July 18

Shrubs To Add Color To Your Yard



Are you trying to add color to your yard? Too often, people think that the only way they can add colors to their yards is to add some flowers or some lawn decorations. At best, they think of trees and shrubs for the spring months and then believe that everything will go back to green and stay that way until the next spring. That isn’t necessarily the case. You can add quite a bit of color to your yard simply by planting different shrubs.

Since shrubs tend to be smaller, they fit great just about anywhere. They also tend to be easier to take care of and keep in the shapes that you want. However, there are some choices that you will have to make – some shrubs can be high maintenance, produce a mess, or invite feathered friends into your yard.

Which shrubs add color to your yard? Let’s take a look:


Credit: Surely Shirly
  •  Grows up to 8 feet tall (most species)
  • Best in hardiness zones 7-10, but will grow elsewhere
  • Pink and green in color

The Loropetalum is also known as the Chinese fringe-flower and is actually a member of the Witch Hazel family. The shrub itself is native to China, Japan, and the Himalayas, but it can adapt to many different areas. Offering up pink and purple flowers, these plants have become quite popular due to their masses of blooms from mid-March through mid-April, as well as their scattered blossoms during the rest of the season.

While most species sold for use in yards will go up to 8 feet tall, but in the wild they have been found as tall as 100 feet. Typically, homeowners will keep these shrubs pruned and manicured so that they don’t get too unwieldy.

For homeowners not looking for a lot of maintenance, these are perfect because Loropetalums have few serious pest or disease problems associated with them. Though root rot can be an issue, especially in poorly drained soils, according to Clemson. Make sure to get a version that can withstand colder weather – not all can.


Credit: ColoredBy
  • Make sure to get a coloring type – some will stay green
  • Twist of Lime and Kaleidoscope variations popular with homeowners
  • Easy to maintain

For those who are looking for a beautiful pop of color that isn’t too strong, the Abelia is a great option. While it has white flowers, there are twists of color that can make it a subtle addition to a yard. It is also quite easy to take care of: while you have to water regularly- weekly or more often in extreme heat, once it has been established, it requires less frequent watering.

If you think you have seen this plant before, it is likely because you have: it is a favorite of landscapers.

For design ideas, Monrovia suggests, “Glossy Abelia is a cherished performer in the mixed shrub border because of its long season of blooms from June to October. Use it for hedging, to separate garden areas, as a screen or along a foundation. Pretty in front of large, dark evergreens.”


Credit: Andrey Zharkikh
  • Adds a unique gray color to your yard
  • Very soft and whispy
  • Various heights – pick what you like

If you want a more romantic and nuanced look to your yard, there may be no better option for you than the Artemisia. This gray/silver shrub will add some unique color that isn’t too bright. Even better, it is an aromatic shrub. Many designers will use this as a transition shrub because it helps to draw the eye from one feature to the next, contrasting beautifully against brighter shrubs or all of the green.

In the perfect situation, this shrub will also give off yellow flowers that tend to attract some friendly animals. Mostly, homeowners love this because it is so low maintenance. In an area like ours, it doesn’t require much watering or care. Some general pruning should help to keep everything in line and looking beautiful. It also doesn’t have very many enemies – it is resistant to diseases and pests, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

You can even put this shrub in a container if you want to move it around for a better look.


Credit: Andy Rogers
  • Ranges in color from purple-black to gold
  • Has pale pink flowers
  • Can eat berries – just cook them first

If you have a yard that is particularly moist or wet, the Elderberry shrub is a great way to add some color to your yard. With beautiful foliage, berries, and flowers, you cannot go wrong with this shrub. It does attract some animal friends and it does drop, so you may have some clean up, but this shrub is filled with personality that will make up for it.

There are many varieties of this shrub, so make sure to get the type that is right for what you want. According to The Spruce, “If you want a shrub with yellow leaves, look for the ‘Aurea’ cultivar. That one also has red fruit instead of black. If you prefer foliage with variegation, choose ‘Variegata’. For lacy dissected leaves, pick ‘Laciniata’. If you are planning on cooking the fruit, look for cultivars like ‘Adams No. 1’, ‘Adams No. 2’, ‘York’ and ‘Johns’ as these produce an abundance of large drupes.”

Another thing to remember is that if you want to use the berries for anything (like cooking, medicines, etc), then you absolutely need to cook them first.

Contact Menchofer Tree Care for all of your tree care needs – we can help you at any stage of the tree process, from planting and taking care of your tree to pruning and cutting it down – and of course, any seasonal problems that you might have with your trees. If you are having trouble making decisions about how to best care for your tree, we are here to help. Remember that acting sooner rather than later will help you to get the most out of your trees and keep your home safe.

Call us today at 317-661-4240.

Header photo courtesy of Tim Green on Flickr!

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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