Flowering shrubs are an ideal way to bring color and texture to the landscape. Their colors, shapes, sizes and growing requirements vary depending upon the species. Some flowering bushes are evergreen, meaning their foliage remains with color all season, while others are deciduous, where they drop their leaves at the end of the growing season. With dozens of varieties available to plant, your landscape can be in bloom all year long.
Carolina rhododendron (Rhododendron carolinianum) is a slow growing evergreen shrub that produces brilliant flower blooms. The spring blooming flowers grow 3 to 4 inches wide and in a wide variety of colors, including rose, white, pale pink and lilac. Carolina rhododendron have a round form with medium texture. They grow 3 to 6 feet tall and wide and are ideal for mass plantings along the front of the home. The dark green leaves on the Carolina rhododendron are aromatic and grow 2 to 3 inches long. In winter, the green leaves take on a purple tinge to create a stunning presence to the landscape. Carolina rhododendron prefers partial shade and well-drained, moist soils to thrive. The USDA hardiness zone for planting is 5 to 8.
A deciduous shrub with a moderate growth rate, the flowering quince (Chaenomelea speciosa) shrub brightens up the landscape with its bright blooms. Flowering quince have a rounded, broad form with dense growth.The spiny branches are multi-stemmed with a spreading shape. Flowering quince grows 6 to 10 feet tall and wide, making for a commanding presence along a front flower bed. The double flowerheads grow over 2 inches wide and in a wide variety of colors including, red, pink, white and scarlet. The flowers emerge in late winter to early spring to light up the landscape. The dark green leaves grow over 3 inches long for a striking contrast to the bright blooms. Flowering quince shrubs are drought-tolerant and can be severely pruned once the shrub has flowered. Flowering quince prefers full sun to partial shade and a range of soil types, excluding those that have a high pH. The USDA hardiness zone for planting is 4 to 8.
Early forsythia (Forsythia ouata), a deciduous shrub with medium texture, has a stiff and spreading form. The bright yellow flowers on the forsythia shrub emerge in late winter to early spring for a fresh burst of color to the gray winter landscape. Early forsythia shrubs grow 4 to 6 feet tall and wide and are drought tolerant. Small and light green, the leaves are simple and alternate. Early forsythia prefers full sun to partial shade to thrive. It tolerates adverse growing conditions but does not prefer warm climates. The USDA hardiness zone for planting is 4 to 7.
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