Flowering shrubs provide color and structure and can be used as groundcovers, hedge plants or eye-catching focal points. You can fill your garden with ornamental shrubs that bloom from early spring through late fall and even into winter. Many flowering shrubs also perfume the air with their own signature fragrance.

On this page: Spring Flowering Shrubs | Summer Flowering Shrubs | Fall & Winter Flowering Shrubs

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SPRING FLOWERING SHRUBS

Bloomerang® Dark Purple reblooming lilac. Photo: Proven Winners.

LILAC (Syringa spp. and hybrids)

Zones: 3-8 for most, a few hardy to Zone 2
Exposure: Full sun; will tolerate some light shade
Mature size: 5 to 15 feet tall and wide, depending on variety
Bloom time: Late April to May; again in summer for rebloomers.
Flower colors: Purple, pink, white

Throw open your windows on a warm day in May, and you’re apt to be greeted by the intoxicating, unmistakable fragrance of spring-blooming lilacs. Early-, mid- and late-season cultivars extend the bloom time for at least 6 weeks. Reblooming varieties bloom once in spring and again in summer through fall.

Learn more about growing lilacs.

Dandy Man® Pink rhododendron. Photo: Proven Winners.

RHODODENDRON & AZALEA (Rhododendron spp. )

Zones: 5-9
Exposure: Partial to dappled shade
Mature size: 18 inches to 20 feet tall, depending on variety
Bloom time: Peak bloom usually occurs mid-spring; however, some bloom as early as March, others as late as July.
Flower colors: Shades of pink, white, purple, crimson, and yellow

Prized for its spectacular spring flowers, many varieties are evergreen and can be enjoyed year-round. Their size and shape vary, from low-growing groundcovers to tall shrubs.

Learn more about growing rhododendrons and azaleas.

Show Off® forsythia. Photo: Proven Winners.

FORSYTHIA (Forsythia spp.)

Zones: 3-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade; flowers best in full sun
Mature size: 1 to 20 feet tall, 3 to 10 feet wide, depending on variety
Bloom time: Early to mid-spring
Flower colors: Bright yellow

The vibrant canary-yellow flowers of forsythia are like the first ray of sunshine after the dark days of winter, covering each arching branch with a profusion of blooms lasting one to two weeks. The welcome explosion of yellow flowers makes this shrub well worth planting, despite the short bloom time.

Learn more about growing forsythia shrubs.

Spice Girl® Korean spice viburnum. Photo: Proven Winners.

KOREAN SPICE VIBURNUM (Viburnum carlesii)

Zones: 4-8
Exposure: Partial to full sun
Mature size: 6 to 8 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: April
Flower colors: White, pink

This showy shrub produces clusters of pastel-pink buds in late March that open to domed clusters of white or pink-flushed flowers. However, it’s the heady fragrance, similar to spice cake, that makes this exceptional species a delightful addition to the garden.

Learn more about growing viburnum shrubs.

Sonic Bloom® Pink weigela. Photo: Proven Winners.

WEIGELA (Weigela florida)

Zones: 4-8
Exposure: Full sun; will tolerate partial shade
Mature size: Varies; from 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide to 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide
Bloom time: Mid to late spring, with sparser rebloom in summer and fall
Flower colors: Shades of red, pink, white, and yellow

Gardeners love this popular shrub not only for its abundance of white or pink flowers on arching branches, but also for its unflappable nature and reliable performance. The trumpet-shaped flowers are a favorite of bees and hummingbirds, and often continue to bloom in scattered fashion from mid to late summer.

Learn more about growing weigela shrubs.

FLOWERING QUINCE (Chaenomeles speciosa)

Zones: 5-9
Exposure: Full sun
Mature size: 6 to 10 feet tall and wide; some compact cultivars to only 3 or 4 feet
Bloom time: Early to mid-spring
Flower colors: Shades of red, orange, coral, pink, and white

Flowering quince blooms earlier than other spring-flowering shrubs, appearing as early as late January in the South, and March in northern areas. Adaptable and easy to grow, quince is also tolerant of heat, dry conditions, and a wide range of soil types.

Learn more about growing flowering quince.

SUMMER FLOWERING SHRUBS

Oso Easy Double Red® rose. Photo: Proven Winners.

SHRUB ROSE (Rosa spp.)

Zones: 5-9
Exposure: Full sun
Mature size: 1 to 4 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Early summer through fall
Flower colors: Shades of red, pink, white, yellow, and peach

Shrub roses are quickly becoming the go-to darlings of the rose world, taking the best traits of the hardiest rose species and combining them with attributes of repeat blooming and minimal maintenance.

Learn more about how to grow shrub roses.

'Limelight' panicle hydrangea. Photo: Proven Winners.

LIMELIGHT HYDRANGEA (Hydrangea paniculata)

Zones: 3-9
Exposure: Partial to full sun
Mature size: 6 to 8 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Late summer through fall
Flower colors: Blooms green, then fades to white, then pink

Hydrangeas are one of the few flowering shrubs that produce spectacular blooms even in partial shade. One hydrangea that has become the superstar of the late-summer garden is 'Limelight'. This fast-growing, upright shrub produces large cone-shaped panicles in late July that change color as they mature, from lime-green to white and finally to a rosy pink.

Learn more about how to grow hydrangeas.

Happy Face® Yellow cinquefoil. Photo: Proven Winners.

CINQUEFOIL (Potentilla fruticosa)

Zones: 2-7
Exposure: Partial to full sun
Mature size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: June through September
Flower colors: Yellow, pink, orange, or white

Cinquefoil is also one of the easiest shrubs to grow, featuring good drought tolerance, excellent winter hardiness, and little need for aggressive pruning. Besides yellow, dozens of cultivars of cinquefoil are available in other hues, including white, pink, and tangerine.

Learn more about how to grow cinquefoil shrubs.

Double Play® Candy Corn® spirea. Photo: Proven Winners.

SPIREA (Spirea japonica)

Zones: 4-8
Exposure: Full sun
Mature size: 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: June to August
Flower colors: Pink or purple

Summer-blooming Japanese spirea are a favorite of many gardeners because of their clusters of long-lasting summer flowers and good fall leaf color. Double Play® Candy Corn® is a popular, easy-care cultivar that produces showy dark purple bloom clusters surrounded by yellow and orange foliage.

Learn more about how to grow spirea bushes.

'Miss Molly' butterfly bush. Photo: Proven Winners.

SUMMER LILAC (Butterfly Bush) (Buddleia hybrids)

Zones: 5-9
Exposure: Full sun
Mature size: 2 to 10 feet tall and wide, depnding on variety
Bloom time: July to October
Flower colors: Shades of pink, purple, or white

Butterfly bushes have honey-scented blooms that are irresistible to butterflies and bees, and many gardeners as well. The lilac-like blossoms come in an array of pretty pastel colors, ranging from pink to deep purple, and continue from mid-summer into autumn.

Learn more about how to grow non-invasive butterfly bushes.

Sugar Shack® buttonbush. Photo: Proven Winners.

BUTTONBUSH (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Zones: 4-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 6 to 12 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: June to September
Flower colors: White

Showy pincushion-like flowers attract butterflies, moths, and other beneficial insects. Native to much of the U.S., this sturdy carefree shrub makes a good substitute in areas where butterfly bush is invasive.

Blue Chiffon® rose of Sharon. Photo: Proven Winners.

ROSE OF SHARON (Hibiscus syriacus)

Zones: 5-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 8 to 12 feet tall, 6 to 10 feet wide, depnding on variety
Bloom time: Mid-summer through October
Flower colors: Shades of white, pink, red, blue, or apricot

Despite its name, this old-fashioned shrub is not a rose at all but a member of the hibiscus family, producing luscious flowers from late summer through mid-autumn when few other shrubs are in bloom.

Learn more about how to grow rose of Sharon.

Sugartina® 'Crystalina' summersweet. Photo: Proven Winners.

SUMMERSWEET (Clethra alnifolia)

Zones: 3-9
Exposure: Partial shade
Mature size: 3 to 8 feet tall, 3 to 6 feet wide, depnding on variety
Bloom time: Late July through August
Flower colors: White or pink

Summersweet is one of the rare flowering shrubs that will bloom in shady places, perfuming the air with a sweet-spicy fragrance attractive to butterflies and bees. The showy white flower spikes come in abundance for 4 to 6 weeks, set off by dark, glossy green leaves that turn attractive shades of yellow to golden brown in fall.

FALL & WINTER FLOWERING SHRUBS

Funshine® abelia. Photo: Proven Winners.

ABELIA (Abelia grandiflora)

Zones: 5-9
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 3 to 6 feet tall and wide
Bloom time: Late summer through fall
Flower colors: White, pink

Abelia is the perfect choice for gardeners who want an easy-care, somewhat shade-tolerant plant that provides late-season fragrance. From summer through fall, it produces a profusion of rose-tinged white flowers on graceful, arching branches. The trumpet-shaped blooms have a jasmine-like scent that are a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Learn more about how to grow abelia.

CAMELLIA (Camellia )

Zones: 5-9
Exposure: Partial to full shade
Mature size: 6 to 12 feel tall and wide
Bloom time: Depending on variety, from late fall through spring
Flower colors: Red, pink, white

Camellia is the standout of the winter garden, bearing showy rose-like blooms in shades of white, pink, or red when other shrubs are dormant. The glossy, green foliage of this broadleafed evergreen is also attractive year-round. The bloom season is long and by staggering plantings of early-, mid- and late-season varieties, you can have flowers from November through April or May.

Learn more about growing camellias.

The most popular flowering shrubs are:

Last updated: May 12, 2021

Related: Summer Flowering Plants
Flowering Trees
Evergreen Shrubs
Deer-Proof Plants

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