Plant Selection

Shrubs are woody perennial plants that survive for more than two years. As a rule, shrubs grow rapidly and bloom or spread within the first season after they are planted. Native varieties are hardy enough to withstand minimal care and drought conditions.

Because most shrubs have a long life span but are relatively expensive initially, it pays to do some careful research before making selections. Consider, for example, the climate in which you live and the hardiness of the plants. Hardiness refers to the lowest possible temperature span at which a plant can survive. As shown in the map below, North America is divided into 10 hardiness zones. In the United States, zone three is the coldest and 10 is the warmest.

For example, evergreen junipers can be grown as borders and groundcovers in zones three through six. while Eucalyptus trees and shrubs are attractive evergreens for zones seven through nine. Shrubs also have varying tolerances for sun and shade. Determine how much sun the planting area receives and choose shrubs that thrive under those conditions. Keep in mind that few shrubs will grow or flower in total shade.


Finally, take careful notice of each plant you would like to useā€”its shape, foliage, texture, color of blossoms and leaves, size and growth habits. Think about how the plants would look together and how well they will blend in with their surroundings.

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