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All About Shrubs  

Shrubs for the home garden are the most popular plants in the United States.

Is it a shrub or a bush? Some people think there is a distinct difference between the two.

Whether you call them shrubs or bushes, these plants are important to any landscape. Perennials and annuals provide color and variety. Trees add shade and perspective, and usually frame our homes and yards. Shrubs are the plants we relate to - they help us feel a part of the landscape because they bring it down to our level.

A shrub, or bush, is a woody plant with a mature height of between one and a half and ten feet. Anything smaller we consider to be a groundcover. Anything larger is a tree.

Shrubs are easy to plant because their rootballs are usually much smaller than large trees. The difficult part for many is knowing where to place them in the landscape. There are many varieties and forms of shrubs available. Below are categories of shrubs to help you identify the various types of shrubs, their function and form, and where they perform best in the landscape.

Flowering Shrubs come in all different shapes and sizes and are great for adding splashes of seasonal color in nearly any situation the landscape provides. Encore Azaleas®, which bloom in both spring and fall, are a great selection of flowering shrub for areas in the landscape that receive morning sun and afternoon shade.
Drought-Tolerant Shrubs Sometimes there's a misconception of what 'drought tolerant' means. People often conjure up an image of cactus. There are many low-water-use shrubs that are quite attractive and thrive in landscapes throughout the central Georgia area. Many survive and even flourish on only the water Mother Nature provides. .
Sun-Loving Shrubs - This category of shrubs is perhaps the largest to choose from. These shrubs prefer it bright and sunny. This listing shows some of the shrubs we generally have in stock. If you don't find what you are looking for here or at the nursery just let us know and we will do everything we can to find it for you.
Shade-Loving Shrubs - Many gardeners make the mistake of trying to grow sun-loving shrubs in garden areas better suited for shade-loving shrubs. This dilemma often brings with it disappointment, which lasts, for most gardeners, only until they discover that there are many alluring soft foliage and flowering shrubs that can transform shady gardens into cool, inviting spots that bring enjoyment during the long, hot days of summer. Don't think you have any shade? Check out the east or south side of your home.

Evergreen Shrubs - With their year-round foliage, evergreen shrubs are the preferred bushes for foundation plantings, hedges, or screens. Some evergreen shrubs grow large enough to make excellent tree-form specimens for focal points in the landscape or garden. Many of the evergreen small-leaved hollies and boxwoods are useful in hedges, as they can be trimmed to precise shapes. Many of the evergreen shrubs such as Azaleas, Camellias, Indian Hawthorn, and Lorepetalums produce an abundance of flowers. Many have bright golden, burgundy, or variegated foliage that is sometimes striking enough on their own to serve as specimens.
Fragrant Shrubs - The fragrant shrubs in this listing are perfect for planting near decks, patios, porches and other sitting areas so you can enjoy their fragrance. The 'Tea Olive' produces its wonderfully fragrant blooms in both Spring and fall and can be grown as a shrub or small tree. Nothing can compare to the buttery-sweet fragrance of Gardenias and there are now three different forms to choose from: creeping (radicans), mounding shrub ('Daisy' Gardenia) , and upright tall ('August Beauty').
Low Maintenance Shrubs - These are the shrubs that require little if any maintenance. Most are drought tolerant as well. You'll be suprised at how many there actually are available. Why plant high maintenance shrubs when there are so many low maintenance ones to choose from?
Shrubs For Hedges - These are shrubs suitable for creating hedges, live fences, or screens, whether manicured or left to grow natural. Also in this listing are the taller evergreen trees perfect creating taller screens to block views and give more privacy. Pictured left is a hedge of Podocarpus Yew. Why put up a dead fence when you can have a live one?

Native Shrubs - These are shrubs which are native to the southeast. This means that they are, or at one time were found growing in the southeast part of the United States. Many, such as the dazzliing 'Native Azlaeas' or 'Honeysuckle Azaleas' (deciduous rhododendrons pictured left ) such as the pink canescens can still be found growing in woodland areas of Henry County. Needless to say, natives are easy to grow so long as you plant them where they belong.

Berry Producing Shrubs - This listing includes berry-producing trees and shrubs that not only provide color and interest on their own; they also attract wildlife that makes the winter garden truly come alive. Bring cuttings indoors to brighten and freshen up your living space as well.
Outstanding Foliage Color - There are many shrubs that exhibit outstanding, eye-catching foliage color year round such as 'Ruby' loropetalum pictured to the left. Use these plants as focal points, colorful hedges, i mass plantings, or to accentuate other plants in the landscape.
Winter Bloomers - Just about everyone is cheered by the sight or scent of flowers blooming…much more so in the midst of a cold, gray winter. Beat the winter doldrums by planting one (or a few) of these winter bloomers. Camellia Japonicas pictured.
Crape Myrtles are usually thought of as trees, however many consider them to be shrubs. There are a few dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties that are considered shrubs. Crape Myrtles bloom from 60-100 days during summer and therefore are a must in every southern landscape.
Topiary - Many shrubs can be formed into all kinds of unique shapes. Pictured left is a weeping yaupon formed into an umbrella shape. You can form them yourself or we have many types to choose from at the nursery. Most popular are the pom-pom and poodle tier junipers

As you've probably noticed by now there is great diversity among landscape shrubs, both in terms of appearance and uses. Some landscape shrubs are compact, or even dwarfs. But others are tall enough virtually to be small trees and, in fact, may be just that in warmer climates. Some lose their leaves in winter, while other landscape shrubs are evergreen. Yet there is variation even amongst the different evergreen bushes. Uses for landscape shrubs include foundation plantings, formal hedges, informal privacy hedges, mass plantings, topiaries, and as specimen plants.

When deciding which shrubs to plant in your landscape or garden consider those that are both beautiful and will thrive well where you plan to put them. Drought tolerant shrubs are always a good choice as this leaves you one less thing to worry about when water is scarce or you dont have the time to water.

Definitely consider integrating flowering shrubs into your landscape. With flowering shrubs you can have splashes of seasonal color throughout the landscape year round. Many flowering shrubs are deciduous however, azaleas, camellias, loropetalums, and others are evergreen. Some note taking during your research will ensure a selection of shrubs that that bloom at various times of the year - you'll always have something in bloom!

Planting Shrubs

In Georgia, we're usually dealing with clay, whether it be hard-packed or sandy clay. Clay soils tend to hold more moisture than others during wet times, therefore providing for good drainage is essential. We accomplish this by planting shrubs in a slightly raised mound so that their roots do not sit below the water table. Use the diagram and instructions found at Planting a Shrub for proper planting technique.



How To Transplant a Shrub or Tree

Weed Control Around Shrubs

Pruning Shrubs

Fertilizing Shrubs

Disease Control For Shrubs

Insect Control For Shrubs

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