive and tolerates a wide range of soil types, making this a very accommodating shrub. This plant grows best in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8.

Butterfly Bush

This rapidly growing deciduous shrub is a landscaper's dream. Not only is it easy to transplant, but it's also drought tolerant and attracts butterflies, hence the name butterfly bush. The medium to course foliage of the butterfly bush is arching and rounded. From summer to fall, the butterfly bush blooms colorful flowers in lavender, yellow, pink and white. The flowers range from 4 to 10 inches and are snowball-shaped. The blue-green leaves are long and range from 4 to 10 inches. The butterfly bush over time grows up to 10 feet high and 8 feet wide, making for a commanding presence along the landscape. The USDA hardiness zone is 5 to 9.


This colorful shrub is an ideal landscape in cooler climates. Its bright yellow blooms begin to emerge in late winter to early spring to brighten up the landscape with arching branches. The forsythia grows up to 6 feet high and wide and prefers sun to partial shade. The forsythia is drought-tolerant and tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Forsythia shrubs look lovely lining a driveway or tucked within a perennial bed with their bright color and texture. They thrive in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 7.

Winter Jasmine

Winter jasmine is a rapidly growing deciduous shrub with broad, spreading stems. The deep emerald green foliage spreads up to 7 feet wide, making this a brilliant landscaping shrub. The winter jasmine grows up to 4 feet in height and is ideal planted along a front walk or garden wall. Its light yellow flowers emerge in winter to light up the landscape. Winter jasmine is drought tolerant, making it a landscape favorite. It requires sun to partial shade and well-drained soil but can withstand heavy clay and sand soils if needed. This plant does best in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 10.

Keywords: landscaping shrubs, Japanese barberry, colorful butterfly bush, forsythia shrub, winter jasmine

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.