Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Flowering Shrub Identification

rhododendrons image by Chris Lofty from

Flowering shrubs are sometimes called woody ornamentals. They are often grown as barriers, living fences to divide space. Flowering shrubs can be grown as specimen plants for their showy blooms. They tend to be very tolerant of adverse growing conditions. Flowering shrubs come in many colors to suit every landscape need. Grow flowering shrubs with basic gardening skills and knowledge of shrub types.


bride by azaleas image by BONNIE C. MARQUETTE from

Azaleas are called "the royalty of the garden" and are among the most popular of flowering shrubs. They come in a range of color from white to bright pink and yellow. Azaleas give long lasting color and can be placed almost anywhere in the garden. They are effective as a stand-alone plant or a foundation planting. Their showy bloom clusters blanket the entire plant. They grow in sun or shade, blooming in early spring.


hydrangeas image by Ruslana Stovner from

Hydrangea is easily recognized by their very large blue or pink snowball-shaped flowers. Blooms can grow to 12 inches across and are made up of many tiny flowers. Colors are typically blues or pinks. Summer is their blooming time. Prune or pinch new shoots (see Resource 1)when the plant is young to create a full, bushy plant. Hydrangeas like a well-drained soil and slow-release fertilizer.


lilac image by Henryk Olszewski from

Lilac shrubs are a favorite old-fashioned flower, popular for its clusters of very fragrant flowers. Their fragrance spreads throughout the garden. The flower clusters are made up of tiny blossoms and grow in yellow, white, pink or lavender. Lilacs bloom in spring but there are reblooming varieties also. They like a well-drained garden spot and do nicely on hillsides. Work compost into the soil every two months for added nutrients.

Butterfly Bush

butterfly gathering nectar image by Robert Ford from

Butterfly bushes are among the showiest flowering shrubs. They have long cone-shaped flowers made up of many smaller blossoms of magenta, lavender or white. The flowers can reach 10 inches in length, flowering midsummer to fall. Cut bushes back to 6 to 8 inches in early spring to encourage new growth and flower production. Plants grow 6 to 10 feet in height and width. Mix compost into soil for good water retention.

Crepe Myrtle

white crape myrtle image by tomcat2170 from

Crepe myrtle can look like a small tree but is classified as a flowering shrub. The shrubs have beautiful dark green foliage and masses of flowers covering the whole bush. The flower petals are delicate and almost transparent. Crepe myrtle flowers in purple, red, white and pink. It is a moderate growing plant that will reach 12 feet in height and 10 feet in width. Crepe myrtles like full sun and a heavy garden loam soil.

Garden Guides