Super Star Shrubs Come in All Sizes

Shrubs have traditionally been cast in supporting roles with the occasional star billing for seasonal blooms or color. However, hybridizers are continuously introducing varieties with attributes that push these workhorses to center stage.

Size is one characteristic that has seen an increase in possibilities. Whether you need a shrub to create an enclosure or brighten the corner of a patio garden, there’s something for you.

From tall to small my friends at Proven Winners® have some fabulous shrubs to choose from. Here are 10 worth considering for setting a dramatic scene in your garden.

‘American Pillar’ Thuja (Arborvitae)
20 – 30 feet tall
3 – 4 feet wide
Evergreen
Full sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 3a – 7b
This tall, columnar arborvitae is known for its dense branching and rapid growth. It’s an excellent choice for screening and creating enclosures. Learn more about ‘American Pillar’ arborvitae onProvenWinners.com.

Berry Nice® Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)
6 – 8 feet tall
6 – 8 feet wide
Deciduous
Full sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 3a – 9b
I. verticillata is a deciduous holly with brilliant red berries in winter. It is very dramatic when planted in groupings. Learn more about Berry Nice® Ilex verticillata onProvenWinners.com.

Bloomerang® Purple Syringa (Lilac)
4 – 5 feet tall
4 – 5 feet wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 3a – 7b
Unlike other lilacs Bloomerang® flowers in spring, then again midsummer and continues through the fall. A compact, mounding shrub that’s suitable for mixed borders, it has the same delightful fragrance you expect from lilacs. Learn more about Bloomerang® Purple lilac on ProvenWinners.com.

Incrediball® Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea)
4 – 5 feet tall
4 – 5 feet wide
Deciduous
Full sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 3a – 9b
This North American native shrub produces impressive flowers (up to 12 inches across). I love it so much that I selected it for my Platinum Collection. Learn more about Incrediball® Hydrangea arborescens on ProvenWinnners.com.

Snow Storm™ Spiraea x media (Spiraea)
3 – 4 feet tall
3 – 4 feet wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 4a – 8b
Snow Storm™ produces hefty white blooms in spring. Foliage turns a striking orange-red in fall. This is a good choice for mass plantings or as a seasonal focal point in a mixed border. Learn more about Snow Storm™ spiraea on ProvenWinners.com.

Little Henry® Itea virginica (Sweetspire)
2 – 3 feet tall
2 – 3 feet wide
Deciduous
Sun to part shade
Hardy in zones 5a – 9b
Little Henry® is the compact version of one of my favorite North American native shrubs. It will grow in sun or light shade and tolerates moist soil. Little Henry® produces showy white blooms in early summer and the foliage is fantastic in fall. It’s part of my Platinum Collection. Learn more about Little Henry® Itea on ProvenWinners.com.

Lo & Behold® Blue Chip Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
24 – 30 inches tall
24-30 inches wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 5a – 9b
Now everyone can grow a butterfly bush in their garden. This little shrub produces fragrant blooms from mid-summer through fall. It stays under 3 feet tall. It’s a great bedfellow for perennials and annuals or grow it in a container.  Lo & Behold® Blue Chip Buddleia is part of my Platinum Collection. You can learn more about it on ProvenWinners.com.

Show Off™ Sugar Baby Forsythia
18 – 30 inches tall
18 – 30 inches wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 4a – 8b
Show Off™ Sugar Baby produces the same amount of bloom as larger Forsythia varieties but on a compact plant. Mass plant in larger gardens or use as a spring focal point in small spaces. I love it in a container, surrounded by daffodils and grape hyacinths. Learn more about Show Off™ Sugar Baby Forsythia on ProvenWinners.com.

Sunjoy® Mini Saffron Berberis thungergii  (Barberry)
18 – 24 inches tall
24 – 30 inches wide
Deciduous
Full sun
Hardy in zones 4a – 8b
Sunjoy® Mini Saffron sets itself apart with its compact form and dazzling foliage. The sunny yellow leaves tinged with orange turn a sunset orange-red in fall. Learn more about Sunjoy® Mini Saffron barberry on ProvenWinners.com.

My Monet® Weigela
12 – 18 inches tall
12 – 18 inches wide
Deciduous
Full sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 4a – 6b
My Monet® boasts variegated foliage and pink flowers but in a petite form. Mix it with perennials and annuals in a flower bed or group several together for impact. It also grows well in containers. Learn more about My Monet® Wiegela on ProvenWinners.com.

18 Responses to Super Star Shrubs Come in All Sizes

  1. Deanna Wienholz says:

    Dear Mr. Smith

    Just wanted to say “thanks!” for the great blackberry ice cream recipe. It was head and shoulders better than others I’ve tried. Although the info on the shrubs was great (I may use several) I was interested in small evergreens (dwarfs?) for my small garden. Could you help me find something suitable. I live in northern California. Thank you in advance for any helpful suggestions you might have.

  2. Mari says:

    Still in the worse drought in memory our readers might like to know what plants they should use to replace the ones that are now dead….other than cacti. :-)

  3. Rae Dart says:

    LOVE YOUR INFO AND ARTICLES. WHERE MAY ONE FIND A CELESTE FIG TREE? HAVE LOOKED ONLINE AND EVERYWHERE ELSE. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.

  4. Rae Dart says:

    LOVE YOUR INFO AND ARTICLES. WHERE MAY ONE FIND A CELESTE FIG TREE? LOOKED EVERYWHERE AND ONLINE. THANKS.

    • Tena says:

      Rae,

      Willis Orchard Company in Berlin, GA has a Celestial Fig Tree. Could it be the same variety? I used them for an American Elderberry and I was pleased. It might be worth a try to look at their website. They have pretty good photography.

      http://www.willisorchards.com

    • Nancy Fitts says:

      I bought a Celeste fig this week from Cathy’s Nursery in Clinton. It has ripe figs on it and they are delicious!

  5. Jerry Hicks says:

    What are the geographical ranges mentioned in this article (i.e. 3b to 9a) ??.
    Thanks

  6. Dorothy says:

    I also would like to know what kinds of plants we could use to replace shrubs that have died from summer heat and drought. I have lost spruce planted on either side of my garage for the last 2 years. Maybe cactus would be a good choice. Southern exposure and not connected to automatic sprinkling system.

    • Sid Hamer says:

      Hi Dorothy, I live in the panhandle of Texas and everything here that isn’t watered is dead. I invested in a Mister Mister watering system and timer for my flower beds, roses and other shrubs. It comes on at 5am and shuts off at 6am. That one hour has made all the difference. My garden is healthy and growing. The frogs love it too. I did lose five trees last year because they are in what’s left of my lawn. This year I have been more dilgent in watering the ones that are left. Hope this is helpful.

  7. Anita says:

    What is the low growning shrub or ground cover arount the walkway in the picture showing ‘American Pillar’?

  8. Anita Buckley says:

    What is the low shrub or ground cover around the walkway in the ‘American Pillar’ picture?

  9. Ruchelle Gee says:

    The Itea is pretty, but I planted a long border with them and they suckered so badly (similar to aggressive wax myrtles suckering) to the neighboring area I’m now applying Round-up in hopes of eradicating this pest. Wouldn’t use again anywhere.

  10. K Griffin says:

    I love all the information on each of the featured plants. It really inspires me to finds spots in the garden for each one I fall in love with. The only thing that is missing is the soil conditions that each plant loves. I seem to fall in love with the plant and then after getting the plant I discover that it doesn’t do well in heavy clay soil.

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