Reblooming Shrubs for the Home Garden

Updated on June 14, 2016

New Introductions and old favorite shrubs

Some of the most exciting garden introductions of recent years are reblooming shrubs. Much like hybrid roses, which can repeat bloom throughout the summer when cut back after flowering, there are now several shrub hybrids which are capable of the same thing. Instead of the typical peak of bloom in spring or summer alone, these plants keep right on adding color, fragrance, and enjoyment to the yard. Those who are planting new shrubs can consider these specimens.

Reddish-purple lilac blossoms
Reddish-purple lilac blossoms | Source

Improved lilacs

Lilacs are actually small trees. Some are shrubby, but many older types can exceed 15 feet in height if left to grow. Their fragrant flowers traditionally come in pink, blue, lavender, and white, with doubles called “French lilacs.” Long a staple of the late spring garden, they are some of the most hardy bloomers, growing even in US zone 3, which can reach -40 below zero Fahrenheit. Some recent rebloomers include the ‘Bloomerang’ series, available in pink, light and deep purple, and “Scent and Sensibility’ in pink. Boomerangs grow 4 to 5 feet tall, Scents 2 to 3 feet. ‘Josee’ is another new hybrid said to repeat bloom. Happiest in full sun ( that is, at least 6 hours of sun a day), they are very easily grown through the temperate parts of the country.

Typical pink azalea
Typical pink azalea | Source

New hardy azaleas

Another plant traditionally associated with spring is the hardy azalea. Many evergreen azaleas are somewhat less hardy than the deciduous types. Their flowers flourish in US zone 6 (-10 below zero Fahrenheit) and south. These plants prefer partial shade and acidic soil. A blanket of mulch keeps their roots cool, moist, and happy. Rebloomers becoming available in the trade include the patented and trademarked ‘Bloom-a-Thon’ series, and ‘Encore’ series. Available in single red, white, lavender and pink doubles, they are said to provide 20 weeks of flowers. They have also been bred to be compact in habit. The lavender variety is the tallest at 4 1/2 feet when mature, with the white at 2 1/2 feet.

A variety of flower colors on the "mophead" new hydrangea, 'Endless Summer'
A variety of flower colors on the "mophead" new hydrangea, 'Endless Summer' | Source

More hydrangea flowers

More recent summer rebloomers include new varieties of big leaf hydrangea (H.macrophylla), zones 6 to 9. Their flowers are typically the rounded, “mophead” type. Partial shade is fine for them. In the past, while these hydrangeas were plant hardy, their flowers were less so…since they bloomed on old growth, if that growth was injured, no flowers that year. Sometimes adequate snow cover or milder temperatures allowed for a good blooming, but often harsh low temperatures, late hard frosts or lack of snow cover meant that the old growth died back, and there went that year’s flowers in zone 6. Newer hybrids have overcome this hurdle by blooming on new growth as well as old. One of the most popular new plants has been “Endless Summer, ‘ which, when established, is supposed to bloom off and on for months. The ’Let’s Dance’ series, ‘Mini Penny’ and ‘Penny Mac’ come in a variety of colors, mop head pink, purple, and blue, even lace cap. “Nantucket Blue” and the white “Peace” also repeat. These range from 4 to 6 feet tall. Acid soil and the trace element aluminum ensure blue flowers rather than pink, although some hybrids now are not as specific in their fertilizer needs, and remain true to color.

A lacecap hydrangea which also has variegated foliage
A lacecap hydrangea which also has variegated foliage | Source

More kinds of hydrangeas

Mountain hydrangeas (H. serrata) are a bit hardier, doing well in zone 5. Their lacecap flowers are less likely to suffer winter damage, but only came once a summer in the case of ‘Bluebird.’ Now, with petite beauties such as ‘Tiny Tuff Stuff,’ which only reaches 2 feet, blue or pink lacecaps can repeat all summer in small spaces. Even hardier is the American native hydrangea (H. arborescens), which can even grow in zone 3. New rebloomers here include ‘Invincibelle II’, with large pink or white rounded ball flower heads, a height around 5 feet, and improved strong stems. Additionally, purchase of this plant benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Red weigela
Red weigela | Source

Spireas and weigelas

Some of the toughest and most reliable shrubs are spireas and weigelas. Spireas are hardy to zone 3, and weigelas to 4 or 5. The reblooming spireas include the Double Play series, with delicate clusters of pink or red flowers. ‘Double Play Gold’ has glowing yellow-green foliage, while ‘Artisan’ sports new purplish foliage in spring, and ‘Blue Kazoo’ has bluish foliage and pink new growth. These grow well in sun or partial shade, without being fussy. Newer weigelas are more compact than the old fountains of foliage that the Victorians grew, and provide even more color. The hybrid ‘Wine and Roses’ shows deep pink flowers atop dark purple leaves. ‘Ghost’ has pale yellow green foliage and dark red flowers in abundance. ‘Sonic Bloom’ is another series of brightly-flowered red and pink weigelas, some variegated. These should be excellent plants for a sunny spot that needs a pop of color, and all reach 4 to 5 feet tall.

Pink spirea flowers
Pink spirea flowers | Source
Crepe myrtle
Crepe myrtle | Source

Hardier new crepe myrtles

Crepe myrtles have now been hybridized to be more temperature tolerant, and several new ones are hardy to zone 6. Their frilly flowers repeat all summer in shades of pink, red and white, and the ‘Infinitini’ series grows only 2 to 4 feet tall. The ‘Princess’ series includes one plant (‘Jaden’) which is only 18 to 24 inches tall, making a colorful creeper, as well as others such as ‘Zoey,’ 4 to 5 feet tall.

Indigofera heterantha
Indigofera heterantha | Source

Old favorites that bloom abundantly, and more new possibilities

Gardeners may also consider some older shrubs which naturally repeat bloom. These include sun-loving Buddleia, pink, lavender, purple, white and yellow, hardy to zone 5, and a known butterfly attractor (take care that it does not self-sow where it is invasive, though.) Abelia (zone 6 )will start blooming with small tubular pink flowers later in the summer and continue happily until hard frost. Small Potentilla (zone 2) blooms in several colors in bright, well-drained situations. Daphne caucasica (zone 5) has dark green foliage, and small white starry flowers that persist throughout the summer. Though unfamiliar to many now, Indigofera ( zone 6b) is a promising small shrub with lavish pink pea-like flowers that are said to repeat.

Abelia flowers
Abelia flowers | Source

In many cases, with plants such as buddleias and spireas, repeat blooming will occur when spent flowers are cut off, just as with modern rose hybrids. Substantial pruning should be avoided in the case of hydrangeas, unless tip dieback occurs. Growers can look forward to a long, flower-bedecked summer!


Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Carla Sternberg K profile imageAUTHOR

        Carla Sternberg Koch 

        2 years ago from Central Connecticut

        My dear and very knowledgable friends at plantsvillepines.com have also reminded me of Viburnum 'Summer Snowflake,' V. plicatum F. tomentosum. This lovely upright shrub can get as tall as a small tree, and will bloom abundantly in late spring, and sporadically through the summer.

      • Carla Sternberg K profile imageAUTHOR

        Carla Sternberg Koch 

        2 years ago from Central Connecticut

        Thank you, glad you liked it!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        2 years ago from the short journey

        Enjoyed seeing this on rebloomers and am especially interested in the new lilacs. Thanks!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)