Small Shrubs

(Key: H=height – W-width at maturity)

 


Bird’s Nest Spruce, Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’ (H=2’ – W=3’)

 

Evergreen; low, spreading with fine needles; prefers moist, well-drained soil; susceptible to spider mites if planted in hot, dry site; very slow grower.

 


Boxwood, Dwarf Buxus microphylla (H=2’ – W=2’)

 

Evergreen can be trimmed as a hedge; minor problem with leaf miner insects; may need wrapping in winter to avoid breakage by snow/ice; avoid planting in sites with strong winter wind; tolerates light shade to full sun; popular small types include ‘Compacta’, ‘Koreana’ and ‘Wintergreen’.

 


Cotoneaster – Cotoneaster Species (H=2’ – W=5’)

 

Low, spreading, semi-evergreen shrubs with irregular branching patterns; tiny pink flowers in May turn to red berries in late summer; give room to spread 5-6’; few pests; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates dry soil; favorites include Cranberry (C. apiculata), Bearberry (C. dammeri), and Rockspray (C. horizonalis).

 


Japanese Dwarf Holly – Ilex crenata (H=2’ – W=3’)

 

Evergreen with shiny, oval leaves; avoid planting in sites with strong winter wind; no significant pests; popular cultivars include ‘Green Luster’ and “Helleri’.

 


Juniper, Creeping – Juniperus Horizontalis (H=1’ – W=6’)

 

Low, spreading evergreen with needles; tolerates heat/pollution/dry soil; spider mites (in hot, dry sites) and Juniper Twig Blight Disease can be significant problems; tolerates part shade to full sun; popular disease-resistant cultivars include ‘Procumbens’ and ‘Sargent’ (J. chinensis sargentii); disease-susceptible but popular cultivars include ‘Bar Harbor’, ‘Blue Chip’, ‘Blue Horizon’, ‘Blue Mat’ and ‘Wiltoni’.

 


Wintercreeper – Euonymus fortunei (H=2’ – W=6’)

 

Evergreen, low spreader but will also become a climber if planted near tree or wall; avoid planting in sites with strong winter wind; tolerates full sun to full shade; Euonymus scale insect can be a problem on stems.

 


Medium Shrubs (3-8’)

 


Abela (Abelia grandiflora (H=4’ – W=4’)

 

Multistemmed, deciduous shrub with arching branches; prefers acid soil; part shade to full sun; profusion of white/pink flowers in mid summer; no pests; good in mass planting or with other evergreens.

 


Alberta Spruce, Dwarf Picea Glauca ‘Conica’ (H=8’ – W=5)

 

Evergreen, cone shaped with soft needles; extremely slow grower (8’ in 30 years); excellent for foundation planting/front corner of house; prefers sun, moist soil, protection from strong winter wind; prone to spider mites in hot, dry sites; back side drops needles if planted too close to house/shade.

 


Andromeda – Pieris japonica (H=8’ – W=6’)

 

Evergreen, round to irregular shape; prefers part to full shade and acid, moist soil; susceptible to lace bugs if grown in full sun; slow grower; white flowers in April; new leaves are reddish.

 


Arborvitae – Thuja occidentalis (H=4’ – W=6’)

 

Evergreen, round shrubs; partial shade to full sun; no significant pests; prefers well-drained but tolerates wet soil; may need wrapping in winter to avoid breakage by heavy snow; popular small cultivars – ‘Globosa’, and ‘Little Gem’.

 


Azalea - Rhododendron Species (H=3-12/ - W=3-12')

 

Semi-evergreen shrubs available in dozens of varieties; plant in acid, moist soil and semi-shade; avoid planting on hot south or west side of buildings.

 


Bluebeard – Caryopteris x clandonensis (H=3’ – W-3’)

 

Deciduous shrub prized for pale blue flowers in mid summer; prefers full sun to light shade, moist soil, protection from winter wind.

 


Bayberry – Myrica pensylvanica (H=8’ – W=6’)

 

Semi-evergreen, rounded shrub; excellent in backyard mass plantings; tolerates poor, clay or sandy soil and salt spray; prefers acid soil and partial shade to full sun; noted for waxy, gray, aromatic berries.

 


Boxwood – Buxus sempervirens (H=8’ – W=8’)

 

Evergreen, oval-upright shape; can be trimmed as a hedge; minor problem with leafminer insects; may need wrapping in winter to avoid breakage by snow/ice; avoid planting in sites with strong winter wind; tolerates light shade to full sun.

 


Burning Bush, Compact – Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ (H=8’ – W=8’)

 

Rounded, deciduous shrub noted for brilliant fall red color; no significant pests; good foundation plant if kept pruned; good for hedges, mass plantings.

 


Dogwood, Red or Gold Twig – Cornus serica (H=6’ – W=6’)

 

Multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub noted for white flowers in spring and red or yellow branches for winter interest; excellent for erosion control on slopes, mass plantings for winter color; no pests; tolerates sun or shade and almost any soil, even wet areas.

 


Enkianthus, Red-Veined – Enkianthus campanulatus (H=6’ – W=5’)

 

Evergreen that mixes well with rhododendrons; prized for creamy flowers in May, red stems and excellent fall color; no pests; prefers acid soil; tolerates part shade to full sun.

 


Forsythia – Forsythia intermedia (H=7’ – W=10’)

 

Deciduous shrub with arching branches; noted for yellow, April flowers; no pests; use for hillsides, shrub borders, mass plantings; tolerates almost any soil, part shade to full sun; ‘Arnold Dwarf’ is a popular small type (H=3’ – W-7’).

 


Hinoki False Cypress – Chamaecyparis pisifera (H=6’ – W-8’)

 

Evergreen, very slow growing, refers moist, well-drained soil and full sun; popular cultivars include ‘Filifera’ (drooping, stringy branches) and ‘Aurea’ (gold).

 


Inkberry – Ilex glabra (H=6’ – W=8’)

 

Evergreen, rounded shrub, excellent for foundation planting; glossy, leaves; small black berries; no pest problems; can trim tightly.

 


Japanese Holly – Ilex crenata (H=3-6’ – W=3-6’)

 

Evergreen shrub excellent for foundation planting; avoid planting in sites exposed to strong winter wind; prefers moist, acid soil and full sun to partial shade; spider mites can be a problem in hot, dry site; popular cultivars include ‘Helleri’ (H=4’), ‘Compacta (H=4’) and ‘Convexa’ (H=6’).

 


Juniper – Juniperus species (H=3-8’ – W=5’-10’)

 

spreading evergreens with needles; tolerates heat/pollution/dry soil; spider mites (in hot, dry sites) and Juniper Twig Blight disease can be problems; tolerates part shade to full sun; diseases-resistant cultivars are ‘Pfitzer Gold’ (H=3’) and ‘Broadmoor’ (H=3’); disease-susceptible but popular cultivars include ‘Sea Green’ (H=4’) and ‘Gold Coast’ (H=3’).

 


Rhododendron – Rhododendrons species (H=3-12’ – W=3-12’)

 

evergreen shrubs prized for spring flowers; plant in acid, moist soil and semi-shade; avoid planting on hot south or west side of buildings; popular cultivar is ‘PJM’ (H=4’).

 


Summersweet – Clethra alnifolia (H=5’ – W=6’)

 

Deciduous shrub that spreads slowly by underground suckers; noted for 6” white flower spikes in July; good informal border or mix with other shrubs in backyard; tolerates wet soil, acid soil, dense shade/full sun; spider mites may be problem in hot sites; ‘Rosea’ is a popular pink cultivar.

 


Viburnum – Viburnum species (H=5-8’ – W=4-6’)

 

Large group of excellent, deciduous shrubs for front or backyard plantings; no significant pests; highly rated for flowers and red or black berries; tolerates part shade/full sun and wide range of soils; favorites include Koreanspice (V. carlesi H=5’ – W=4’ pink fragrant flowers).  Doublefile (V. plicatum tomentosum H=6’ – W=6’ spectacular white flowers in May).  Leatherleaf (V. rhytidophyllum H=15’ evergreen for background).

 


Weigela - Weigela Florida (H=6' - W=8')

 

Deciduous shrub with arching branches and regular shape; specimen or mixed with other shrubs in backyard; noted for white/pink/red flowers in May; shade and pollution tolerant; flowers best in full sun; no pests.

 


Winterberry – Ilex verticillata (H=5’ – W=5’)

 

Deciduous shrub for mass planting and wet areas, known for spectacular red berries from August into winter; tolerates clay soil, wet soil, part shade or full sun; prefers acid soil; no pests.

 


Yew – Taxus species (H & W varies with cultivar)

 

Evergreen shrubs commonly found in foundation plantings; no significant pest problems; prefers well-drained soil and part sun; most graceful cultivar is Spreading English Yew (T. baccata repandens H=3’ – W=6’).  Popular but overused types include Hicks & Hatfield (both H=10’ – W=10’) and Densiform (H=6’ – W=12’).

 


Large Shrubs (over 8')

 


Arborvitae – Thuja occidentalis (H=30’ – W=12’)

 

Evergreen, columnar shrub; excellent for hedges; partial shade to full sun; no significant pests; prefers well-drained but tolerates wet soil; may need wrapping in winter to avoid breakage by heavy snow/ice; popular cultivar is ‘Nigra’.

 


Holly – Ilex meservea (H=8-12’ – W=8’)

 

Evergreen noted for blue-green leaves; prefers acid soil, protection from winter wind; no significant pests; popular cultivars – ‘Blue Angel’, ‘Blue Princess’ and ‘China Boy’.

 


Honeysuckle – Lonicera species (H=10’ – W=10’)

 

Multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub used in large borders or back of shrub bed; noted for white/pink flowers in spring and orange/red berries in summer; tolerates dry soil, part shade to full sun; no pests; favorite is Winter Honeysuckle (L. fragrantissima) for sweet, fragrant April flowers.

 


Lilac – Syringa vulgaris (H=8-12’ – W-6-12’)

 

Multistemmed, deciduous shrub prized for May flowers; best in mass plantings, shrub borders or back of shrub bed; prefers full sun; mildew can be a problem in shady area; over 400 clones available.

 


Mountain Laurel – Kalmia latifolia (H=8-12’ – W=8’)

 

Evergreen shrub which becomes straggly an gnarly in old age; spectacular pink flowers in May; best in borders, mass plantings; prefers acid soil, partial shade.

 


Privet – Ligustrum species (H=12’ – W=10’)

 

Multistemmed, deciduous shrub used mainly for hedges and back of beds; no significant problems; tolerates wide variety of soils, sun or shade, heavy pruning; popular privet include California privet and ‘Regel’ Border privet (H=4-5’).

 


Witch Hazel – Hamamelis virginiana (H=20’ – W-20’)

 

Irregularly shaped, deciduous shrub valued for delicate yellow flowers in autumn; no significant pests; part shade to full sun; cultivar ‘Contorta’ is used for its interesting, twisted branching.