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9 Unique Shrubs You Might Not Know About

9 Unique Shrubs You Might Not Know About

By Kristina Howley, for Proven Winners® ColorChoice®
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners® ColorChoice®

Falling in love with a new plant is one of the best feelings you can have as a gardener. The only thing that feels better is seeing your garden change over time, right alongside you. Together, you and your garden get to evolve! Over time, you’ll see the plant choices come together to reflect your personality and ideas of beauty. Perhaps one of the plants below is the missing puzzle piece for your space, ready to make it even more unique to you and your style.

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1. Beyond Pink’d® Bluebeard (Caryopteris incana)

  • USDA zones 7b-9
  • full sun
  • 2-2.5 ft. tall and wide
  • abundant light pink flowers attract pollinators in late summer and fall
  • essentially unaffected by deer, drought, and heat
  • looks its best when chopped to the ground in the late winter

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2. El Niño Desert Orchid (Chitalpa)

  • USDA zones 6-9
  • full to part sun
  • 5-8 ft. tall and 4-6 ft. wide
  • a totally new plant, a combination of two North American natives
  • very long bloom time, starting in late spring and goes well into summer
  • unbothered by deer and heat

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3. Lemony Lace® Elderberry (Sambucus racemose)

  • USDA zones 4-7
  • part sun
  • 3-5 ft. tall and wide
  • exciting foliage coloring – red tints in spring and chartreuse the rest of the season
  • flowers for pollinators and fruit for birds
  • handsome native species well suited as a border plant in any garden style

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4. Estrellita Little Star® Bouvardia (Bouvardia x)

  • USDA zones 8-10
  • full to part sun
  • 1.5-2 ft. tall and wide
  • bold multi-colored starburst-like flowers attract pollinators like a magnet
  • super rugged performance
  • convenient low-growing habit fits in easily as an edging or hedge plant

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5. Juiced Orange Jessamine (Cestrum corymbosum)

  • USDA zones 7b-10
  • full to part sun
  • 4-5 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. wide
  • plenty of flowers for pollinators
  • blooms for months, adding constant color to the middle of the border
  • stands up beautifully against heat and drought

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6. Waxwing Orange Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens)

  • USDA zones 9-11
  • full to part sun
  • 2-3 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide
  • tons of tiny multi-colored leaves make the front of the border look like a celebration
  • glossy foliage stays handsome year-round
  • vigorous grower, even in tough conditions

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7. Brandywine Witherod Viburnum (Viburnum nudum)

  • USDA zones 5-9
  • full to part sun
  • 5-6 ft. tall and wide
  • very showy and colorful for a North American native
  • produces an abundance of berries for wildlife
  • rather easy size to use in the garden

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8. Sugar Tip® Rose Of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

  • USDA zones 5-9
  • full sun
  • 4-6 ft. tall and wide
  • doubled flowers don’t produce seedlings
  • grows as a tall mound, softening the back or middle of the border
  • elegant variegation blends into any style garden

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9. Tortuga® Juniper (Juniperus communis)

  • USDA zones 2-7
  • full sun
  • 2 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. wide
  • the toughest plant you could wish for – holds up against deer, drought, and more
  • plentiful soft needles add texture to the garden, but no discomfort
  • wider-than-tall habit fills the front of the border nicely

We can love classic garden plants, but we’re allowed to find new favorites, too. After all, Mother Nature and plant breeders have made some pretty incredible flowers and foliage for us to look at every day. Maybe one of the plants above will help inject more of your exact personality into your space.


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