What is a bush and what types are there?

Shrubs are great garden plants

Image - Wikimedia / Javier martin

Shrubs are great and very practical plants. With them you can have a really spectacular garden, since, in fact, They are often used as »filling plants», or to delimit areas. There are many varieties: with decorative flowers, with amazing leaves, taller, shorter ... The reality is that it can be hard for you to choose which one to put in a certain area because, regardless of the climate in your garden, the best thing to do is go to the nursery with the shopping list made.

And to all this, Do you know what a bush is? If the answer is negative, don't worry, it will soon cease to be 🙂.

Shrub characteristics

Flowering shrubs are lovely for garden or pot

A shrub is a woody plant that, unlike a tree, reaches a height of less than 6m. It branches from the very base, but this can lead to some confusion, since there are plants, such as lavender or thyme, that are not considered shrubs but woody bushes or subshrubs and that precisely begin to branch from the base.

Types of bushes

Broadly speaking, we distinguish two types of shrubs: the climbers (such as honeysuckle, virgin vine, jasmine, etc.), and those who do not need to climb, which are the majority (such as oleanders, camellias, rhododendrons, etc.). They can also be classified according to whether they are perennial or deciduous. For example, the laurel is evergreen, like the Viburnum; instead, the rose bushes, the wisteria, or the horned They are deciduous.

Uses of shrubs

The bushes have very decorative flowers and / or leaves, so they are plants that are never lacking in gardens. In addition, some of them have edible fruits, such as strawberry trees or pomegranates. They can be used as a hedge to provide privacy and intimacy to the garden, to delimit areas, or as isolated specimens.

If you prefer, you can choose grow them in pot on your patio or balcony. They will be great for sure 🙂.

Examples of shrubs

Here is a list of garden or pot shrubs, with their main characteristics and care:

Flowering shrubs

When we talk about flowering shrubs we refer to that type of short-lived plants that produce showy flowers. It should be borne in mind that there are some that, although they have flowers, they lack ornamental value; and there are others that do not have, such as conifers.


Azalea are evergreen shrubs

Our azalea they belong to the genus Rhododendron, and to the subgenus Pentanthera. Are evergreen shrubs originating in Asia. They reach a height of about 40-50 centimeters, and they produce small leaves, dark green on the upper side and downy on the underside. Its flowers are of different colors: white, red, yellow, and appear in spring.


They are plants that need to be in semi-shade, and grown in acidic soils or substrates, with a pH between 4 and 6. Water 3-4 times a week in summer They resist weak frosts down to -3ºC.

Polygala myrtifolia

View of the Polygala myrtifolia

Image - Wikimedia / Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz

La Polygala myrtifolia is a shrub or evergreen tree native to South Africa that reaches a height of 2 to 4 meters. It develops a trunk that branches to a height of about a meter, and produces purple flowers in spring-summer.


It should be placed in a sunny position, with limestone soils that have good drainage. Water little, about twice a week in summer and less the rest of the year. Resists up to -2ºC, maybe -3ºC.

China rose

View of the China rose

Image - Wikimedia / B.navez

La china rose, whose scientific name is Hibiscus rosa-sinensisIs a evergreen shrub originally from East Asia. It reaches a height of up to 5 meters, although the normal thing is that it does not exceed 2 meters. It produces large flowers from spring to summer and even until autumn in warm climates, of different colors: red, yellow, orange, white, bicolor, ...


It is a plant that lives both in the sun and in semi-shade, which needs more or less frequent waterings (about 3-4 times a week in summer, and less the rest). Resists frosts down to -4ºC.

Evergreen shrubs

The evergreen shrubs are those that remain evergreen. This means that we will always see them with leaves, but these leaves will actually fall little by little as new ones emerge.


The Abelia floribunda is an evergreen shrub

Image - Wikimedia / peganum from Small Dole, England

La Abelia, whose scientific name is Abelia floribundaIs a evergreen shrub originally from Mexico that grows to a height of up to two meters. Its leaves are glossy dark green, and it produces flowers in summer and fall. These are pink-white, trumpet-shaped.


Place in full sun, in a pot with universal substrate or mulch mixed with 30% perlite. Water 3 or 4 times a week in summer, and less the rest. Resists frosts down to -4ºC.

Pipe cleaners

The pipe cleaner is an evergreen shrub

El pipe cleaner or brush tree, whose scientific name is Callistemon citrinusIs a evergreen shrub originally from Australia. Grows to a maximum height of 4 meters, and in spring it produces a spectacular flowering: with red brush-shaped inflorescences.


It has to be in full sun, in pots with substrates that drain well, such as a mixture of universal substrate with perlite in equal parts. Watering from moderate to little, about 2 or 3 times a week in summer, and every 7-10 days the rest. Resists up to -7ºC.

Photinia 'Red Robin'

The Photinia Red Robin is a perennial shrub

La Photinia 'Red Robin', hybrid between Photinia glabra x Photinia serrulata, and whose scientific name is Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin', is a evergreen shrub that reaches a height of 3 meters. Its leaves are its main attraction: green in winter, red in spring and purple in summer.


It will live well in pots with universal cultivation substrate, with about 3 weekly waterings in summer and less the rest. It resists frosts down to -7ºC.

Potting shrubs

The reality is that any shrub can be had in a pot, since all more or less tolerate pruning well. Now, if you want to know which are the most suitable, here are three:

Japanese maple (cultivars)

The Japanese maple is a deciduous shrub

El japanese maple, whose scientific name is Acer palmatum, It is a deciduous tree or tree native to Asia that can exceed 10 meters. But cultivars only grow to 5 meters, and I will even tell you from experience that they tolerate pruning so well that you can have them even smaller. The most interesting are:

  • Acer palmatum cv Little Princess: grows 1 meter.
  • Acer palmatum var dissectum cv Seyriu: needle-shaped, green leaves.
  • Acer palmatum cv Orange Dream: from palmate leaves that turn orange in autumn.

They are plants that live in semi-shade, and in pots they need substrates for acidophilic plants. In the event that you are in the Mediterranean, it is preferable that you use akadama mixed with 30% kiryuzuna or pumice, as peat-type substrates harm them. Irrigation water must also be acidic (pH between 4 and 6), and must be watered 3-4 times a week in summer, and less the rest of the year. They resist up to -18ºC, but they are not suitable for tropical climates.


The eponymous is a deciduous shrub

El eponymous, also called boxwood or bonnet, and whose scientific name is Euonymus europaeusIs a deciduous shrub native to central Europe. Reaches a height of 3 to 6 meters, but the normal thing is to prune it and leave it in 1 meter at most.


It grows in full sun, and in pots with a universal substrate mixed with 30% perlite. Water moderately, about twice a week in summer, and every week or so the rest of the year. Resists cold and frost down to -18ºC.


Hydrangea is a deciduous shrub

La hydrangea, whose scientific name is Hydrangea macrophyllaIs a deciduous shrub originally from Japan who reaches a height of between 1 and 3 meters. It produces flowers grouped in large inflorescences, white, blue, red or pink.


Place in semi-shade, with substrate for acid plants, and water about 4 times a week in summer and every 6-7 days the rest with rain or acid water (pH between 4 and 6). Resists up to -4ºC.

What do you think of all that you have learned about the bushes? We hope it has been useful to you 🙂.

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  1.   ABEL HERDEZ .V. said


    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      We are glad that you find it of interest, Abel

  2.   Elena said

    I would like them to place the drawing of the plants, because there are names that one does not know. Greetings…

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Elena.
      For that we usually put the links to the cards, since this way you can access them and see some images.

      Anyway, if you want to know what a particular one is like, don't hesitate to tell us 🙂