21 of the Prettiest Flowering Shrubs for Hedges

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21 of the Prettiest Flowering Shrubs for Hedges

Snowball Viburnum

Enclose your yard with flowering hedges instead of fences to add color, texture, and even fragrance to your backyard space. Check out these top picks for flowering shrubs that you can use to create fast-growing privacy hedges.

Azalea

Grown for their showy spring flowers, azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) light up the landscape with their trumpet-shape blooms in a broad spectrum of colors. Some, such as the Encore azalea (pictured here), also bloom on new wood throughout summer and fall. Most azaleas are deciduous and have smaller leaves than true rhododendrons.

Growing Conditions: Part shade in medium moist, well-drained acidic soil

Size: Up to three feet tall and wide

Zones: 7-9

Beautyberry

Although American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) bears clusters of small pinkish white blooms along its stem in late summer, the fruits that follow are what make this shrub so spectacular. The flowers of this native plant develop into bright purple berries in fall. In Zone 6, beautyberry may die back over winter, but will resprout from the base in spring.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist clay or sand enriched with organic matter.

Size: Up to six feet tall and wide

Zones: 6-10

Beautybush

Living up to its name, beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis) produces arching branches loaded with delicate pink bell-shape blooms in late spring. The flowers are followed by capsule-like fruits among its dark green leaves that turn yellow in the fall. This flowering hedge is deer resistant and holds up well during drought conditions.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 10 feet tall and wide

Zones: 4-8

Bluebeard

Also known as blue-mist spirea, bluebeard (Caryopteris spp.) is a late-season bloomer with powder-puff blue, pink, or purple flowers on compact plants with gray-green foliage. Selections offering variegated or chartreuse foliage are also available. Its flowers are very attractive to butterflies.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to four feet tall and wide

Zones: 5-9

Bridalwreath Spirea

If you’re looking for an elegant hedge that is widely adaptable, deer resistant, drought tolerant, and easy to grow, give bridalwreath spirea (Spiraea prunifolia) a try. An arching abundance of white flower clusters in mid-spring gives this shrub a romantic air.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to eight feet tall and wide

Zones: 5-8

Chaste Tree

Grown either as a multi-stemmed shrub or small, single-stemmed tree, chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) has deeply lobed, compound leaves and fragrant lilac, blue, or white flowers that draw butterflies. Gardeners in Zone 6 can treat chaste tree like a perennial because it will die to the ground each winter, but resprout from the roots in spring.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide

Zones: 6-9

Deutzia

When in full bloom, deutzia steals the show in early spring with its bountiful white or pink blooms on cascading stems. Tiny, fragrant, bell-shape flowers cover the whole plant so that hardly a single leaf is visible. Choose slender deutzia (D. gracilis) if you’re wanting a small variety, or opt for the taller variety— showy deutzia (D. x magnifica).

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 10 feet tall and wide

Zones: 5-8

Dwarf Crape Myrtle

Although many crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) grow to be small- to medium-size trees, some varieties, such as the Filli series and Dazzle series, remain shrubby, producing full-size, crepe-papery flowers with crimped petals on plants less than two feet tall. Crape myrtles have a long bloom period, eye-catching exfoliating bark, and a bright fall color.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to five feet tall and four feet wide

Zones: 6-10

Test Garden Tip: In Zones 5 and 6, where crape myrtles die most winters, treat the shrubs as perennials and cut them to the ground before growth begins in the spring.

Dwarf Fothergilla

A slow-growing shrub with an extended season of interest, dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) bears fragrant white bottlebrush blooms in early spring. In the fall, its leaves turn fiery red, orange, and yellow. Its bigger cousin, large fothergilla (F. major) is similar except it grows to eight feet tall.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in moist, acidic, well-drained soil

Size: Up to three feet tall and four feet wide

Zones: 5-8

Forsythia

The bright golden blooms of forsythia are practically synonymous with spring in much of the country. This deciduous shrub is known for its early yellow flowers that emerge before the plant leafs out, and for its foliage that maintains its fresh green color until late fall. Northern gardeners should choose one of the cold-hardy selections, such as ‘Meadowlark’, which provides reliable bloom even after sub-zero winters.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 10 feet tall and wide

Zones: 5-8

Hardy Hibiscus

Forming showstopping flowers the size of dinner plates, hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos) will make a striking hedge in your landscape. At the peak of bloom, this perennial can produce 20 or more flowers per day. Its hollyhock-like blooms appear in shades of red, white, salmon, or pink.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist to wet, well-drained soil

Size: Up to seven feet tall and four feet wide

Zones: 5-9

Lilac

Renowned for their fragrant clusters of mauve, pink, white, or purple flowers, lilacs (Syringa spp.) bloom in mid- to late-spring. A few newer varieties like Bloomerang extend the season with repeat bloom from late summer into fall. Dwarf Korean lilac, ‘Miss Kim’ lilac, and ‘George Eastman’ lilac all remain under 10 feet tall. If powdery mildew is a problem in your area, look for lilac varieties that are resistant to this disease.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 30 feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-7

Limelight Hydrangea

Flowers of ‘Limelight’ hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) vary from pastel green in cool climates to creamy white in the South. In autumn, the panicles of blooms turn pink before finally fading to beige. Planted as a flowering hedge, this hydrangea will create a dense, deer-resistant screen that requires no special care other than an occasional pruning to encourage new growth.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to eight feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-8

Ninebark

A native shrub, ninebark (Physocarpus spp.) requires little care to thrive, standing up well to heat and drought. Its colorful foliage may be gold, coppery red, or deep purple in addition to medium green, depending on the variety. The burgundy foliage of Summer Wine ninebark, for example, contrasts beautifully with its delicate pink blooms. This shrub also offers exfoliating bark that adds winter interest after the leaves have fallen.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to eight feet tall and six feet wide

Zones: 2-8

Oleander

A drought-tolerant and deer-resistant shrub, oleander (Nerium oleander) is known for its colorful and fragrant clusters of blooms that thrive through most of the growing season. This tropical beauty’s flower colors range from pink to white, red, orange, and yellow. But beware: All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested so keep away from pets and small children. It’s also considered invasive in some parts of the country.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist soil

Size: Up to eight feet tall and five feet wide

Zones: 8-10

Potentilla

A tough, long-blooming shrub, potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa) produces yellow, creamy-white or orange flowers throughout the summer. Because the plant blooms in mounds on new wood, you can prune it back severely to maintain its shape in early spring without sacrificing its blossoms. It is extremely heat- and drought-tolerant.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to four feet tall and five feet wide

Zones: 3-7

Shrub Rose

Combining hardiness with repeat blooming, shrub roses make colorful landscape additions without the fuss of fancy hybrid tea varieties. Newer varieties, such as the Knockout and Easy Elegance series are as disease resistant and easy to care for as any other shrub.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to four feet tall and wide

Zones: 5-9

St. John’s Wort

A North American native, St. John’s wort (Hypericum kalmianum ‘Deppe’) is an all-star shrub that’s easy to grow and a cinch to incorporate into almost any landscape. Often sold under the name of Sunny Boulevard, this long-blooming shrub starts producing its bright yellow flowers in midsummer and continues into early fall. Its dark green foliage makes a great foil for the cheery flowers.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to three feet tall and four feet wide

Zones: 4-8

Summersweet

With a name like summersweet (Clethra alnifolia), you can guess that this shrub’s pink or white flowers are fragrant and very attractive to butterflies and bees. It’s one of the few shrubs that bloom well in the shade, although it also will grow in full sun in northern regions, provided it has adequate moisture. Its glossy dark green leaves turn shades of yellow to golden brown in fall.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to shade in medium moist to wet soil

Size: Up to eight feet tall and six feet wide

Zones: 3-9

Viburnum

Snowball Viburnum

There are a lot of viburnums on the market and many grow well as flowering hedges. Most produce clusters of white or delicate pink flowers in early spring—look for types such as Koreanspice viburnum (V. carlesii), which offer fragrant flowers, or for varieties that develop red or black berries. Snowball viburnum (V. opulus ‘Roseum’), pictured here, grows 8-10 feet tall. The variety ‘Nanum’ stays under three feet tall.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 16 feet tall and 12 feet wide

Zones: 2-8

Weigela

Popular with hummingbirds, weigela (Weigela florida) boasts red or pink trumpet-shape flowers that bloom profusely in spring and often bloom again in mid- to late summer. Some varieties of this flowering shrub bear white flowers, while others produce copper, burgundy, or variegated leaves.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.