8 Best Perennial Shrubs

Looking to plant perennial flowering shrubs? You can't go wrong with these top picks from DIY experts.

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Hydrangea 'Annabelle'

Hydrangea 'Annabelle'

'Annabelle' is a smooth hydrangea that forms its flowers on new growth. It typically grows 3 - 6 feet and blooms beautiful white flowers from May to July.

Photo by: Bailey Nurseries

Bailey Nurseries

'Annabelle' is a smooth hydrangea that forms its flowers on new growth. It typically grows 3 - 6 feet and blooms beautiful white flowers from May to July.

Shrubs are a versatile group of plants, offering color, privacy and structure for your landscape, and shelter and food for wildlife. Here’s a list of perennial shrubs to help you pick the right plant for the right place.

Spirea

snowmound spirea maintains neat rounded form

snowmound spirea maintains neat rounded form

This easy-to-grow perennial shrub grows four to 10 feet tall and blooms in spring or summer, depending on variety. Spring bloomers bear flowers cascading on arching stems. Summer bloomers are shorter plants with clusters of flowers at the end of branches. Flowers can be white, blue or pink. 

Azalea

hgPG-2043017-space_azalea

hgPG-2043017-space_azalea

No Southern garden is complete without beautiful, beloved azaleas. These evergreen perennial shrubs grow as tall as 15 feet, depending on the variety, and are covered in blooms in pink, purple, white or pink in the spring. They’re in the rhododendron family and there are varieties that will can grow in nearly every region.

Hardy Hibiscus

These giant perennial bushes grow to seven feet tall and produce showy blooms the size of dinner plates all summer. Hardy hibiscus looks like a tender tropical plant but can survive winters to Zone 5. Flowers come in jewel tones of red, pink, white and yellow. 

Rose of Sharon

This old-fashioned favorite has made a comeback. It’s a tree-sized plant, growing to 12 feet tall and spreading to 10 feet wide. A member of the hibiscus family, these perennial shrubs produce a profusion of blooms in white, pink, red or purple all summer and into the fall. 

Camellia 

This gorgeous evergreen shrub grows eight to 15 feet tall, depending on the variety. It bears rose-like blooms in red, pink or white, depending on type. Camellias are a fixture in old-fashioned southern gardens where they bloom midwinter. They’re a great cut flower, but only winter hardy to Zone 6.

Viburnum

winterthur viburnum in bloom with berries

winterthur viburnum in bloom with berries

This spring blooming shrub grows to 15 feet high and bears fragrant flowers in pink and white. These perennial flowering shrubs are tough plants with more than 150 species, some of which can survive winters to Zone 3 (that’s southern Alaska.) Some varieties bear small berries that birds love. Plant a stand of viburnum in the back of a border for a natural screen.

Mock Orange 

An easy-to-grow shrub, mock orange grows three to 15 feet tall and up to six feet wide, depending on variety. These perennial bushes bear white flowers in the spring with a heavenly fragrance you can smell a foot away. They tend to be lanky and make excellent screen plants.

Hydrangea

One of the most popular perennial shrubs, hydrangea produces big, showy clusters of flowers on a plant that grows from three to 20 feet high, depending on the variety. They like light shade and need a medium amount of water. Hydrangea blooms in blue, pink, white and purple-blue. They make good specimen plants or arranged in groupings.

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