Despite our brutal climate in Minnesota, we still have a wide variety of shrub species to chose from to enhance your landscape beds or serve as transition points from one part of the lawn to another. You can even find shrubs that will showcase beautiful visuals year-round. Our list of the eight top shrubs for Minnesota landscapes is an excellent place to start if you are planning a new design.
1. Burning Bush
If you are looking for a shrub that will display stunning visuals throughout the growing season, look for the burning bush. In spring and summer, you will see deep green leaves. Then in autumn, the leaves change into a bold red, for which this shrub gets its name. Beware of rabbits in the winter, who will munch on the young stems of burning bushes.
2. Honeysuckle Bush
Check out the honeysuckle bush when you have difficulty growing plants on sloping ground. This shrub makes an excellent addition to landscaping because it is a favorite among butterflies and bees. The most common variety has bronze-green leaves that turn bright red in the fall. Dainty yellow flowers show up in late spring for another splash of color to your Minnesotan yard.
3. Witch Hazel
Another shrub that will help you tell the seasons apart is the witch hazel. It has leaves that go through many color changes through all the seasons of the year. When they first open, the leaves are bronze with a reddish tinge but mature into a pleasant green color. By the fall, your witch hazel shrubs will have yellow leaves. This shrub blooms late with yellow flowers. Use this shrub for open areas where it has the space to grow out and up.
4. Arctic Fire Dogwood
You might recognize the dogwood as a common shrub in Minnesota. Many dogwoods can reach 10 feet in height, but consider planting a smaller cultivar if your landscape does not have ample space. For example, the Arctic Fire dogwood cultivar has a bold presentation with contrasting colors. It grows white flowers, which stand out in stark relief from its red bark.
Ninebark is native to Minnesota and can be another excellent attraction throughout multiple seasons of the year. From late spring to early summer, it grows white flowers in little groups. It has deep purple leaves that start as burgundy in spring but will transition to bright red in the autumn.
Across many different states, the hydrangea is a “crowd-pleaser” type of shrub. Use it to add a pop of color to your landscape design. Different varieties will display white, blue, or purple flowers in ball-like clusters. This shrub is a fun one to have on your property so that you can have fresh blooms around your home in the spring and summer.
The smokebush gets its name from its plume-like foliage in a smoky purple-pink color. In the summer, watch for its beautiful blossoms to appear in your yard. The most popular variety has green leaves, but you can find ones with unique, purple leaves. If you have an area on your property with hot and dry soil conditions, the smokebush is an ideal choice. It is hardy enough to thrive there.
Finish off a border or hedge with the compact weigela shrub. It displays variegated leaves all spring long, with different cultivars combining fun colors. For example, Golden Jackpot is aptly named for its golden leaves and deep pink flowers. In the fall, weigelas drop their leaves but require ample watering until the first freeze.