For bountiful blooms, easy care and pollinator support, these garden and landscape shrubs give and give.
Royal Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’)
Royal Star Magnolia
Once it’s established in the landscape, this reliable early- to-mid-spring bloomer is one of the most breathtaking sites of spring. Large, 3 to 4 inch flowers have fragrant, double-white petals. Charming, butter-yellow crown centers beckon bees, birds and butterflies, giving them a good start to pollinator season. Royal Star Magnolia is a favorite choice for trendy, residential moonlight gardens.
It is also a popular selection in HOA landscape designs and provides a warm welcome to commercial business entryways. Site Royal Star Magnolia in an area that will be sheltered in harsh, inclement weather. The shrub adapts easily in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. Fertilize before new growth emerges in spring. In full sun, it reaches 10 to 15 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide. Performs best in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
Dwarf Korean Lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’)
Dwarf Korean Lilac
You’ll know it’s spring in the Midwest when the Dwarf Korean Lilac blooms! Its perfume fills the air on a compact shrub that is densely branched and covered with delicate pink petals. This variety extends spring as it blooms just a bit later than other lilacs. Plant three or more as a sidewalk border hedge or alone as a specimen shrub.
Dwarf Korean Lilac grows slowly, reaching maturity in two to three years. While you may have to wait that long before the shrub shows its first flowers, it’s worth it. Dwarf Korean Lilac can live as many as 30 years. At full size, it’s 6 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. Easy care, water when the top 2 inches of soil is dry. Plant in full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.
Sarah Bernhardt Double Peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’)
Sarah Bernhardt Peony
Double pink blooms cover the Sarah Bernhardt Peony in mid-spring. This classic herbaceous peony has 7- to 9-inch fuschia flowers with heady fragrance and pretty ruffles. Prized in the home as a cut flower, this peony blooms in the garden as early-blooming spring bulbs fade. Other landscape companions are hydrangea, mock orange and coneflower.
Provide a layer of leaf mulch in spring. Otherwise, this peony does not require much in the way of fertilization or maintenance. It enjoys rich, well-drained organic soil and full sun. The shrub’s habit forms clumps of green foliage that is deer resistant. Cut back Sarah Bernhardt Peony to the ground in the fall. A fast grower, mature height and width is 2 to 3 feet. Plant in full sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8.
‘Duchesse de Nemours’ Peony (Paeonia x lactiflora ‘duchesse de nemours’)
‘Duchesse de Nemours’ Peony
Well-named, ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ Peony is dignified, refined and regal in the garden with showy, creamy white double blossoms. At 5 to 6 inches, ruffled flowers have a globe shape and an exquisite fragrance that is reminiscent of fine perfume. The shrub received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Here in the Midwest, ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ Peony hosts its annual flower show in May and June.
The shrub requires only moderate moisture and prefers a blend of partial shade and partial sun. Soil should be organically rich and well drained. Herbaceous, cut back ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ Peony to the ground in the fall. Otherwise, it requires very little maintenance. At maturity, the peony is 3 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Best in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.
Girard’s Hot Shot Azalea (Azalea x ‘Girard’s Hot Shot’)
Hot Shot Azalea
Hot Shot Azalea is definitely a shrub to show off! Prolific, “hot” orange-red flowers form a stunning blanket over its rounded habit in mid-spring. Plant en masse as a border or hedge for a truly remarkable display of eye-candy color. Plant in areas of the landscape that receive filtered sun to partial shade and where heavier winds are not an issue. It performs well when planted on the north or east side of a residence or business. Avoid planting Hot Shot Azalea in the drip line of trees in the walnut family because it is sensitive to toxins produced by their roots. This azalea attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and tolerates rabbits.
Maintenance needs are low. Hot Shot Azalea does require organically rich, well-drained soil and regular waterings during the first growing season until roots are established. Provide an acid fertilizer after bloom and apply a 3-inch layer of leaf mulch in spring to retain moisture and help keep roots cool during the summer months. Hot Shot Azalea is evergreen in most areas of the Midwest. It reaches 2 to 4 feet tall at maturity, and 3 to 5 feet wide. Plant in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 9.
Brandywine™ Viburnum (Viburnum nudum)
Providing three-season interest, Brandywine™ Viburnum delivers gorgeous fall foliage in a mix of vibrant reds, golds and green. White flowers bloom in May. Berries in spring start green, then turn vivid shades of pink and blue. Native to North America, the shrub pairs nicely with purple and deep-blue salvia. Birds flock to it.
Deer resistant, Brandywine™ Viburnum has an upright habit. It reaches 5 to 6 feet tall and wide in the landscape. The deciduous viburnum requires a companion viburnum for cross-pollination and good berry production. Maintenance needs are minimal other than planting in moist, well-drained soil and applying a controlled release fertilizer in the spring. Plant in sun, in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9.
Learn More About the Loma Vista Nursery Family and Our Landscape Plants
Loma Vista Nursery grows fun and healthy plants for Midwest independent garden centers, landscape contractors and wholesale distributors. We are now taking professional trade orders for the spring 2024 growing season. Click here for our container order form. Click here for our in-ground tree order form. Visit our plant catalog for more information about Loma Vista Nursery grown perennial plants, trees and shrubs – all ideal for Midwest landscapes.
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