Looking for that amazing “pop” of color in your garden or landscape? A plant that makes a statement and really stands out against your backdrop?

Enter… flowering perennial shrubs (or bushes). Perennial shrubs add balance and color to your landscape.

Flowering shrubs rhododendron garden
A garden of flowering rhododendron shrubs (Rhododendron ponticum). Rhodys not only flower profusely in spring, but their leaves are evergreen and stay on the shrub all winter long!

I love flowering shrubs because they can really catch the attention of passerbys. If you’re following my garden pyramid for planting success, you have already chosen your ornamental tree(s) and evergreen shrubs.

Flowering shrubs make the perfect choice for right in front of your evergreen backbone planting. So, place your perennial shrubs in front of a row of evergreens  to really make them POP. 

These flowering bushes can add lots of long-lasting color and personality and are large enough to make a big statement. In fact, a lot of the perennial shrubs I’ll mention bloom for weeks and even months on end. 

And… when they are done blooming, your sturdy evergreen foundation will keep your garden from looking bare and messy.  Once you choose the perennial shrubs that are right for your garden, you’ll see your landscape really start take shape.

Quick Tip:My landscape layering post  will show you how to create a beautiful, four-season landscape, even if you’re a beginner gardener!

The best perennial shrubs for color and texture

Let’s get to the fun stuff! These are my picks for the BEST perennial shrubs to add color and texture to your landscape.

Long Blooming & Easy-Care Perennial Shrubs

Here are some of my favorite perennial shrubs that you can plant in your own garden. I really love these options because not only do they bloom for weeks and sometimes months on end, but they don’t require much effort at all.

The only maintenance you’ll need to do is watering and fertilizing. After planting these shrubs you should supplement their water supply until the roots get established.  Beyond that, they should be able to handle the weather if you get about an inch of rain each week.

Many people find flowering shrubs to be difficult to grow. The biggest issue that I see, is that most people do not fertilize flowering shrubs at all or enough. Any plant, shrub or tree in your garden that is a prolific bloomer needs to be fertilized.

It takes a lot of energy for her to look so beautiful for you every day! So… you should pick up some flower fertilizer and follow the feeding instructions provided. My favorite is Espoma Rose-Tone Rose and flower food if you are looking for a specific recommendation!

Ok – onto my recommendations for the best perennial flowering shrubs for you to try in your own garden!

Perennial Shrubs To Add Color and Texture To Your Garden

Knockout Rose Bush

perennial shrub
Sunny Knock Out® Shrub Rose (Rosa SUNNY KNOCK OUT ‘RADsunny’)

Zones: 5-11 | 3-4’W x 3-4’W | Full Sun

Knockout or double knockout roses are easy to grow, don’t require special care and bloom up to 9 months of the year — literally from spring until the end of fall when it starts to frost.

Knockout roses come in a couple different variations of color. Most are in the hot pink (Rosa PINK KNOCK OUT ‘Radcon’) to blush pink (Rosa x ‘Radgor’), or yellow family (Rosa SUNNY KNOCK OUT ‘RADsunny’) .

Spirea ‘ Superstar’

Superstar Spirea
Spirea ‘Superstar’ (Spiraea x bumalda ‘Denistar’)

Zones 3-8 | 1′-8’ H x 6’ W (varies by variety) | Full Sun

With so many varieties to choose from, you won’t have a hard time finding a spirea that you will fall in love with. Spirea are classified as spring-blooming or summer-blooming.

The pink blooming spirea pictured is called Superstar (Spiraea x bumalda ‘Denistar’). This is a compact (2-3’H x 1-4’W) variety with blooms of apple-pink blossoms that cover the plant all summer long. In addition to the blooms it also has beautiful fall foliage.

What Blooms with What?

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Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

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Elderberry ‘Black Beauty’

The black beauty elderberry has dark maroon foliage
Elderberry ‘Black Beauty’ (Sambuscus nigra ‘Gerda’)

Zones: 4-7 | 8-12′ H x 5-6′ W | Full to Part Sun

The Elderberry ‘Black Beauty’ (Sambuscus nigra ‘Gerda’) has exotic, fern-like deep purple foliage with purple young stems. In spring, pink blooms with a lemony scent envelop this unique shrub, attracting butterflies. It also bears yummy fruit (elderberries) in the summer that both people and birds love.

Quick Tip: If you like the elderberry, check out these 15 plants and shrubs with burgundy red foliage.

Indian Hawthorne ‘Pinkie’

Indian Hawthorne ‘Pinkie’ (Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Pinkie’)

Zones 7-11 | Part-Full Sun | Shrub: 3-4’ H x 3-6’ W (varies by variety) | Tree: 15-25’ H x 8-10’ W

Indian Hawthorne is a double bang-for-your-buck plant because it’s technically an evergreen shrub but is just as beautiful as the other perennial shrubs in this list. ‘Pinkie’ (Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Pinkie’) is a good variety to check out for its compact size (Zones 7-9). 

The Indian Hawthorne is a no-fuss small and slow-growing shrub native to southern China and Japan. It bursts with pink or white clusters of flowers in spring, which give way to dark blue berries that attract birds and other wildlife the rest of the year.

Beyond Midnight Bluebeard

perennial shrub
Bluebeard ‘Beyond Midnight’ (Caryopteris x clandonensis)

Full Sun, 2-3′ W x 2-3′ H, Zones 5-9

Beyond Midnight Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis) is a lovely vibrant green shrub, with a naturally rounded shape. Beyond Midnight adapts to a variety of soils and is drought resistant once established.  Even though wildlife love it, destructive deer will pass it by. Its true value is seen as the season progresses. In late summer, long stems shoot up above the glossy, dark-green foliage COVERED in deep-blue flowers. There are so many blue blossoms shooting from these long wands that it has the effect of turning the shrub into a  big blue ball in your landscape. So cool!

Hydrangea ‘Little Quickfire’

Red stems of the quick fire hydrangea
Hydrangea ‘Little Quickfire’ (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Quick Fire’)

Zones 3-8 | 3-5’ H x 3-5’ W | Full to Part Sun

If you’re looking for a flowering perennial shrub that can tolerate some shade, Hydrangea ‘Little Quickfire’ is a great option. White blooms appear in early summer – about 1 month sooner than other hydrangeas. As the blooms age, they fade to a pink color (like in the photo). Little Quickfire is a more petite version of Quickfire, which gets 6-8′ tall and wide.

Wrapping Up

For a 4-season layered landscape, plant your perennial shrubs IN FRONT OF your evergreen shrubs. Evergreen shrubs are the perfect backdrop for these blooming pops of color. There are even some flowering evergreen shrubs, like the rhododendron and Indian Hawthorn.

A must have flowering shrub for any garden is the “knockout” or “double knockout” rose bush — these can bloom up to 9 months of the year and are very easy to care for.

Spirea are prolific spring or summer bloomers, depending on the variety. With so many options you’re sure to find a spirea that’s right for you!

Elderberry ‘Black Beauty’ is another great shrub with showy pink blooms in spring. What’s unique about this shrub is that it has deep burgundy fern-like foliage that gives it interest in multiple seasons, even when it’s not in bloom. It also produces berries in summer that birds love. 

Do you live in a warmer climate and are looking for something no-fuss? The Indian Hawthorne is a no-fuss perennial shrub that is actually evergreen. It looks just as beautiful as other deciduous shrubs that lose their foliage in winter. Hawthorns come adorned with pink or white flowers and even have berries in the summer that attract birds.

If you are feeling more adventurous, try the ‘Beyond Midnight’ Bluebeard. Beautiful mound-like green perennial shrubs, bluebeards burst with blue blooms on long stems in late summer, giving them the appearance of a big blue ball in your landscape.

Finally, ‘Little Quickfire’ Hydrangea is a flowering perennial that can tolerate a bit of shade. It has a petite size and also blooms about one more earlier than other hydrangeas (in early summer). The blooms start out white then fade to a rosy red color that’s really attractive. The stems are also red which adds interest in the fall. 

And, be sure to keep reading this guide as we’ll be talking about using perennial plants and flowers in the landscape next!

In my perennial garden plan, I’ll go over landscape layering and give you some suggestions for each of the 5 layers:
Layer 1: Ornamental Trees
Layer 2: Evergreen Shrubs
Layer 3: Perennial Deciduous Shrubs
Layer 4: Perennial plants and flowers
Layer 5: Groundcovers, Vines and Grasses

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What Blooms with What?

Plantpairingguide teal mockup web %28custom%29

Never know what to plant together? Find out with this FREE Plant Pairing Guide and become a pro at combining plants for the best garden design possible!

Powered by ConvertKit
Hey, since you're already signed up for my emails, you may be interested in my Printable Garden Planner Kit. It includes 5 printable worksheets that you can use to plan and organize your landscape. Check it out here.