Top 10 Long-Blooming Shrubs
Do you dream of a flower-filled landscape or garden with never-ending beauty? We do, too: that’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite long-blooming shrubs! Start your planting with these ten flowering shrubs that provide months instead of weeks of colorful blooms.
1.) Perfecto Mundo® Reblooming Azaleas
Perfecto Mundo reblooming azaleas are sure to make a statement in your garden if you’re looking for vibrant shrubs with flowers! This truly innovative new series boasts a spring bloom that’s as outstanding as its fall bloom, as well as big, double flowers and glossy foliage that resists pests and diseases. These azaleas begin to bloom in early-mid spring, then after a brief rest, create a whole new set of buds that opens from mid/late summer through frost.
For the very best flowering, we recommend planting with high, filtered light (such as under a tall canopy of a deciduous tree) all day and in moist, rich soil. Like many strong-blooming plants, it will benefit from some fertilizer, which gives it extra energy to put into flower bud production. A monthly application of a rose fertilizer from early spring through late July should provide excellent results.
Perfecto Mundo azaleas are evergreen shrubs and very easy to grow: no deadheading or trimming to get a stunning display in spring and fall. The flowers fall off naturally when they age.
2.) Butterfly Bush
Even if this list wasn’t in alphabetical order, butterfly bush would be at the top! It really is one of the most floriferous shrubs out there. It starts blooming in early summer and doesn’t quit until the snowflakes fly. Newer varieties like the ones we offer from Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs don’t even need deadheading (i.e., removing old flowers when they fade) to keep blooming.
For the most abundant and colorful blooms on butterfly bush – as well as the potential to attract the most butterflies – plant only in spots with at least six hours of sun each day. Butterfly bush are hardy to USDA zone 5 and heat tolerant through USDA zone 9. If you live in an area that’s too cold to grow butterfly bush in the ground, consider using one as a container plant. These garden bushes have similar flower power to annuals and can flower abundantly even in their first season.
Many people consider butterfly bush a perennial. However, these true woody plants are best thought of, and cared for, as a shrub. We recommend only pruning them in spring, once the new growth has begun to emerge.
3.) Panicle Hydrangeas
Most of the plants on this list create fresh flowers through the season, but panicle hydrangeas provide their super-long bloom time by keeping the flowers they create looking fabulous through frost. Big, cone-shaped blooms start out white or green, then as the summer progresses, begin to take on pink and red tones. That color persists through frost, which means that people who grow panicle hydrangeas enjoy a solid three (or more!) months of flowering.
Panicle hydrangeas are some of the easiest and most reliable of all flowering shrubs, and certainly among hydrangeas. Hardy to USDA zone 3 and heat tolerant through USDA zone 8 or 9, these versatile, durable plants can be grown nearly anywhere in the country.
For many years, panicle hydrangeas only came in one size: huge. But that’s all changed, and there are several dwarf varieties that reach no more than 3-5′ tall and wide are available now. No matter what your space, there’s a panicle hydrangea that’s perfect for adding flower power!
4.) Smooth Hydrangeas
These hardy native hydrangeas go by many names: smooth hydrangea, native hydrangea, wild hydrangea, ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea, wild seven-bark. But whatever you choose to call it, you can count on its big, bodacious blooms lasting months instead of just weeks. If you opt for a member of the award-winning Invincibelle® series, the show lasts even longer, since not only do the early summer blooms persist through autumn, these varieties continue to produce fresh flowers throughout the season. They are the only true reblooming smooth hydrangeas!
Though smooth hydrangeas have been popular garden plants for over a century, in recent years, they’ve undergone some major improvements that make them even more garden-worthy. Newer varieties have strong stems that don’t flop over in summer storms like ‘Annabelle’ does, dwarf and medium sizes that make it even more versatile, and an array of colors. You get all the reliability and easy care that has made Hydrangea arborescens such a timeless classic with much better performance.
For the best-looking smooth hydrangeas, plant with at least some sun each day. This ensures the strongest stems and the clearest, best colors.
5.) Sonic Bloom® Pink Weigela
Sonic Bloom weigela are the original and best reblooming weigela money can buy! These Proven Winners weigela bloom in late spring/early summer along with other weigela, but then create additional waves of blooms through summer and into fall. Get more of those fabulously colorful trumpet-shaped flowers – which also means you’ll get more hummingbirds and pollinators in your yard.
Weigela are classic landscape plants, thanks to their easy-going nature. They do need full sun (at least 6 hours a day), but if you can provide that, you’ll be treated to a plant that needs no pruning, resists deer, tolerates drought, and looks great while doing it. And, you can take your pick of four fabulous colors.
In this video Miranda Niemiec, horticulture expert, highlights a few of the weigela we offer and gives some tips on how you can pick the perfect weigela for you!
6.) Bloomerang® Lilacs
Bloomerang lilacs are the original rebloomers. They bloom in spring along with conventional lilacs, then after a brief rest to put on new growth, they bloom again in mid-late summer. If conditions are good, you may even have lilac flowers in November! If you love lilacs but wish they bloomed longer, Bloomerang lilacs are the perfect choice. We have two fab varieties to choose from: Bloomerang Dark Purple,and Bloomerang Purpink.
These lilacs are a bit different than the classic lilacs: the flowers are smaller and the fragrance is different. The plants are, overall, smaller too, and the small leaves show exceptional disease resistance, especially compared to the old-fashioned varieties, which, while lovely, are quite prone to powdery mildew and bacterial disease. If you’ve struggled with keeping other lilacs healthy, Bloomerang lilacs take care of all of that and give you more flowers to boot.
Getting the best rebloom out of Bloomerang lilacs is simple: the more new growth they put on after their spring bloom, the more they will rebloom. To accomplish this, keep the plants growing vigorously by fertilizing monthly through late July, and don’t allow the plants to dry out or otherwise get stressed.
7.) Double Take™ Flowering Quince
Flowering quince is a classic spring-flowering shrub, but it had some prickly features – not least of all, abundant sharp thorns and a limited bloom time. The Double Take series from Proven Winners puts a whole new face on this old favorite with thornless stems, big double flowers, and a much longer bloom time. Even in hot climates like Texas, Double Take quince blooms for weeks longer than old varieties. In many climates, they even rebloom, providing an impressive flush of colorful flowers in August and September.
Quince is a durable, drought-tolerant plant. Plant in full sun for the most flowers, though they can bloom very well in partial shade (4-6 hours of sun), especially when growing in USDA zone 8 or 9. We’ve found deer resistance on these to vary – old-fashioned quince are considered quite resistant due to their thorns, but the thornless Double Take series may experience some browsing in areas with heavy deer pressure.
8.) Rose Of Sharon
At the height of summer, the last thing anyone wants to be doing is messing about in the hot sun in the garden – that’s the time you should be relaxing and enjoying the fruit of the work you did in spring and fall. And few plants make that easier to do than rose of Sharon. They need almost no maintenance and bloom for well over a month each year, often stretching into two month spans. That long blooming period won’t just delight you and your family: it will also be loved by all the hummingbirds and pollinators that find the colorful blooms irresistible.
Rose of Sharon comes in a wide range of blue to pink tones, including pure whites, and you’ll also find both double and single blooms (though the single blooms are the better choice if you are trying to attract pollinators). You’ll also find a range of sizes, from full-sized Chiffon and Satin series to Pollypetite, the smallest rose of Sharon on the market.
Love the months of color and flowers from rose of Sharon but hate their tendency to seed all over? All of the varieties that we carry here at Great Garden Plants are low or no seed! They won’t cause nuisance seedlings to pop up all over your yard.
9.) Landscape Roses
What’s a landscape rose? Well, they’re characterized by their vigorous growth, exceptional disease resistance, and ability to bloom all summer. Though their flowers are smaller, generally less fully petalled, and usually not fragrant compared to the hybrid teas that dominated the rose scene for so long, they more than make up for it with their laidback, low-maintenance nature and ability to bloom for months without deadheading.
We offer a huge selection of landscape roses from both the Knock Out® series, which started the craze, and the Oso Easy® series from Proven Winners. You’ll find a range of colors and sizes that are perfect for sunny spots.
Landscape roses don’t need deadheading (i.e., removing the old flowers as they fade) to continue blooming. In fact, they need virtually no care at all, save a pruning in spring. Even this, though, is easy – no need to fussy over where to make the cuts, since they grow so vigorously, they’ll easily rebound from a quick cut back with loppers or even hedge trimmers.
10.) Double Play Doozie® Spirea
The first-ever reblooming spirea! Double Play Doozie® spirea lives up to its name with a performance that’s unmatched by any other spirea to date. In late spring/early summer (early June for us in Michigan), it explodes in clusters of red-pink flowers, and they continue to come consistently, all the way through autumn. We have simply never before seen a spirea with this level of flower power. It’s extraordinary!
Double Play Doozie has all the characteristics that make spirea such a popular garden plant: tidy rounded habit, easy-care, drought tolerant, deer resistant, and hardy. But it adds in beautiful red foliage in spring and non-stop blooming. Whether you plant one in your perennial garden, three in your landscape, or a whole hedge’s worth, you’ll be treated to an outstanding display with minimal care.
Double Play Doozie spirea is also seedless, so if other spirea tend to seed around in your area, it makes an ideal choice!