Spring flowering shrubs add a ton of variety and interest to your yard. Here is our selection of the top 10 shrubs to add to your garden this spring. You'll be glad you did.
Viburnum is a great all around performer. Spring blooms in white and pink, these shrubs have clusters of flowers that start out as deep pink buds and open a creamy white, giving this shrub an almost two-tone appearance. With varieties such as American Spice Viburnum which grow to 4 feet in height, to Allegheny Viburnum which grows to 10 feet tall, there is a Viburnum for everyone. Many have fruit in the fall, some of which are edible for jams and jellies, and brilliant fall foliage. This is a great selection for more than it's stand out flowers!
Spike Winter Hazel. This is a very early blooming shrub that's one of my favorites! I feel it often doesn't get enough attention. These shrubs often bloom earlier than any other in the garden, often complimenting spring blooming bulbs. This is a small species related the Witch Hazel which have a more rounded, vase-shaped growth habit. Pale yellow flowers emerge along upright branches. Easy to grow and low maintenance, this is a spectacular shrub.
Deutzia is an underused shrub that also deserves more attention. Deutzias are distant relatives of hydrangeas and produce showy clusters of either pink or white flowers along graceful branches. Some deutzia are fragrant, while others have unique lemony foliage like 'Chardonnay Pearls'. Pretty, pearl-like white blossoms in the spring. This is a graceful shrub in appearance with delicately arching branches and petite leaves. Pictured here is 'Chardonnay Pearls' although there are different varieties. This particular variety really brightens up the landscape and looks great all season long even when it's not in flower.
Weigela was once grown for their springtime displays of pink, red or white blooms, new varieties have such exceptional foliage colors and flower combinations - you'll want to grow them just for their foliage. 'My Monet' is a small variety with variegated foliage. 'Wine and Roses' is one of my favorite shrubs with burgundy foliage and complimentary pink flowers. These beautiful shrubs also attract hummingbirds. Pretty flowers, colorful foliage, and a hummingbird magnet - what else could you ask for in a shrub?
Azalea. While they're not new, they do have some extraordinary outstanding selections that are relatively new to the market. The Encore Azalea series is a multi-season blooming azalea. They come in a wide range of colors such as deep pink, lavender, scarlet and white. There are 5 varieties with bicolor petals. I like this azalea because it's evergreen so it's a nice backbone feature in your garden, and they bloom in spring, summer and again in fall.
Mountain Laurel - A native shrub to Connecticut, Mountain Laurel is an evergreen shrub that has showy clusters of pink, red, or white flowers in early spring. These shrubs are relatively tolerant of shade, and they're deer and disease resistant. Their colorful flowers have an intricate shape both in bud and bloom.
Witch Hazel is another early bloomer just like it's cousin Spike Winter Hazel. They really could almost be considered winter bloomers as they start blooming in late winter or very early spring. Their unique, spidery flowers come in yellow, red, gold or orange and are a welcome promise that spring is indeed right around the corner. Some species are fragrant, such as any of the Hamamelis vernal and Hamamelis mollis .
Forsythia. This might seem like a boring choice as they are so common, but there are some new varieties that have more profuse blooms than other varieties. Some also offer variegated foliage for all season interest.
Andromeda is a shrub that truly belongs in every garden. It's evergreen so it adds year-round interest to your garden. It also comes in a variety of sizes from 2-3' all the way to 7' so it fits in just about any space. It's long lasting flowers come in a variety of colors and it's tolerant of both sun and shade. Deer don't like it, rabbits don't like it, and it doesn't need much pruning. Can't argue with that.
Flowering Quince. To me, this is a treat in the garden. Along with Forsythia and Spike Winter Hazel, this is among the first shrubs to bloom in the garden. This is another plant that heralds the end of winter and the coming of spring. Beautiful, full flowers on interesting branches, this shrub is easy to grow. Many species in the past had long, painful thorns, but newer species are now thornless. 'Cameo', 'Jet Trail', and 'Minerva' are shorter species that only grow to be about 2-3 feet tall. The rest of the species will grow to be 6 feet tall or more.
Japanese Rose (kerria japonica) is a beautiful and underused shrub in the landscape. I can't figure out why these delightful shrubs aren't more widely used. They sport cheerful, yellow, 5-petaled flowers in the spring and sporadically throughout the summer. Heavy bloomers, these shrubs are sure to grab your attention as they look like they are filled with sunshine! That's not even the best part! They have toothy leaves with a corrugated like texture I find interesting. Although they aren't much in terms of fall color, the show really begins in the winter. Bright green stems persist all year round and add color and interest to the garden in winter. They are a clumping shrub that gets to be 4-6 feet tall and wide, however, their size can easily be controlled by pruning.
Fothergilla is a great shrub with unique, bottle-brush shaped flowers. Honey scented white flowers emerge in spring giving a bright, cheery look to the garden. In the fall, incredible shades of orange and gold grace the garden with a warm glow. This shrub is versatile and easy to care for. It likes sun, but can tolerate partial shade.
Daphne is a delightful shrub. Many species are evergreen, which lends a backbone to your garden during the off-season. Daphnes have an incredible fragrance that will cause you to remember this shrub. Daphnes are eager to brighten up any landscape border with their exotic fragrance and decorative non-edible fruits. Many Daphnes bloom in late winter, around Valentines's day - giving them their nicknames Winter Daphne or The Romantic Plant! No matter the season, this little shrub will romance your garden.
Rhododendron. I don't mean the typical rhododendrons that are overgrown and 2 stories high. The breeders and growers of rhododendrons have come up with many shorter varieties. My personal favorite is Rhododendron cat. Album. This variety is vigorous and reliably sets loads of lilac tinged flower buds that open pure white with yellow blotches in mid-May. It is a full-size rhodie at 7 feet tall, but again, can be controlled with proper pruning.