Flowering shrubs serve many purposes in a garden, such as adding color, attracting beneficial insects and birds and adding an element of privacy when they're used as hedges. Choosing the right shrub for your garden should be based not only on personal taste, but also on how the plant will fare in the space where you intend to plant it.
As its name implies, butterfly bush is loved by butterflies as well as other creatures such as hummingbirds and bumble bees. Common in white and purple, butterfly bushes come in many other colors as well and range in size from 2 to nearly 15 feet tall. According to Mountain Valley Growers, there are more than 100 varieties of butterfly bush. The different types can range from compact to shaggy, but all are covered with fragrant blooms that typically last all summer long. Butterfly bushes prefer full sun, and depending on the variety, can be hardy to -20 degrees F.
Incredibly fragrant, lilac bushes are frequently planted as hedges, but also make ideal anchors in flower gardens and landscapes. They bloom in spring in most areas. The most common color of lilac bush is lilac, but they are also available in pink, white, dark violet, maroon and cream. Nature Hills Nursery notes that there are more than 1,000 varieties and hybrids. They can grow from 5 to nearly 30 feet tall. Like many other flowering plants, lilacs prefer full sun.
Rose of Sharon
Rose of Sharon, or Hibiscus syriacus, has an appearance more like a tropical flower than a rose, but comes in nearly as many colors as cultivated roses. The bushes bloom nearly all summer, beginning in July. Rose of Sharon grows up to 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide, and prefers full sun, but can grow and flower in partial shade. Like butterfly bush, rose of Sharon attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
While they take more work than many other common flowering shrubs, hydrangeas pay back the effort by filling your garden with large clusters of blooms. Pink and blue are the most popular colors, but plants also come in red and white. Colors can change several times throughout the lifespan of a single plant, usually depending on soil conditions. Hydrangea can reach heights of up to 10 feet, but are typically closer to 6 feet high and 6 feet wide. Most varieties do best in morning sun and afternoon shade, but some are cultivated to withstand full sun all day long.