Shrubs provide shape and structure in the garden. Evergreen shrubs are the backbone of every great hedge whilst flowering shrubs like daphne and viburnum provide fantastic scent and colour during winter when nothing else in the garden is stirring. Most shrubs are easy to grow but if you need a bit of extra help planting, pruning or picking the right shrub for the right place, head over to the Suttons blog to get some expert advice.
What are shrubs?
Shrubs are perennial plants that keep a permanent woody structure above ground all year round. They’re smaller than trees and tend to produce multiple woody stems from their base unlike trees which usually produce one. Shrubs can be evergreen or deciduous making them useful for lots of different places and situations in the garden.
What shrubs grow in shade?
There are plenty of shrubs that thrive in shade. Mahonia aquifolium ‘Apollo’ is a good choice for planting in full shade, like woodland plantings under mature trees. The bright yellow flowers in early spring and attractive purple berries in summer are a welcome sight. Hydrangea and viburnum shrubs are a great choice for highlighting partial shade. If you have acidic soil, choose pieris or azalea which do very well in ericaceous soil with lovely blooms and eye-catching autumn leaf colours.
How to prune shrubs?
It’s simple to prune shrubs as long as you do it at the right time. Generally it’s best to prune deciduous shrubs during the winter months when they’re in their dormancy. Take summer flowering deciduous shrubs like buddleja back in late winter, cutting stems back to two or three buds just before they come into leaf. Cut back winter flowering deciduous shrubs like weigela after flowering is over in late autumn, cutting back each flowering stem to two or three buds.
Evergreen shrubs like holly and viburnum need different pruning. Go for it after flowering is over. Prune back your evergreen shrub, making sure to remove congested branches as well as diseased or dying foliage. If you want to do a harsh prune or reduce a very overgrown evergreen shrub, it’s best to wait until early spring before buds break. Always use clean, sharp equipment to prune your shrubs.