Inula Royleana
Midwest Gardening
Easy Flowering Shrubs

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If you don’t have much experience with plants, or have moved into your first home, these shrubs are very easy to grow and will provide wonderful blooms for a low maintenance landscape.

There are so many wonderful flowering shrubs to choose from.  Flowering shrubs are colorful additions to any landscape and can also serve as a backdrop for perennial gardens.  There are many flowering shrubs that are easy to grow and low maintenance.  So you can have blooms without the work of annual and perennial gardens.  

To ensure that your shrubs grow healthy, bloom well and are low maintenance, it is very important that you select shrubs that do well in your soil type, sun conditions, and region.  A reputable nursery can help you to select the best shrubs for your planting site.

Blue Mist Caryopteris by Patrick StandishBluebeard Caryopteris is a great flowering shrub that is very easy to grow.  It puts up with heat and drought and attracts birds and butterflies.  Lovely  airy spikes of blue bloom clusters are produced in late summer and are great for cutting.  Well behaved caryopteris remains around 4 feet tall.  Hardy in zones 5 through 9.

 

Butterfly Bush by Karen BryanButterfly Bush has been a long time favorite of gardeners for landscapes and perennial gardens.  Hardy in zones 5 through 9, it is adaptable and grows quickly to as much as 10 feet tall and produces lovely drooping panicles of blooms in summer to fall.  Smaller varieties such as ‘Adonis Blue’ will remain about 4 to 5 feet tall.  If you pinch off spent flowers the blooming will be extended and heavy pruning will produce heavy blooming the following year.  Butterfly bush is pretty adaptable so about all you have to do is prune it hard in late winter or very early spring and give it a light feeding as soon as growth begins..

Buttonbush by Gabriel HurleyButtonbush does very well in moist soil and is hardy in zones 5 through 10.  Late spring produces button balls of white blooms that attract butterflies.

 

 

Forsythia Mimosa by phileoleForsythia, the harbinger of spring, is covered with brilliant yellow blooms in very early spring.  Hardy in zones 5 through 8, you should be able to just let Forsythia do it’s thing without even pruning because it blooms on old wood.

 

hydrangea paniculata Early Sensation by Lenora EnkingHydrangea are no longer just snow ball bushes from your grandma’s garden.  There are so many new varieties, but do be careful with your selection.  Some of the new hybrids are high maintenance and do not grow vigorously.  For an easy and beautiful hydrangea, stick to the old fashioned varieties or get as much information as possible from a trusted garden center.

 

 

Mock Orange by Daryl MitchelMock Orange are surprisingly easy to grow under large trees where it is typically very difficult to grow much.  It tolerates the dry nutrient starved soil with part shade, and still produces delicate fragrant flowers in spring or early summer.  Hardy in zones 5 through 9.  

 

Candy Link Mountain laurel by Eric KilbyMountain Laurel is a great shrub for shade, part shade, or sun depending on your region.  Hot summer region should plant in shade to part shade, and cooler summer regions should plant in full sun.  Pretty pastel flower clusters are produced in early summer and the rich glossy green leaves look great all year.  Hardy in zones 4 through 8, Mountain Laurel will reach 7 to 15 feet tall.

 

LilacsLilac are the old fashioned staple of landscapes, but the varieties available now are far from old fashioned.   The lovely fragrance of lilacs will grace your property every spring with just a quick shearing after the spring bloom period.  Most are hardy in zones 2 or 3 through 7 and can reach 15 feet tall.

 

Potentilla by Matt LavinPotentilla are likely the very easiest flowering shrub to grow, they literally thrive on neglect.  Because they have been so widely planted they seem to be considered “too common”.  There are many newer varieties available, but if you want the easiest to grow, stick with the highly reliable old fashioned originals.  You will find them with yellow, pink or white flowers.  Very hardy, they do well in zones 2 or 3 through 7.

 

Rhododendron by Kalle ScharlundRhododendron have such beautiful blooms that you might think they must require tedious care.  But they do grow and flower beautifully in part shade with very little attention.  A good selection of vivid bloom colors are available with an overall size range from dwarf to 12 feet tall.  These tough beauties are generally hardy all the way to zone 4.

 

Rose of Sharon by FD RichardsRose of Sharon, of the hibiscus family, is gorgeous in bloom.  They really require little in the way of care and still reward you with tons of big blooms from early summer and into fall.  The tall vase shaped shrub only needs full sun, well drained soil and regular watering.  Find a sterile variety unless you want a lot of self seeded volunteers.  Hardy in zones 5 through 9, Rose of Sharon tolerates heat and humidity well.

 

Shrub Roses by T KiyaRoses should not scare you off these days.  There are dozens of varieties now that produce beautiful shrubs full of blooms all summer with no more care than an ordinary shrub.  Look for modern shrub roses like the Knock Out series roses, Pavement Roses or Rugosa Roses.  Just ask your trusted garden center for low maintenance shrub roses and they can direct you to the ones that flourish easily in your region.

 

Spirea Lemon Princess by Drew AverySpirea are planted quite commonly because of their easy going manner.  The shrubs are well behaved at about 4 feet and produces summer blooms.  If you shear off the spent blooms another light flush of blooms will appear.  Many also have great colorful foliage to boot.  Hardy in zones 4 through 9.

 

Viburnum by TanakaViburnum is a tough and vigorous shrub that grows lush with deep green foliage.  They don’t all flower, so make sure you get one that does such as  ‘Korean Spice’, ‘Onondago’ or ‘Semperflorens’.   Red fruits are often produced after flowering.

 

 

Weigela by Lee RuckWeigela are so lovely with long arching branches filled with blooms.  More compact varieties are also available, and you will find red, pink or fuscia blooms as well as interesting foliage options.  Most Weigela will bloom from spring until fall, but spring produces the largest flush of blooms.  Hardy in zones 3 through 9.

 

These are some of the easiest to grow and maintain, but this list is really only the beginning.  Most shrubs are pretty easy to grow as long as you give them the sun, soil, water and nutrients that they need.  Flowering shrubs can be just as easy if you select the right ones.  Some may need just a little pruning and fertilizer to encourage lots of blooms.

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