Zone 5 flowering bush

The color white is associated with innocence, purity, light, and overall goodness. The beautiful connotations with the color white may be one of the reasons that gardeners love to nestled white blooming shrubs within their gardens. As an added benefit, white blooming shrubs help to make every other color of flower to “pop” in an incredible manner.

We’ve collected a list of 10 stunningly gorgeous shrubs that present with beautiful white blooms. The white blooming shrubs below offer blooms of various sizes and their gorgeous flowers present in many ways.

From full, bushy blooms of the Annabelle Hydrangea, to the stem-style blossoms on the white lilac, there are white blooming shrubs to match any style of gardener’s preference.

Here is a list of 10 of the most gorgeous shrubs that contain white blooms that are perfect for every garden!

1. Korean Spice Viburnum

With flowers that look similar to lilac and have an early-spring bloom, this shrub got its name due to its unique scent that gardeners love. Although most flowers will be pure white, there is often a light pink tinge to the blooms. It will grow best in zones 4-7 and many gardeners choose to plant it near windows or patio doors in order to enjoy the unique, spicy scent this shrub produces.

2. Common Lilacs

Like all lilacs, the white lilac has an absolutely enticing scent. It will bloom in late spring and gardeners looking for white lilacs should ensure the chosen shrub is truly white. It produces spectacular flowers and will do best in zones 3-8.

3. Annabelle Hydrangea

This lovely summer bloomer will flourish with dozens of large, bushy blooms that are comprised of a multitude of smaller, delicate blooms, typically of any hydrangea. The Annabelle hydrangea is beloved by gardeners due to the fact that its blooms are quite large and last from early summer all the way through autumn. They bloom well in zones 3-7.

4. Andromeda

This flower is known for having quite a strong scent. It is recommended to check out the scent prior to adding it to your garden. It has bushels of tiny, bell-shaped flowers and deep green foliage. It will bloom as early as March or early April.

4. White Roses

As you know, roses come in a large variety of colors that often have a specialized meaning. The white rose is a symbol of reverence and kindness. Like most roses, white roses have a lovely, rich fragrance and will bloom in late spring to early summer. White roses should be pruned frequently during early bloom in order to gain a fuller bloom in summer. White roses grow best in zones 5-9.

6. Snows of Kilimanjaro

This lovely shrub is tropical in nature and will bloom with literally thousands of small, delicate white flowers that contain several small petals. It truly lives up to its name, looking like a fluttering of a snowstorm in the winter. It is closely related to the poinsettia and is nicknamed the “little Christmas flower.” Its flowers have a sweet fragrance and the blooms will thrive best if the shrub is heavily pruned in early spring. This shrub is best suited to grow in zones 10-13 and will do best in full sun or minimal shade with very well-drained soil.

7. Spirea

The Spirea is a close relative to the rose family and its blooms are made up of bushels of small, delicate white flowers with five petals and a yellow center eye. Spirea prefers to grow in full sun and will bloom in early summer, growing 5-8 feet in height. It will grow best in zones 3-8. There are many variations of Spirea that come in pink blossoms. If you are looking for a white shrub, make sure that it has the pure white blossoms of the Vanhoutte Spirea. It will grow best in soil that is kept well-drained but moderately moist.

8. Sweet Mock Orange

The sweet mock orange is prized by gardeners due to the lovely shape of its blooms. They look similar to roses, yet are more rounded in shape. It is known for its aroma that has a hint of citrus in its scent. Although it is a shrub, it grows quite large, also reaching 10-12 feet in height. It will grow best in zones 4-8 and prefers full sun and moist soil that contains some form of compost or mulch to encourage hearty growth.

9. White Azaleas

White azaleas are truly a showstopper in the garden, blooming in early spring in a massive outpouring of stunning flowers. It is prized by gardeners due to the huge outpouring of flowers that light up the garden. Like most azaleas, it will grow best in zones 6-9 and will bloom best in full sunlight.

10. Dwarf Deutzia

This shrub is often chosen to be used as a ground cover due to the fact that it is very short in height, typically staying under two feet tall. This shrub’s flowers are quite small and hang off of stems in a bell-like shape. It will bloom in late spring and can do well in zones 1-8, preferring to have full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil conditions.

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Flowering Shrubs by Season

With careful planning, you can have shrubs flowering in your yard almost all year long. Blooming shrubs are perfect as foundation plants, for screening, or as focal points in the landscape. Some set fruit after flowering, providing a food source for birds and can be visually appealing on their own. The flowers on most shrubs, such as weigela, drop cleanly after they’re done blooming, while dried blooms of hydrangeas can continue to add beauty through fall and winter.

Spring-Flowering Shrubs

Start the season with a beautiful display of spring-flowering shrubs. There are so many varieties available with different colors and sizes of blooms. Find which shrubs will look best in your garden.

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Azalea

Azaleas give you a wide array of choices to landscape with: These flowering shrubs appear in nearly any color, can be evergreen or deciduous, and are available in a wide range of sizes. Most azaleas bloom best with partial sun, plenty of moisture, and rich, well-drained, acidic soil. This variety, called ‘Jane Abbott,’ will give your rich and full pink flowering shrubs every time. Zones 4-10, depending on type.

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Spirea

Spirea comes in many colors, but the dainty blooms of ‘Bridal Wreath’ white flowering shrubs are breathtaking. When the tiny bunches of white blooms drip profusely from ‘Bridal Wreath’ spirea, it conjures up pleasant images of wedding finery. It typically blooms before or as it leafs out, welcoming the spring season. ‘Bridal Wreath’ spirea does best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. The easy-growing shrub grows up to 6 feet tall. Zones 5-9

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Camellia

Northerners often get a case of zone envy when they see camellias’ glossy, evergreen leaves and stunning roselike flowers in shades of pink, white, or red. Depending on the type of camellia chosen, it may bloom in spring, fall, or late winter. Size varies, depending on variety, up to 20 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9

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Deutzia

Tiny but powerful white or pink blossoms of deutzia light up the spring. This lesser-known shrub reaches 2-10 feet tall, depending on the variety. You’ll plant it for spring blooms, but will be thrilled by its red fall color. For extra show, look for the variety ‘Duncan’ (Chardonnay Pearls), which features chartreuse foliage all spring and summer. Zones 5-8

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Forsythia

Like spotting the first robin, seeing bright yellow or gold forsythia flowers is a sure sign of spring. After blooming, this yellow flowering shrub for full sun that reaches up to 15 feet tall seems to blend into the background until the leaves shift to a purple fall color. Zones 4-9

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Fothergilla

Easy-going fothergilla charms in spring with tiny white bottlebrush blooms but amazes in fall, too, with its brilliant red foliage. This tough North American native grows in a variety of sizes from 3 to 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-9

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Lilac

If spring is a scent, it smells of lilac, at least in the North. Long-lived lilacs come in white, pink, blue, purple, and almost red. With many species and cultivars on the market, there’s a size available from small flowering shrubs of 3 feet to 30 feet tall. Zones 2-9

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Ninebark

If you don’t know ninebark, check it out. This easy-to-grow North American native offers white spring or early summer flowers, but you’ll want to grow one of the newer cultivars sporting burgundy-, golden-, or copper-color foliage. Left unchecked, it can grow 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Zones 3-7

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Viburnum

For a knock-your-socks-off sweet scent and a super-easy-to-grow habit, try one of the many types of viburnum. Most offer fall color in the cool climates and the berries attract wildlife. Best garden varieties grow 4-15 feet tall, depending on type. Zones 2-9

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Weigela

This old-fashioned shrub has attracted new fans in recent years with recent breeding of unusual leaf colors or variegation. Trumpet-shape spring blooms, usually in some shade of pink, white, or red, just add to the excitement of weigela in the garden. Shrubs reach 6-9 feet tall. Zones 4-9

Summer-Flowering Shrubs

Add shrubs to your summer color show as a backdrop to perennials and annuals. Many of these summer shrubs have blooms all season long. There’s a summer-blooming shrub for every garden, you just need to know what to look for.

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Carolina Allspice

Carolina allspice is all about fragrance. Its dark red flowers have been described as containing overtones of pineapple, strawberry, and banana, and the leaves, which offer yellow fall color, smell like cloves. It reaches up to 8 feet tall. Zones 5-9

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Hydrangea

There are so many kinds of hydrangeas, you’ll want them all. The bigleaf (H. macrophylla) types grow with the big pink, white, or blue mopheads in partial shade. The smooth types (H. arborescens, also generically called ‘Annabelle’ types after its most famous member) grow vigorously in almost any condition. The cold-hardiest of them all, panicle hydrangeas (H. paniculata) prefer full sun. All produce sets of blooms that dry beautifully on the stem or in a vase for winter enjoyment. Sizes and hardiness vary by type and cultivar.

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Rose of Sharon

The ruffled, papery, cup-shape blooms of rose of Sharon decorate a woody type of 8- to 10-foot-tall hibiscus shrub from summer into fall. Luscious colors of blue, pink, red, lavender, purple, and white give a summery touch to the end of the season. Zones 4-9

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Smoke Tree

This satisfying plant grows either as a multistem shrub or a single-stem tree. Burgundy, green, or gold foliage lights up smoke tree with fall color, and the effervescent pink bloom clusters turn a smoky tan in fall. It grows 15 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-8

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Virginia Sweetspire

Virginia sweetspire is one of those shrubs that offers white flowers in summer, but you’ll grow it mostly for its luscious red-purple fall color. The dainty stature, up to 4 feet, fits well into most gardens, but keep an eye on its spreading habit. Zones 6-9

Fall-Flowering Shrubs

Actual flowering slows down in shrubs during summer, but many flash brilliant fall colors to make up for any lack of flowering. These are some of the best fall shrubs for color and texture during the fall season.

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Bluebeard

Add bluebeard(sometimes called blue mist spirea) wherever you want a refreshing punch of blue color in the late summer to early fall landscape. You can find varieties with variegated, golden, or chartreuse foliage, or pink flowers, too. Most grow 3 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-8

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Summersweet

With a name like this, you know the flower is going to smell good. Pink or white blooms appear in late summer, and the fall foliage show in oranges, reds, and yellows is outstanding. Summersweet grows up to 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 3-9

Winter-Flowering Shrubs

Few shrubs add winter color from blooms (though many can be depended on for bright berries). Still, there are options out there with colorful seeds pods, berries, and blooms. Here are two of the best.

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Winter Hazel

Bearing fragrant pale yellow flowers that hang from bare branches like intricate earrings, winter hazel blooms in late winter or early spring. Like evergreen shrubs, it adds interest even when there’s snow on the ground. It grows to 15 feet tall and wide and grows best in moist, well-drained soil in sun or part shade. Zones 6-8

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Witch Hazel

Witch hazel bridges winter and spring with bright yellow to orange fragrant flowers. It’s such a welcome sight that you forgive its fleeting nature, especially when it produces yellow fall foliage. Shrubs grow up to 12 feet tall and wide. Zones 3-9

  • By BH&G Garden Editors

Winter-Blooming Shrubs: The Short List

(Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 28, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)

There is no need to wait for spring to enjoy blooms and fragrance in your landscape. Winter-blooming perennials, shrubs and trees are available to brighten even the coldest days ahead. You may not be outside with the spade and pots of annuals but the garden can still be enjoyed by adding a few plants that bloom in winter.
Like the crocus of spring, which rise through a blanket of snow, many shrubs will bloom while covered with the white of winter. Below are a few shrubs which add, fragrance and interest to the landscape with unexpected winter blooms.
Let’s start with Pieris japonica, featured in the photo above, right (courtesy of Dave’s Garden member growin.)

Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica)
USDA zones 5 to 8
White or pink 6-inch pendulous clusters of fragrant bell-shaped flowers are born at tips of branches in late winter and early spring. A large evergreen shrub, twelve feet tall, reaching approximately ten feet tall and eight feet wide grows best in rich, moist, well drained soil and partial to full shade. The cultivar ‘Debutante’ is compact at only three feet tall and wide.

Photo courtesy of
Dave’s Garden
member Mgarr

Cassia (Cassia bicapsularis or Senna bicapsularis)
USDA zones 7 to 10 (deciduous north of zone 10
Very deep yellow blooms from late fall into early winter. This shrub has a fountain or draping look to it and can grow into a small tree. Plant likes sandy soil with good drainage. Work compost into soil before planting. A sight which receives full sun is best. Water regularly until established. Easy shrub to grow from seed but must be scarified before planting due to their hard seed coat.

Photo courtesy of
Dave’s Garden
member bootandall

Daphne (Daphne odora)
USDA zones 3 to 10
The cultivar ‘Leucantha’ is a very nice choice of Daphne. Creamy-white, pink, or yellow fragrant blooms open in late winter and persist well into spring. This shrub should be planted in slightly moist soil that is well-drained. A sunny to lightly shaded area of the garden is best.
Mature size is approximately four feet tall and wide. Shrub can be short lived.
Some parts of plant may be poisonous.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member philomel

European Filbert (Corylus avellana)
USDA Zones 4 to 8
Commonly called Harry Lauder’s walking stick, with off-white to tan colored catkins bloom in late winter and early spring. Grows well in poor, dry soil however, good garden soil is best. Likes full sun. At maturity, this shrub can be a small tree reaching fifteen feet tall and wide with a nice rounded top. The roots spread by suckers which can create a control problem.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member Todd_Boland

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)
USDA zones 5 to 9
Clusters of white, pink or red blooms open on bare stems in late winter and early spring. The cultivar ‘Kingishi’ is an especially nice one for the home landscape. It is a compact shrub four to five feet high and wide. Quince is not particular about the soil it grows in. Any soil is fine as long as the shrub is sighted in full sun and watered regularly. It makes a good deterrent against deer because the limbs are covered in very sharp spines.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member Kennedyh

Laurustinus viburnum (Viburnum tinus)
USDA zones 7 to 10
Waxy, fragrant white flowers open from pink buds in late winter and early spring. Some cultivars bloom in summer and continue blooming through the winter. Shrub likes part sun to shade in fertile, moist, well-drained soil.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member htop

Mexican Manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens)
USDA zones 5 to 10
Pink to white flowers stay on the plant for long periods beginning in late winter through spring. This evergreen shrub is more of a small tree than shrub and is favored for its unique bark. Manzanita prefers acid soil and full sun. Water weekly until plant is established, then little to no water during warmer months of the year. Tip prune to maintain shape and limit size. According to the website Manzanita Works, this plant is considered a fire hazard, “The leaves hold an oily substance that is extremely combustible when the ambient temperature approaches the 100 degree mark…”

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member TomH3787

Paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha)
USDA zones 7 to 10
Clusters of extremely fragrant yellow flowers bloom in winter and early spring. Grow shsrub in rich, moist, well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. Shrub can reach six feet tall and just as wide. Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings and seed.

Photo courtesy of
Dave’s Garden
member Gabrielle

Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)
USDA zones 2 to 7
Late winter brings powdery-silver blooms popping out from the bare stems. Pussy willow can reach twenty-five feet tall but can be pruned severely after it flowers. It is a colonizing plant and may cover an area of twenty feet around original planting. It grows as a native in swampy areas and is therefore suitable to low spots in the landscape. Any soil type is acceptable. Bees, butterflies and many bird species are drawn to this plant.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member
begoniacrazii

Silk-tassel Bush (Garrya elliptica)
USDA zone 8
Grey-green silky tassels from early to mid winter through early spring grace this large shrub. Silk-tassel is an evergreen shrub that reaches eight feet tall and wide. Some species can reach thirty feet if not pruned. It grows in any soil type, full sun to partial shade and average watering. For extra-long tassels, grow the cultivar ‘James Roof’.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member growin

Sweet Box (Sarcococca confusa)
USDA zones 5 to 9
Clusters of pure white vanilla-scented flowers from early to mid winter through early spring. Sweet box grows slow but can reach six feet tall and three feet wide and it keeps a nice rounded appearance. Sweet box grows best in moist soil which has been amended with compost. Soil should drain well; think rich, fertile and damp. It prefers shade to partial shade.
Some parts of plant may be poisonous.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member slyperso1

Vernal Witch Hazel (Hamamelis vernalis)
USDA zones 3 to 8
Cluster of fragrant bright yellow, orange or red-orange blooms from late winter through early spring. This shrub grows to eight feet tall and wide in any soil, sun or shade and with little or too much water. Not fussy at all about living conditions.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member frostweed

Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
USDA zones 4 to 9
Another common name for this shrub is breath of spring. In late winter and early spring this weeping shrub is covered with lemon-scented white blooms. It can grow to ten feet tall and wide. Grow in dry to not-to-wet soil which drains well in full sun to partial shade. Prune after flowering to control size.

Photo courtesy of Dave’s
Garden member mattadeus

Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox)
USDA zones 6 to 9
Fragrant yellow flowers with purple centers in early winter to early spring. Shrub can reach twelve feet tall. Plant in any good garden soil in full sun to partial shade and water regularly but do not overwater. For blooms with red rather than purple centers grow the cultivar ‘Grandiflorus’.

I would like to add a note on winter-blooming heath. They are often overlooked and for gardeners who live north of zone 6, these are a perfect blooming small shrub. They are low growing and spreading shrubs which work nicely along pathways and in front borders. They will literally bloom under the snow. Many varieties survive and even thrive in zones where temperatures reach -25° F.
For southern gardeners, at least one Camellia (Camellia japonica) should be prominently sited in the home landscape.
To find other winter blooming shrubs, search Dave’s Garden Plant Files.

Happy Gardening

10 fast-growing shrubs

Some shrubs can take a while to establish, so if you’re impatient, need an area to look good in a hurry, or are creating a new border or garden from scratch, you might want to choose some fast-growing shrubs.

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Fast-growing shrubs are vigorous growers and should produce flowers early on. They’ll create an impact while slower-growing shrubs catch up.

Shrubs will establish quicker if they are planted right, getting them off to the best possible start. Find out how to plant a shrub.

More garden shrubs content:

  • Small trees and shrubs for heavy and clay soils
  • Best shrubs for butterflies
  • Pruning newly planted shrubs (video)

Here are 10 fast-growing shrubs to consider.

Fast-growing shrubs are vigorous growers and should produce flowers early on. 1

There are many different hydrangeas to choose from and over the last decade, many new varieties have been introduced. They’re easy to grow and quick to establish, making an impact in just a few seasons. Discover nine of the best hydrangeas to grow.

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Lavatera

Lavatera (tree mallows or shrubby mallows) can put on a lot of growth in one season, and should produce masses of hollyhock-like flowers in their first year. Grow in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun, in a sheltered spot. Cut back in spring. Pictured is Lavatera maritima.

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Bamboo

Bamboos are vigorous growers but be warned – they can grow outwards as well as upwards. Some varieties are more prone to this than others, but to be on the safe side, it’s best to put a barrier around the roots to restrict the plant’s spread. Generally, Phyllostachys species are more likely to spread, whereas Fargesia are more well-behaved, remaining in clumps.

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Buddleja

Buddlejas are vigorous, easy shrubs. Their mostly pink, magenta and purple flowers are very attractive to butterflies – hence their common name, the butterfly bush. Cut back hard in spring. Buddleja davidii ‘Summer Beauty’, pictured, is a compact variety.

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Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’

Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ looks great as a standalone evergreen plant but can also be planted as a quick-growing hedge. The young leaves are tinted red as they unfold. Plant in sun or partial shade in fertile, well-drained soil.

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Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfennii

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii is an evergreen shrub with a naturally rounded shape and acid-yellow flowers in spring. It’s fast growing, drought-tolerant and low maintenance – simply cut off the flowers when they have faded (wear gloves, as they have irritant sap).

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Rosa ‘Rambling Rector’

As its name suggests, Rosa ‘Rambling Rector’ is a rambling rose. It’s a rampant grower, so make sure you have plenty of space for it, as it can reach a spread of 6m. Great for covering a wall or shed, it’s more tolerant of shade than many roses.

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Cornus alba

Cornus alba is a speedy grower and is mostly grown for its colourful, bare red stems in winter. It can grow very large, so needs a fair amount of space, but its growth can be restricted by pruning in early spring. Plant in full sun in any kind of soil. The various cultivars are less vigorous.

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Willow

Willows are also grown for their attractive winter stems. Salix alba var. vitellina ‘Yelverton’ has vivid orange stems and is suitable for any soil, including wet soils, in full sun. Coppice in spring for brilliant stems the following winter.

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Prunus lusitanica

Portuguese laurel, or Prunus lusitanica, is a fast-growing evergreen with red stems. It can reach quite a size and will become a small tree, but is easily kept in bounds by pruning. It is an excellent candidate for topiary or hedging. Grow in a sheltered spot in sun or part shade.

Top 10 shrubs anyone can grow

There are shrubs that grow well and look good all year round, and need little in the way of care as they don’t attract pests and diseases and are not fussy about soil, pruning or feeding.

These are the plants of choice for the bones of any garden. Here are my top 10 easy shrubs for Sydney gardens. All tolerate mild frost and are drought tolerant once established.

Callistemon ‘Great Balls of Fire’.

1. Dwarf bottlebrush (Callistemon ‘Great Balls of Fire’)

All bottlebrush are foolproof but this compact selection looks good year round with dark green leaves, flushes of colourful new growth and occasional small, dark red bottlebrush flowers. A top choice for a low hedge. Size (hxw): 1.5mx1.5m. Sun to part shade.

2. Dwarf murraya (Murraya ‘Min-a-Min’)

Murrayas are excellent tall-growing evergreen shrubs with masses of fragrant cream flowers in the warmer months. ‘Min-a-Min’ doesn’t flower as prolifically as other varieties, but is compact and grows slowly as a small rounded mound. It contrasts well with strappy-leafed clumping plants such as lomandra. Also good for a pot or low hedge. Prune in late spring to shape, if desired. Size (hxw): 1mx1m. Sun to part shade.

Diosma.

3. Diosma (Coleonema pulchellum)

Diosma is at its prettiest in early spring smothered in tiny pink flowers. It is a soft, mounding, bright green shrub the rest of the year that fits into any planting scheme. It is long lived in well-draining soil. Compact and gold varieties available. Prune after flowering to shape. Size (hxw): 1mx1m. Sun.

4. Fairy rose (Rosa ‘The Fairy’)

Roses are not usually included in a foolproof plant list but this low-growing Floribunda rarely needs attention if grown in a full sun position. It has glossy green disease-resistant leaves and sprays of tiny pink double flowers from spring to autumn. Use as a feature plant, an informal hedge or in a pot. Prune in winter. Size (hxw): 1mx1m. Sun.

Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’.

5. Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’

One of the most popular garden shrubs in Australia, this evergreen native is rarely without a flower. Use as a low hedge or specimen plant. The pinkish-red, toothbrush-shaped flowers are attractive to nectar-feeding birds. Prune to keep compact after a flush of flowers. Size (hxw): 1.5mx1.5m. Sun.

6. Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

All hydrangeas are surprisingly low-fuss plants but ‘Endless Summer’ is a pretty, long-flowering variety for shaded gardens or potted displays. It flowers from summer to autumn. Hydrangeas are deciduous in winter when they are pruned. Water well in summer. Size (hxw): 1mx1m. Part shade.

Plumbago ‘Summer Sky’

7. Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata ‘Royal Cape’)

Another soft sprawling evergreen shrub for a low-care garden or as an informal hedge or border. The species spreads by suckering and can also climb but ‘Royal Cape’ doesn’t sucker. It has clusters of deep blue flowers for much of the year. In summer and autumn they are massed with tiny blue butterflies. Prune hard any time. Size (hxw): 2mx2m. Sun.

8. Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)

Grow this handsome evergreen shrub in a sunny to lightly shaded spot with frost protection. It has handsome metallic purple leaves and sprays of lavender blue flowers in spring and summer. Size (hxw): 1mx1m. Sun to part shade.

Camellia Sasanqua ‘Hiryu’.

9. Sasanqua camellia (Camellia sasanqua)

This long-flowering shrub is a star in gardens with varieties offering a range of sizes, shapes and flower colours including pink and white. Plants bloom from late summer to early winter and are grown as hedges, background shrubs or in large containers. Prune after flowering if desired. Size (hxw): 1-3mx1-1.5m. Sun to shade.

10. Euphorbia ‘Hip Hop’

This looks like a delicate plant but in reality is tough. It has sprays of small white flowers throughout the year that soften the look of other plantings. It is also a top container plant. Prune if necessary. A similar variety is ‘Diamond Frost’. Size (hxw): 50cmx50cm. Sun to part shade.

Other no-fuss shrubs you can grow:

  • African daisy
  • Brazilian red cloak
  • browallia
  • ceratastigma
  • eupatorium
  • iresine
  • Japonica camellia
  • Japanese flowering quince
  • loropetalum
  • oleander
  • nandina
  • pentas
  • rondeletia
  • shrimp plant
  • tibouchina (can be frost sensitive)

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