Tall Garden Shrubs

Written by timothy sexton
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Tall Garden Shrubs
Forsythia can grow as high as 10 feet. (Sharon Dominick/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Some shrubs can grow larger than some trees. Planting tall shrubs in your garden area can provide much-needed shade that will benefit some types of plants or create privacy screening for your home. On the flip side, tall shrubs can give the garden a sense of isolation. Always be aware of just how tall your choice of shrub could potentially grow and keep in mind that not all shrubs wind up as fat little bushes.

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Weigela grows at a moderate rate that can take it up to 9 feet high and 12 feet wide. Weigela thrives in zones 5-9. Its trumpet-shaped flowers bloom in late spring and early summer. The pinkish flowers can sometimes be so plentiful that they block out the greenery, so keep that in mind when considering weigela for your garden. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil.


Smoketree produces feathery plumes of cottony flowers in June and grows at a moderate rate until it reaches up to 15 feet. The smoketree can be pruned to give it more of a treelike appearance or you can leave it unpruned to take on its naturally wide, shrubby appearance. Plant smoketree in the full sun in well-drained soil. It's hardy in zones 4-8.

Seven-son Flower

Seven-son flower is a shrub that produces fragrant, white blossoms in late summer when other plants are fading. It can grow as tall as 20 feet and as wide as 15 feet. The dark green foliage turns a purplish shade of green before it drops in the late fall, giving a better view of its exfoliating bark. This shrub is best grown in zones 5-8 when planted in the full sun in moist soil.

Golden Vicary Privet

If you are looking for moderate growth in an hourglass-shaped shrub, consider the golden vicary privet. The characteristic feature of this shrub is the yellow foliage that stands out throughout the season. White flowers bloom late in the spring. Golden vicary privet will grow to 12 feet high when planted in the full sun to partial shade in zones 5-8.

Common Pearlbush

Common pearlbush, suitable for zones 4-8, can grow as high as 15 feet and as wide. Plant pearlbush in the full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil that is on the acidic side. Bright, white flowers bloom rapidly to contrast with the medium green leaves.

Inkberry Holly

Inkberry is a variety of holly that can get up to 8 feet tall and 12 feet wide. This shrub works best in zones 4-10, but only if planted in moist, well-drained soil and in full sun or partial shade. Inkberry holly, which bears tiny black fruit, works well as a foundation plant.


Forsythia is a shrub that signals the start of spring with its covering of bright yellow flowers, though its appearance is on the ordinary side once flowering ends. It can reach as high as 10 feet and up to 12 feet wide when planted in full sun with adequate watering and protection from spring frosts. Forsythia is hardy in zones 5-8.

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