Shrubs for the Landscape

 

by Elmer Krehbiel, Master Gardener
October 19 & 26, 2001

In the Brazos Valley, the best time to plant container shrubs in the landscape is during October. Winter is the next best season,  then spring. Summer is the most difficult season to start shrubs in the landscape. Spring is the best season to plant shrubs and trees where the winter temperatures are colder, but the Lower South area has mild winters.

The procedure for the site preparation and planting shrubs is the same as for trees. Details on most of the shrubs listed below can be found on Aggie Horticulture Picture Pages.

The first group of shrubs listed below require the least amount of water and should not have any serious disease or insect problems.

Shrubs add character to the landscape. Their color, texture, shape and size should contribute beauty, interest, and value. Theres an old English proverb A bad shrub is better than an open field.

Before selecting shrubs, soil type, fertility and drainage should be evaluated, along with sunlight, shade, size of the area and climate. Then, your preference for color, shape, and texture should be considered. Landscape maintenance is easier and more efficient if shrubs are adapted to the conditions of your yard and the local climate.

The best time to plant shrubs in containers for this area is October. Winter is next, then spring. Summer is the most difficult season to start them in the landscape. Spring is the best season to plant shrubs and trees where the winter temperatures are colder, but this area has mild winters and is the lower southern region. The procedure for the site preparation and planting shrubs is about the same as for trees.

The first group of shrubs listed below requires the least amount of water and should not have any serious disease or insect problems.

  • The deciduous shrubs are possumhaw holly, Nana pomegranate, Chico pomegranate, Albeseen's pomegranate, pleniflora pomegranate, wonderful pomegranate, flowering quince, Anthony waterer spiraea and bridal wreath spiraea.
  • The evergreen shrubs are dwarf abelia, abelia compacta, Edward Goucher abelia, wintergreen barberry, fruitlandi elaeagnus, berries jubilee holly, blue princess holly, dwarf burford holly, burford holly, Carissa holly, Chinagirl holly, Chinese rotunda holly, Chinese horned holly, dazzler holly, Foster's holly, Mary Nell holly, Nasa holly, needlepoint holly, Savannah holly, Nellie R. Stevens holly, dwarf yaupon holly, weeping yaupon holly, yaupon holly, Nana nandina, harbor nandina, San Gabriel nandina, Moonbay nandina, Gulfstream nandina, compacta nandina, heavenly bamboo nandina, Indian princess photinia, Chinese photinia and Fraser's photinia.

The second group has low water requirements, but they are susceptible to disease, insect and other problems.

  • Deciduous shrubs include Althea, crapemyrtle, California fan palm, dwarf palmetto, Texas palmetto, Texas persimmon, China rose, tea rose, rosemary, Vitex and red yucca.
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrubs include Japanese boxwood, grayleaf cotoneaster, Indian hawthorn, Italian jasmine, juniper, cherry laurel, Texas mountain laurel, oleander, dwarf pittosporum, green pittosporum, variegated pittosporum and Central Texas sage.

The third group should not have any serious disease or insect problems, but they require more water than the first group.

  • Deciduous shrubs include flowering almond, beautybush, burning bush, chaste tree, Deutzia, red Osier dogwood, Tatarian honeysuckle, Japanese kerria, sweet mock orange, ninebark, pearlbush, popcorn, ligustrum, fragrant sumac, smooth sumac, velvet sumac, Burkwood viburnum, weigela and Chinese wisteria.
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrubs include Japanese aucuba, bamboo, bottlebrush, prickly pear cactus, pineapple guava, Japanese honeysuckle, Mahonia fortunei, leatherleaf mahonia, Oregon grape mahonia, European fan palm, needle palm, Japanese tatsia, Laurestinus viburnum, leatherleaf viburnum and Sandanque viburnum.

For size, color and additional information about shrubs and trees, call the Brazos County Extension Office, (979) 823-0129.

Dr. Elmer Krehbiel is the former President of Keep Brazos Beautiful. See his column in The Eagle.