Compact Shrubs with Colourful Foliage for the Southeast


Winter is a good time to look exterior and consider the construction of your panorama. It may be simpler throughout this time of 12 months to inform when you want just a few extra woodies so as to add structural help. Small shrubs particularly have a whole lot of utility in gardens. They match completely in beds and borders and can be utilized in tight areas the place extra presence than a perennial is warranted. Listed below are just a few smaller shrubs with spectacular foliage which have labored nicely for us within the Southeast.

Candy Corn Japanese spirea
Sweet Corn® Japanese spirea’s new spring progress is a vibrant yellow-orange.

Sweet Corn® Japanese spirea

Spiraea japonica ‘NCSX1’, Zones 4–8

Sweet Corn® Japanese spirea is so vibrant and cheerful that it virtually doesn’t appear actual. Its foliage throughout the rising season is chartreuse however the orange-red new progress in spring makes it really spectacular. As soon as the brand new progress turns yellow-green, the shrub produces clusters of vibrant pink flowers. Rising to about 1 to 1½ ft tall and 1½ to 2½ ft large, Sweet Corn® is pretty drought tolerant and durable, taking full solar to partial shade. The flowers make it common with pollinators, particularly butterflies. A trim in late summer time prompts a flush of fabulous new progress for fall. Better of all, this cultivar is sterile, which allays invasiveness considerations.

Margie Jenkins leucothoe
The fragile white flowers of ‘Margie Jenkins’ leucothoe distinction nicely with its darkish inexperienced foliage.

‘Margie Jenkins’ leucothoe

Leucothoe axillaris ‘Margie Jenkins’, Zones 5–9

The darkish inexperienced leaves and arching stems on ‘Margie Jenkins’ leucothoe are very engaging. This multistemmed shrub can attain 2 to five ft tall and three to five ft large. It’ll unfold a bit from the bottom because it produces new stems. ‘Margie Jenkins’ is a number of a southeastern native species that’s proof against the leaf spot that plagues the species. This shrub tolerates full solar if saved constantly moist however seems higher with vibrant shade or morning solar and afternoon shade. It could possibly additionally take full shade. As soon as established, it’s considerably drought tolerant however very tolerant of moist ft. In spring, racemes of white, bell-shaped flowers seem, adopted by bronze-colored new progress.

Radiance abelia
‘Radiance’ abelia options beautiful yellow and white variegation on its foliage, which can be tinted pink and orange throughout different occasions of the 12 months.

‘Radiance’ abelia

Abelia ‘Radiance’, Zones 6–9

‘Radiance’ abelia has small leaves which might be variegated. The cream and inexperienced foliage stays for many of the 12 months and turns orange in winter. White clusters of flowers seem in the summertime. The sunshine-colored foliage and flowers make this shrub actually stand out in opposition to darker inexperienced crops. The blooms are very talked-about with pollinators and have a candy perfume. ‘Radiance’ is showiest when grown in full solar, however it’ll additionally take partial shade. It’ll develop 2 to three ft tall and 4 to five ft large. The brand new progress that seems in spring and infrequently once more after flowering is tinted pink.

Cinnamon Girl distylium
Cinnamon Lady® distylium’s fairly teal foliage has an intriguing ovate form.

Cinnamon Lady® distylium

Distylium ‘PIIDIST-V’, Zones 7–9

Cinnamon Lady® distylium options evergreen foliage on branches that develop up and out, reaching 2 to three ft tall and three to 4 ft large. The foliage is a beautiful blue-green, whereas new progress is a showy reddish purple. In early spring, tiny pink flowers are produced all alongside the branches. This shrub grows properly in full solar. It’ll additionally take partial shade however can have a looser progress behavior. The most effective factor about it’s that it’s powerful. Cinnamon Lady® can deal with sizzling summers, drought, and pruning errors. Nevertheless, it seems greatest with common watering and yearly fertilizer.

There are such a lot of nice crops to select from on the market that it may be onerous to slim down the alternatives. These are just a few compact shrubs that we’ve been profitable with within the Southeast, and all have fascinating foliage as well. Any considered one of these crops can have the neighbors asking about that great bush in your yard.

For extra compact shrubs, take a look at Shrubs for Small Areas within the South. And for extra Southeast regional stories, click on right here.


Jason and Shelley Powell personal and handle Petals From the Previous, a backyard heart in Jemison, Alabama.

Pictures: Shelley Powell

 

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