What shrubs will enliven landscapes in 2021? Proven Winners, a leading worldwide plant brand, has launched its introductions for the year. And while the colorful blooms of annuals and perennials are always dazzling, here are just a few shrub introductions that also caught our eye.
1. For Tough Spots. Tortuga™ Juniperus communis. Proven Winners calls it “one of the toughest evergreens we offer” and a “sun-loving evergreen [that] transforms difficult spots into a carpet of green.” A low-mounded groundcover, it withstands cold, sun, drought, deer, rabbits, air pollution, and even black walnut trees. (Zones 2-7.)
2. For Space Saving Hedge. Fine Line® Improved Buckthorn. A new lush and full (all the way to the ground) version of the best selling hedge known for its space-saving and setting of far fewer fruits than weedy buckthorns. (Zones 2-7.)
3. For Fragrance. Baby Kim® Lilac. Fragrance and bloom abundance in a new smaller package. 24”-36” height and 30”-36” spread. (Zones 3-8.) Or for old fashioned charm, the Illuminati Arch® Mockorange’s “never-before-seen” space saving habit and better foliage avoid its traditionally “messy” appearance while retaining romantic white flowers and sweet orange blossom fragrance. (Zones 4-7.)
4. For Wow Factor. The Velvet Fog® Smokebush. More big, showy, smoky seedheads in summer than conventional smokebush. Red-pink plumes contrast with blue-green foliage. Works as a specimen or hedge, due to full branching and form. (Zones 4-8.)
5. For Shade Tolerance. Stonehenge Dark Druid® Yew. A new dwarf, rounded habit for evergreen, shade tolerant yews. At 36” to 48” tall and 36” wide, it’s ideal as a substitute for boxwood, as a specimen, or even in containers. It’s companion, Stoneheange Skinny® is one of the narrowest evergreens around at 72”-96” high and just 12”-18” wide. (Both Zones 5-7.)
6. For Color. Wee Bit Grumpy® Bigleaf Hydrangea. In acidic soils, big, full blooms take on a moody, dramatic deep purple-blue. Zones 5-9. Its companion introduction, Wee Bit Giddy®, sports a red flower akin to Cityline Paris but with the robust durability of Let’s Rave hydrangea. (Both Zones 5-9.)
7. For Rebloom. Perfecto Mundo® Double Purple Reblooming Azalea. An innovative series from award-winning plant breeder Dr. Tom Ranney of NCSU combines performance with lacebug resistance. Deeply saturated purple double flowers rebloom from mid/late summer until frost. Grows in sun/part shade. (Zones 6-9.)
To learn more about these shrubs, visit Proven Winners.
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