Hardy Flowering Shrubs: Growing Flowering Shrubs In Zone 5 Gardens

Hardy Flowering Shrubs: Growing Flowering Shrubs In Zone 5 Gardens


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By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

In cooler climates where the gardening season is limited, some flowering shrubs can give the landscape three to four seasons of interest. Many flowering shrubs offer fragrant flowers in spring or summer, berries in late summer to fall, beautiful fall color, and even winter interest from colorful stems or persistent fruit. Continue reading for a list of flowering shrubs for zone 5.

Hardy Flowering Shrubs

A gardener or landscaper has plenty of choices available for growing flowering shrubs in zone 5. Starting with the classic hardy flowering shrubs, zone 5 gardeners can choose from many varieties of hydrangea, viburnum, lilac, spirea, rhododendron, azalea, dogwood, ninebark, and roses.

Hydrangeas bloom for long periods in midsummer; some varieties even have fall colored foliage.

Viburnums are a favorite of birds because of their berries which can persist well into winter. Viburnums have spring or summer flowers depending on the variety, which then turn into berries, and many varieties also display beautiful fall foliage.

Lilacs are much loved for their extremely fragrant spring flowers and many new varieties are reblooming and cold hardy.

Spirea is a classic low maintenance landscape shrub with many varieties offering colorful foliage throughout the summer.

Rhododendrons put on a beautiful display of flowers in spring and are also broadleaf evergreens, giving the landscape winter interest.

Dogwood flowers in spring, then most varieties produce berries, but their real charm comes from their bright red or yellow stems that stand out against the winter snow.

Ninebark shrubs provide the landscape with an array of colorful foliage throughout the growing season. This colorful foliage makes their white spring flower clusters really stand out.

Rose shrubs can make excellent choices when growing flowering shrubs in zone 5 gardens. Easy Elegance and Knock Out shrub roses bloom from spring to fall frost.

Below is a list of some less common flowering shrubs for zone 5 landscapes.

  • Flowering Almond
  • Alpine Currant
  • Bush Honeysuckle
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Caryopteris
  • Elderberry
  • Forsythia
  • Fothergilla
  • Kerria
  • Mock Orange
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Potentilla
  • Purpleleaf Sandcherry
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Smokebush

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Best Ornamental Shrubs for Your Yard

Larisa Gamayunova/Getty Images

For a bush to qualify as one of the best ornamental shrubs, it must meet one of the following three criteria:

  • It offers multi-seasonal interest.
  • It has one feature that's so breathtaking that it can get away with being a one-trick pony.
  • It blooms at a time of year when many other shrubs have finished blooming, meaning it's helpful for sequence-of-bloom planning and achieving more consistent color in the yard.

To narrow down your plant-selection choices further, take into account factors such as favorite flower colors or leaf colors, maintenance needs, and a bush's ability to attract wildlife to your property. Your goal should be to have at least one bush in the yard that excites you every season of the year.


LILAC(Syringa vulgaris)

Zones: 3-7
Mature size: 5 to 15 feet depending on the variety
Bloom time: Late April to May, and again in summer for reblooming varieties
Flower color: Purple (pink, white and yellow also available)
Buy now from Proven Winners

Why we love it: 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. The scent perfumes the air like sweet-smelling sachet, emanating from large panicles of delicate lavender flowers. Early-, mid- and late-season cultivars extend the bloom time for at least 6 weeks. Newer reblooming varieties bloom once in spring and again in summer through fall.

Where to plant it: Most lilac bushes will thrive best in areas with cool summer climates. They can be used as specimen plants or in borders and hedges, and are an attractive addition to informal cottage-style gardens. The blooms also make excellent cut flowers.

Growing tips: Although lilacs will tolerate light shade, they bloom best when planted in a site that receives at least 6 hours of sun daily. They should also be planted in areas with good air circulation to reduce problems with powdery mildew. Lilacs bloom on old wood, so prune in spring immediately after flowering to maintain the desired height and shape of your shrub.

Dandy Man® Pink Rhododendron. Photo by Proven Winners.


Watch the video: Time to Plant Perennials and Shrubs To Enjoy Next Year