Common Garden Shrubs

Updated February 21, 2017

For gardeners, shrubs can be useful both functionally and aesthetically. Evergreen shrubs are often used as border plants and windbreaks for less-hardy seasonal flowers, and as hedges. Flowering shrubs are especially popular and many gardeners choose to incorporate these into their landscape designs. Shrubs provide a good mid-height feature to a garden and are also well-suited as potted veranda additions.


Azaleas come in many varieties and are one of the most common of garden shrubs. As an evergreen, Azaleas keep their leaves all year round and are hardy garden additions. Unlike other shrubs, Azaleas do well in the company of trees and will not suffer from the competition for moisture and nutrients. They grow to around 4 feet at maturity and can tolerate quite severe frost. Their flowering pattern is prolific and the wide varieties of colours they produce make them especially popular.


Camellias are one of the world's most cultivated plants. According to the website Garden Joy, it is also the world's oldest cultivated plant in the form of Camellias sinensis or the Tea Plant. In parts of the world unsuitable for growing tea, Camellias have instead been cultivated for their flowers, and the variety of colourful flowers the different strains produce runs into the hundreds. Camellia shrubs can grow to around 6 feet at maturity.

Dwarf Conifers

Dwarf and small growing conifers are hardy evergreens used as both ornamental and structural elements in a garden. They come in a variety of genera including junipers, cedars, pines, firs and spruces. These plants are very frost-tolerant and most varieties are low-maintenance as they keep their natural shape well. Often planted in rockeries, as border plants and ornamental features, these shrubs are slow-growing and reach an average of 4 feet in the first 10 years of growth.

Japanese Snowball

The Japanese Snowball (Viburnum plicatum) is a deciduous and very popular hardy garden shrub. Growing between 6 and 7 feet in height at maturity, the Japanese Snowball produces clusters of white flowers which sit atop the tiers of the branches and look from afar like snowfall--hence the popular name for these shrubs. According to Gardening Australia's expert Jane Edmanson, these shrubs thrive in full to partial sun and produce black and red berries after the flowers have died off.

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About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.