10 Fabulous Flowering Easy Care Shrubs

Often described as the backbone of a garden, shrubs are generally reliable bloomers. Reliability is important to me, and so is hardiness. I am sorry to let you know that any plants which hope to do well in our yard must thrive on neglect. Our flowering shrubs definitely fall into this category. If you see a plant you like on my list, you can just assume that it is low-maintenance. Some of the most beautiful blooms in our yard are found on our shrubs. A few of the shrubs were given to us as gifts for Mother’s Day or as a Teacher Appreciation gift, making them all the more special.

10 Fabulous Flowering Shrubs for the Easy Care garden Pinterest image

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My husband is quite talented when it comes to arranging plants and other landscaping details. I, however, end up planting things in rows, as noted in  a previous blog post about flower containers. My talents are mainly relegated to the vegetable garden. I assist in the planting and choosing, but I am certainly not the master arranger of the shrubbery. Which flowering shrubs made my final list? I’m not going to give a lot of details about planting depth or anything. I just want to share my favorites from a low-maintenance gardener’s perspective. The easier to care for, the better. Read on to find out which are my favorites!

A Brief Word About Plant Hardiness Zones

We are located in plant hardiness Zone 8b, which means that our lowest temperatures range from 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. To find out which zone you are in, search the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Just enter your zip code and you’ll know the answer!

The Color Palette

I need to let you know that I have a preference for blue, pink, purple and more blue when it comes to the blooms in our garden. I also like a touch of yellow. If you are a fan of orange and red, you may still find a few on this list which have those colors in a certain variety.

General Care Tips

I am not a fussy gardener. Therefore, most of these shrubs just require trimming for shape as needed, not an annual pruning. Also, I am not one to go around picking off spent blooms. You may if you wish, but it’s not required!

Favorite flowering shrubs featured image

Azalea

Grown from a plant which was given to me years ago for Mother’s Day, the brilliant pink blooms on this flowering shrub are stunning. We have it in a special place in our perennial garden in our backyard. It receives more sun than it used to, thanks to the recent absence of a large maple tree. This hardy, dependable bloomer usually flowers for us in April.

favorite flowering shrubs azalea

Cape Fuchsia

This lovely shrub has magenta blooms shaped like trumpets. No relation to hardy fuchsia, this shrub grows amazingly well in our climate. Located in part-sun, this vigorous grower has beautiful dark green foliage. It does benefit from a trim each winter. Ours usually blooms for us in mid to late summer.

favorite blooming shrubs Cape Fuchsia
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Forsythia

Our forsythia bush is one of my favorite flowering shrubs because it signals the coming of spring. Usually blooming in March for us, the bright yellow blossoms give me hope for warmer weather. Some people create beautiful arrangements with blooming forsythia branches. I am not very good at arranging things artistically, as referred to in previous blog posts about plants and art. I simply enjoy gazing out the kitchen window at our lone forsythia during the still-chilly days of early spring. This is one of the splashes of yellow I like having as an accent color in our yard. It seems to thrive in our partially shaded backyard and needs little maintenance.

favorite flowering shrubs forsythia
Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Heather

Heather, a low-growing evergreen shrub, comes in white, pink or purple flowers. The blooms are quite tiny, and make their appearance in late summer. Always a reliable shrub, heather seems to thrive on lack of attention. We sort of forget about ours, which are located in a part-shade location near our driveway.

favorite flowering shrubs heather
Image by _Alicja_ from Pixabay

Hydrangea

We have two hydrangea bushes. One was given to me as a Mother’s Day gift, and the other was a gift from a student 25 years ago. Thank you, Jonathan, wherever you are. The fourth grade class you were part of holds a special place in my heart. The beautiful periwinkle blue blooms on this flowering shrub remind me of the long-lasting pleasure gifts of plants can bring. Depending upon the acidity in your soil, hydrangea blooms may range from white to rose pink to bluish purple. The more acidic your soil, the more blue your blooms. Hydrangeas are very versatile that way, and the blooms make excellent dried floral arrangements. Late summer is when we get the best blooms.

favorite flowering shrubs hydrangea
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Lilac

One of my favorite things about this flowering shrub is its wonderful fragrance. When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to bring lilacs into the house. My mother developed headaches due to the smell of lilacs. As a result, I’ve just always enjoyed lilac blossoms left on the shrub, not as a cut flower. Mid-May is when the blooms are usually at their peak in our yard. I make a point of walking by our one lilac bush each day during this time to savor the aroma. Our lilac bush is in partial shade, but would probably do better in a sunnier location. Since we’ve yet to find a good sunny spot, for now, it will stay where it is.

favorite flowering shrubs lilacs

Lithodora

Grace Ward is the name of my favorite variety of lithodora. I appreciate its brilliant blue blossoms and low-growing, gently spreading structure. Our lithodora has grown quite large, and spills gracefully over the rocks in our retaining wall nearby. Our plant continues to thrive in its sunny location, despite the fact our black Labrador, Maggie, loves to lie in the middle of it. It’s very hardy!

favorite flowering shrubs lithodora

Rhododendron

In Oregon, where we live, rhododendrons are so common, just about every yard has one. There is a reason for this. They require hardly any attention! Some can become quite large and tree-like. We have a selection planted south of our lawn in a semi-shady area. These plants bloom in late spring, and provide quite a show. Multiple colors are available, including red, bright magenta, purple, pink, and white.

favorite flowering shrubs rhododendron
The rhododendrons bordering our south lawn

Spirea

Spirea blooms can be pink or white and blossom in late spring or early summer. There are also some mid-summer blooming varieties. Ours are pink, located in partial sun, and bloom in the summer. The branches of spirea can be fragile, so trimming in the winter may prevent branches from breaking due to the weight of snow.

favorite flowering shrubs spirea
Image by Samuel Stone from Pixabay

Rosemary

Rosemary smells divine, and ours is useful as an herb specimen as well as being pretty to look at. With its blue blooms, it fits perfectly into my favorite color scheme. It’s a woody evergreen plant, and it needs a well-drained, sunny location to thrive. We like to use the branches as skewers on the grill. Mmm…delicious!

favorite flowering shrubs rosemary

Weigela

I love our weigela shrub. We moved it from a sunny location to a part-sun location, and for a few years it did not bloom as profusely. However, just this past couple of weeks it has finally returned to its former glory. Hooray! The blooms are a stunning pink, and I missed them. I’m so glad they are back. One thing to watch out for: weigela blooms on year-old wood, so it’s best to trim after it blooms in late spring, after the blooms are spent.

favorite flowering shrubs weigela

What About Your Favorites?

Now that I’ve shared my favorite flowering shrubs, maybe you have some you would like to share. I’d enjoy learning about them.

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Have a wonderful week, and happy low-maintenance gardening!

 

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Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to grow fruit, vegetables, and flowers on her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. To learn more about what this website has to offer gardeners, click on over to the Garden page.

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20 thoughts on “10 Fabulous Flowering Easy Care Shrubs”

  1. I love flowering shrubs, they can brighten any landscape. Ever since I moved to California I miss some of my favorites from the colder zones: lilacs, hydrangeas, and forsythia. At least I can still grow azaleas, camellias, and hibiscus here. And of course roses. Enjoy the new growing season!

    Reply
    • Thank you! You can probably grow citrus, which I would love.

      Reply
  2. I have been trying to incorporate more flowers into my vegetable garden to help attract pollinators and add more color. Adding some easy-care flowering shrubs into the mix will be a huge benefit, especially since the garden keeps me busy enough, so plants that don’t require a lot of work are right up my alley. I’ll have to do a bit of research to see which ones will do best for my climate. We do have a lilac bush in our front yard that does well.

    Reply
    • Nice! If you find some that work well for you, I’d love to know about them.

      Reply
  3. I have never been able to grow a rhododendron. I’ve gotten instructions from folks who have rhododendron in their yards that are beautiful, but my attempts at planting one have met in failure. Do you have any secrets to planting one and having it grow rather than die?

    Reply
    • What kind of soil do you have? Rhododendrons like well-drained, acidic soil. If you have extra coffee grounds, you can sprinkle them on the soil. Rhodies do best in a spot that gets sun for part of the day, but is not full sun exposure. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  4. I have always loved lavender. Not only does it look pretty, but it’s been proven to be useful for aromatherapy, with a relaxing effect. This is HUGE if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, giving you a great place to relax and recharge.

    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

    Reply
    • Britt,

      Yes, lavender has many benefits. I buy lavender-scented items as often as I can. I’ve just never been able to grow it very well. If you can grow it, I’m a bit envious! Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm for lavender, and happy gardening!

      Lisa

      Reply
  5. So I think plants have about a month shelf life when they come to my house…up to and including cacti. As such, it was so funny to read that you are not a gardener as I see that so many of your posts revolve around plants. I may just have to branch out and try ONE of these to see how long I can keep it alive. I don’t know that I can do a whole garden, though. #babysteps

    Reply
    • Brittany,

      I have to give a lot of credit to my hard-working husband. He is the idea person and a much more confident gardener than I am. I am constantly asking for his input before I attempt anything drastic. If you try something, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks so much for your comment, and good luck with whatever you decide to try!

      Lisa

      Reply
  6. I don’t really have much of a clue when it comes to gardening but they all look very pretty! I laughed when you said that they must be low maintenance hahah!

    Reply
    • Millie,

      I’m pretty clueless at times, and always learning something new. My husband and I usually don’t go plant shopping for a specific plant. We take a look at what we have, what we’re given, or what catches our eye, then we decide where we want to put it. Yes, being low-maintenance is definitely a must! Thanks so much for your comment, and happy gardening!

      Lisa

      Reply
  7. I’m in zone 4, and even then my plants can struggle! I have quite a few of the ones you named, but will check out rosemary and lithodora! Thanks!!

    Reply
    • AnnMarie,

      It seems as if you have quite a bit of gardening experience, and if you are in zone 4, you have colder temperatures than I do in the winter. I’m not sure if rosemary would make it, and maybe not even the lithodora. According to some research I did, lithodora does best in zones 6-10. Maybe if you visit a local nursery, they might have some ideas about a variety of rosemary or lithodora that can withstand cold temps. I admire your bravery and would be interested to know which plants do well for you. Thanks so much for your comment, and good luck with planting hardy plants that can withstand the cold!

      Lisa

      Reply
  8. I love this post! We have a lot of flowering shrubs in Arizona, the oleander is one of the most popular…and poisonous! But it is beautiful!

    Reply
    • Holly,

      It’s interesting to learn about the plants that grow well in other parts of the country. I haven’t had any experience with oleander, but next time I visit Arizona, I’ll be sure to seek out some plants. Thanks so much for your comment!

      Lisa

      Reply
  9. Aww, i love these – many of them, I know and love, that is, and a few are new to me but SO pretty! I keep trying to grow crape myrtle – we’re supposed to be in a place that can handle some varieties, and plenty of neighbors have them, but the crazy weather of recent years keeps killing my attempts before they get too far along…

    Reply
    • Flossie,

      Good to hear from you! I don’t know anything about crepe myrtle, but some plants are just temperamental. We have had rock daphne plants die for no discernable reason, so they definitely did not make my list. I’m glad you read about some plants that were new to you. Thanks for your comment, and happy gardening!

      Lisa

      Reply
  10. I love flowering shrubs. We have quite a few azaleas, and I have been wanting to add some Rhododendron as well. I want a couple of Hydrangea plants but I am afraid that I will kill them. I’ve always heard that you have to have the soil just right or they won’t thrive. Is that true, or just hearsay?

    Reply
    • Lasonia,

      I think more than soil, it might be the amount of sun that is hard on hydrangeas. Too much sun can burn the leaves. Ours do better in a part-shade location. We have never had a problem with the soil. Ours has a bit of clay in it, but it hasn’t seemed to make a difference. I hope you do get to add some rhododendrons, and maybe give a hydrangea a try. I’d love to know how it goes if you do! Thanks so much for your comment.

      Lisa

      Reply

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